Stupid Microsoft Word Trick: Multilevel Numbered Headings
I don’t work with MS Word all the time, so I end up having to re-discover this trick each time.
Firstly, this is nothing new. In fact, I’m basically cribbing the steps from here:
The reason I’m putting it into my blog is so I know it’s here and can search a smaller field than the whole of the internet. If you’ve any kudos, please send it to the original URL.
This works with MS Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. The controls are different with earlier versions of MS Word, but I’m sure there is a way to map the steps to those legacy versions.
In your document, click on Multilevel list, then select Define New style. Or, to use the Ribbon, Alt, H, M, L.
In the resulting window, update the”Name” field to something descriptive. Or, to use keyboard shortcuts, Alt + N. For single-key shortcuts, from this point forward, it will be assumed they are discoverable from the UI. Example, here I use “Multilevel Heading”
In the resulting window, click on Format, then Numbering. Or, to use keyboard shortcuts, Alt + O, N.
In the resulting window, click on More.
In the updated window, click on Link level to style.
In the resulting pulldown, select Heading 1.
Update “Enter formatting for number” field as needed. If you delete the grey shaded number, click on “Number style for this level”, then the style you want, For ease-of-use’s sake, I always just use numbers.
Add the delimiter between the incrementing number and either the corresponding text or the next number. I always just use the period ‘.’
(Optional, but recommended.) Click on “Set for all Levels.”
Otherwise, the headings will march rightward.
In the resulting window, set “Additional indent for each level” to 0. Click OK.
Select 2 in “Click level to modify”. Set “Link level to style” to Heading 2. Delete existing data in “Enter formatting for number.”
Now is where it gets different.
Click on “Include level number from” and select Level 1.
Manually type in the delimiter (the period in this case) in “Enter formatting for number,” Then click on “Number style for this level”. Select the desired format for Heading 2. I use number.number, but you can use any other format.
Select 3 in “Click level to modify”. Set “Link level to style” to Heading 3. Delete existing data in “Enter Formatting for number.”
Click on “Include level from” and select Level 1. Manually enter the delimiter.
Click again on “Include level from” and select Level 2. Manually enter the Delimiter again.
Click on “Number style for this level”. Select the desired format for Heading 3.
At this point the workflow, and a gotcha has been documented. Repeat for all levels you need. I generally don’t use Heading 4 and below, so I stop at level 3.
In conclusion, this is really harder than it needs to be. Some of the web pages detailing this suggests exporting it as a template, but I’d much rather Word came with this a simple control.