How to Change Numbering Format in Word 2007 Numbered Lists

By Doug Lowe

Word automatically formats text as a numbered list when you when you type a number and a period followed by a space: Word adds a tab and creates a ¼-inch hanging indent. (If the paragraphs already have hanging indents, the original settings are preserved.) The quickest way to create a custom numbered list is to change the formatting of an existing (or automatically created) list.


1Type a number (1 is a good start), a period (.), a space, and some text; then press Enter.

If you don’t type some text, the number, period, and tab just vanish when you press Enter. Then you have to start the list over.


2Type some text for your second numbered item, press Enter, and type some more text.

Now you have a Word numbered list. You format it by changing the font for the number and by changing the indentation of the list items.


3Put your mouse pointer on the downward arrow next to the Numbering button.

The Numbering button is second in the upper row of buttons on the Ribbon’s Paragraph tab. Hovering your mouse pointer over the arrow shows the button’s tooltip.


4Click the arrow next to the Numbering button to reveal the Numbering Library.

The Numbering Library shows and stores your favorite number styles.


5Check for recently used number formats.

If you’ve made even one numbered list, additional sections appear in the drop-down. At the top, the Recently Used Number Formats section shows the number style used. If you have only one document open, this section shows only the number style(s) used in that document.


6If you didn’t find a number style you like, open another document with a numbered list and try these steps again.

In the Document Number Formats section, you’ll see all the number styles in all the documents you currently have open.


7Right-click a number you want to add to your Numbering Library, click Define New Number Format, and then choose Add to Library.

The number style is now available for use in all your documents.

8To remove a number from the Numbering Library, right-click it and choose Remove.

When you click a number used in a list, the numbers for all paragraphs in that list are highlighted. But don’t panic: Removing a number from the Numbering Library doesn’t remove it from the lists in your document(s).