How to create numbered headings in Word

Word 365
Some document types or requirements need headings numbering. It's easy to add numbering for one level of headings in the Word document. Word works with the numbering for any style in the same way. See how to work with lists in Word:
Numbered headings in Header Word 365

Alternatively, you can add numbering to the heading style to automate your work.

However, if you need to add multilevel numbering for the headings, you have to know some tricks on how to do that:

Numbered headings 2 in Word 365

Add numbering to the heading style

All style changes, such as adding numbering to a heading style, are made in the Modify Style dialog box.

   1.   To open the Modify Style dialog, do one of the following:

  • On the Home tab, in the Styles group, right-click on the style (for example, Heading 1) and choose Modify... in the popup menu:
    Modify Heading 1 in the Styles Gallery Word 365
  • On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the dialog box launcher:
    Styles Gallery in Word 365

    On the Styles pane, right-click on the style (for example, Heading 1) and choose Modify... in the popup menu:

    Styles pane Word 365
  • Right-click on the text with the needed style (for example, Heading 1) or some text you want to apply this style, then click the Styles list in the Mini Toolbar.

    In the Style gallery, right-click on the style and choose Modify... in the popup menu:

    Modify Heading 1 in the Mini Toolbar Word 365

   2.   In the Modify Style dialog box, click the Format button and then choose Numbering...:

Numbering in Modify Style dialog box Word 365

   3.   In the Numbering and Bullets dialog box, choose the numbering format you prefer, or click the Define New Number Format... button to create a custom numbering:

Define New Number Format in Word 365

In the Define New Number Format dialog box:

Define New Number Format dialog box in Word 365
  • The Number style list specifies the numbering style: Arabic numerals; uppercase and lowercase Roman numerals; uppercase and lowercase alphabet letters; word series (1st, One, and First), etc. See examples in the Customizing numbered lists tip.
  • The Font... button opens the standard Font dialog box that allows selecting the specific font or font attributes (such as bold, italic, and underline) and the point size for the numbers.
  • The Number format field offers to type the characters you want to come before each number (if needed). For this example, the word Part:
    Example in Define New Number Format dialog box Word 365
  • In the Alignment list, choose the distance from the left, centered, or right margin that Word places the number.

For example:

Numbered headings in Header Word 365

Add multilevel numbering to the heading style

To create a multilevel list for headings, do the following:

   1.   On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click the Multilevel List button:

Multilevel List in Word 365

   2.   Do one of the following:

  • To create a pre-defined multilevel list for headings, click the arrow next to the Multilevel List button and choose any of the pre-defined styles for headings:
    Multilevel list for headings in Word 365
  • To create a custom multilevel list for headings, click the arrow next to the Multilevel List button and choose Define New Multilevel List...:
    Define New Multilevel List in Word 365

    In the Define new Multilevel list dialog box, click the More>> button in the lower-left corner:

Define new Multilevel list dialog box in Word 365

Word displays an extra panel at the right of the dialog box, so you see the full dialog box:

Example of The additional options for the multilevel list in Word 365

To link this numbered list level to a particular style, select the style in the Link level to style drop-down list:

Example of Link level to style for the multilevel list in Word 365

Make other changes for the custom list levels (see how to customize multilevel lists for more details).

For example:

Define new Multilevel list 2 in Word 365

After applying the heading styles:

  • The Styles Gallery will look like this:
    Example of Styles Gallery in Word 365
  • You can see the numbered list for headings:
    Example of Numbered headings in Word 365

Note: To modify the numbering or numbering format, you need to modify this custom multilevel list (see how to customize the multilevel list), not the numbering in the heading style (like described in the Add numbering to the heading style).

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