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: Following a Number with Different Characters.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 23, 2016)
Word provides a good deal of flexibility in how you set up numbered lists. By default, the numbers that appear in a numbered list are followed by a period. If you would like to change the character that follows the number to something other than a period, it is best to use a style for the numbered paragraphs (or headings). Follow these steps if you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003:
Figure 1. The Modify Style dialog box.
Figure 2. The Numbered tab of the Bullets and Numbering dialog box.
Figure 3. The Customize Numbered List dialog box.
If you are using Word 97 or Word 2000, the steps are slightly different:
Regardless of the version of Word you are using, there is a difference between the Customize Numbered List and Customize Outline Numbered List (See Figure 4.) dialog boxes (step 7). If you are formatting outline numbering, you can click the More button. When you do, you will see some additional options appear at the bottom of the dialog box. (These options, and the More button, are not available in the Customize Numbered List dialog box.)
Figure 4. The Customize Outline Numbered List dialog box.
One of the available options is called Follow Tab With, and there are three options: Tab Character, Space, or Nothing. This setting indicates what should come after the characters you've put in the Number Format box. You can select whatever is appropriate for your needs.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7788) 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: Following a Number with Different Characters.
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