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: Automatic Numbers with Leading Zeroes.

Automatic Numbers with Leading Zeroes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 17, 2015)

1

Word provides a tool that allows you to add automatic numbering to paragraphs; this tool has been discussed in other WordTips. At some point you may want to add leading zeros to your numbering, such as with 00001, 00002, 00003, etc.

If you add the leading zeros to what you type (type four zeros, the number one, a period, a tab, and your paragraph text), then when you press Enter Word will format the paragraph so it is numbered. The problem is that all of your leading zeros are, with the exception of one of them, removed in the process. This means that you end up with 01 instead of 00001 at the beginning of the paragraph.

You can, if you desire, display the Numbered tab of the Bullets and Numbering dialog box, and you'll have the chance to customize the way the numbering is done. (Just click the Customize button to display the Customize Numbered List dialog box.) You can then add additional zeros to the beginning of the format for the paragraph.

One drawback to this approach is that the zeros you add are not really a part of the format; they are, instead, just additional characters that precede the numbers managed by Word. This isn't a problem until you get more than 99 items in your numbered list. The number 00099 looks fine, but the next paragraph will be 000100, which is obviously wrong. You could then adjust the formatting of the paragraph so you only have two extra zeros at the lead and that numbering starts at 100 with that paragraph, but this can be bothersome when you later add or remove paragraphs from within your numbered list.

Because of this drawback, many people use a different method of automatic numbering when special formats (like the leading zeros) are needed. The most common approach is to use the SEQ field. For example, you could use the following format to do implement the leading zeros:

{SEQ MyList \# "00000"}

Using a SEQ field like this at the beginning of each of your paragraphs will provide the leading-zero numbers that you want. You'll need to update the fields after making any changes to the list, but you'll get the results you want.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (437) 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: Automatic Numbers with Leading Zeroes.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Text Prints as Bold, but Displays as Regular

What to do when text looks one way on the screen but prints a different way? This tip provides several different ...

Discover More

Adjusting Row Height for a Number of Worksheets

Adjusting the height of a row or range of rows is relatively easy in Excel. How do you adjust the height of those same ...

Discover More

Jumping to the End of Page after Enter

Imagine you start typing in a new document, and when you press the Enter key the cursor jumps a huge distance to the ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Stubborn Highlighting

When you make extensive edits to a document and those edits include changing the formatting of numbered or bulleted ...

Discover More

Lining Up Numbered List Numbers

Do you want the numbers in your numbered lists to be aligned differently than they normally are? You can adjust the ...

Discover More

Turning Off Automatic Numbered Lists

Type what Word thinks is a numbered list, and it will helpfully format the text to match what it thinks your numbered ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 5 - 2?

2016-01-15 04:24:44

shahadat

thanks


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.