Heading formatting problem in Word

Saphal Lamichhane 0 Reputation points

I am making a document from scratch, actually some work done by others, but I am formatting the document from start. I am giving numbering to my headings. Now, in order to easily style my heading 3 I format painted my heading 3 with heading 2 including numbering and then made changes on it went a list level down and updated my heading 3 to match selection. Now all of a sudden all my heading 2 start to look like heading 3 and the style itself has changed to resembling heading 3 without even touching heading 2. No matter how many times I do it, same thing happens. Its so annoying.

We talk among our friends that word does not do what we want it to do but does what it wants by itself and makes a mess.

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  1. Charles Kenyon 2,556 Reputation points

    Numbering, in Word, is quite finicky!

    You cannot use Format Painter between levels!

    If you use automatic paragraph numbering or bullets read Shauna Kelly's directions on numbering and bullets. Start with [How to create numbered headings or outline numbering in Word 2007 and Word 2010]. For large documents you must follow these directions or you will lose your hair!
    (Mac version: https://www.brandwares.com/bestpractices/2016/06/outline-numbering-in-word-for-os-x/)


    This may seem a bit convoluted at first, but it really is not. Just follow the steps. Shauna Kelly's instructions use the built-in heading styles, but you can use any existing paragraph styles including your custom styles. There are, however advantages to using the built-in heading styles when you create a Table of Contents. Here are some more advantages: [Why Use Word's Built-In Heading Styles? by Shauna Kelly] Note, you can modify these built-in styles to look exactly the way you want.


    Videos on this


    The basic idea is that the numbering is set using the Define MultiLevel List dialog with each numbering level being attached to an existing paragraph style. Once you have this set up, you should not use the buttons for numbering in the Ribbon but rather apply the appropriate style for that level.


    You can save a document with this as a template for future documents if you want so you will not need to do this every time.

    If you are going to use the built-in list styles, start with the ones that say Heading 1, Heading 2, etc. Do any modification to Indents or the appearance of the numbering in the Define New MultiLevel List Dialog. My advice is to follow Shauna Kelly's directions to get something that will stand up to editing.

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