Tabulation or next level in the numbered list

Word 2016
By default, when you create a numbered or bulleted list in Word, you can press Tab and Shift+Tab to increase or decrease the numbering level:
The bulleted list in Word 365

Note: Word uses the next level of the numbered or bulleted list defined by default. You can change it for the first item or after adding all items (see numbered and bulleted lists).

You can use these shortcuts (Tab and Shift+Tab) for creating your numbered or bulleted lists in Word easy and really fast:

The numbered multilevel list in Word 365

Sometimes you need to use Tab as regular tabulation without changing the numbering level:

The numbered list with tabulation in Word 365

To change the behavior of Tab and Shift+Tab in lists as increasing and decreasing numbering level, do the following:

   1.   On the File tab, click the Options button:

Options in Word 365

   2.   In the Word Options dialog box, open the Proofing tab and then click the AutoCorrect Options... button:

AutoCorrect Options in Word 365

   3.   In the AutoCorrect dialog box, on the AutoFormat As You Type tab, check or uncheck the checkbox Set left- and first-indent with tabs and backspaces:

AutoFormat As You Type in Word Options 365
  • If Set left- and first-indent with tabs and backspaces is checked, pressing on Tab and Shift+Tab will increase or decrease the numbering level.
  • If Set left- and first-indent with tabs and backspaces is unchecked, pressing on Tab will add tabulation to the line of your numbered or bulleted list.

See also this tip in French: Tabulation pour niveau suivant ou précédent dans une liste.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.