Increasing Space between Numbers and Text in a List

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 26, 2013)

Many people like to use the Numbering tool, on the Formatting toolbar, to create numbered lists in a document. When formatting your list, the tool assumes that you are working with lists that have only a few items in them. If you have lists with many, many items, then they may not look right when you view items that have two or three digits in the number. For instance, there may be very little space between a two-digit list number and the start of your text. It may be even worse if you have list items that use three digits.

If you want to change the way that spacing is handled between list numbers and the text in the list item itself, follow these steps:

  1. Select the list items you want to change. (You would normally select all the numbered items in your list.)
  2. Choose Bullets and Numbering from the Format menu. Word displays the Bullets and Numbering dialog box, with the Numbered tab selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Numbered tab of the Bullets and Numbering dialog box.

  4. Click Customize. The Customize Numbered List dialog box should appear. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The Customize Numbered List dialog box.

  6. Use the Number Position controls to specify how the number in the selected list items should be aligned, and where it should appear horizontally.
  7. Use the two controls in the Text Position area to specify how far the numbered item should be indented. (For the best effect, both controls in this area should be set to the same value.)
  8. Close both of the open dialog boxes by clicking OK in them.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3455) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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

Using Dynamic Chart Titles

Want the title of your chart to change based upon what is placed in a worksheet cell? It's easy; just add a formula to ...

Discover More

Limiting Precision

There may be times you need to limit the amount of precision Excel uses in its calculations. Here is one way to accomplish ...

Discover More

Can Only Print to Default Printer

It is helpful to be able to print out worksheets when you need to share them with others. It is even more helpful if you can ...

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)

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 list ...

Discover More

Converting Lists to Text

If you have a numbered list in a document, you might want to convert it to regular, non-dynamic text and not lose the numbers ...

Discover More

Using Outline Numbering in a Table

If you have worked with tables in Word, you probably know how to navigate through the cells with keyboard shortcuts. This ...

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 for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

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.

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.

Links and Sharing
Share