Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 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: Compound List Formatting.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 2, 2015)
It is often quite handy to create lists of information that can be used in your documents. One sign of how popular (and common) lists are is Word's inclusion of the Numbering and Bullets tools on the formatting toolbar.
You may, however, want to create what I call a "compound format" for your lists. For instance, you may want the first word, phrase or sentence of each list item shown in bold, or in bold italics. This is very common when using list items to define terms, such as in a glossary. The term being defined is shown in bold type, followed by a period, and then followed by a definition in regular type.
The next time you have a need to create lists that use "compound formatting" of this type, try out the following steps. (These steps will only work in Word 2000 or later versions.)
Figure 1. The Paragraph dialog box.
Now, when you start typing again, the first word, phrase, or sentence of the next list item—everything up to a valid terminator (see step 7)—uses the formatting you set in step 6, and the rest of the list item uses regular type.
If you try these steps on your system and they do not work, then check this out:
Figure 2. The AutoFormat As You Type tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.
If the check box noted in step 3 is not selected, the steps presented earlier in this tip will not work.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1565) applies to Microsoft Word 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Compound List Formatting.
Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!
Want to make sure that Word handles space before a paragraph correctly when the paragraph is at the top of a page? Check the ...Discover More
There are times that you just want to begin a paragraph (perhaps a heading) at the top of a new page. Word allows you to ...Discover More
Paragraphs are one of the elemental building blocks in a Word document. Formatting those paragraphs is easy to do if you ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.