Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Applying Numbers from the Keyboard.

Applying Numbers from the Keyboard

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 14, 2018)

Word makes it just as easy to create and destroy numbered lists as it does to work with bulleted lists. All you need to do is click on the Numbering tool to convert a paragraph to a numbered item, and click on it again to remove the number. There is no keyboard equivalent for this tool, but you can create one. This involves the use of the Customize Keyboard dialog box:

  1. Choose Customize from the Tools menu. Word displays the Customize dialog box.
  2. Click the Keyboard button. Word displays the Customize Keyboard dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Customize Keyboard dialog box.

  4. In the Categories list, choose Formatting.
  5. In the Commands list, choose FormatNumberDefault.
  6. Click in the Press New Shortcut Key box.
  7. Press the keystroke you want to use to apply bullets. Alt+N is a good choice, since it is not in use on a default Word system.
  8. Click on Assign.
  9. Click on Close to dismiss the Customize Keyboard dialog box.
  10. Click on Close to close the Customize dialog box.

Now, whenever you press the keystroke you chose in step 6, it is the same as clicking on the Numbering tool. Press the keystroke again, and the numbers are gone. You can also press Ctrl+Q to remove any paragraph numbering.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (88) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Applying Numbers from the Keyboard.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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