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How to: Numbered headings or outline numbering in Microsoft Word documents

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Create numbered headings or outline numbering in Microsoft Word documents.

Written by Jon Berg <jon.berg|a|turtlemeat.com> April 17, 2005

You want to have your headings automatically numbered throughout the document, but can not figure out how to do it.

Styling headers

You are probably aware that you must style the text that you want as headings.
To create the headings you mark the text, and set it as "Header 1" or "Header 2 " or "Header 3 ". This creates the general hierarchy of headings that the numbering will be based on. The first "Header 1" will be "1." , the second "Header 1" will be "2. " Text marked as "Header 2" will be "1. 1". And so on, that is the styling of the headers.

To actually get the numbers on the styling you have to modify the style:

  • Go to the style menu. Format > "Styles and Formatting..."
  • You will see a list of the styles. Scroll to "Header 1", right click on it, and select "Modify".
  • Press the Format button on the dialog that appeared, and select "Numbering...".
  • Select the "Outline Numbered" tab. From the examples shown in that tab you select the numbering type you want.
  • Click ok. Click ok. Now you are out of all the dialogs, and numbering should appear on your "Header 1" styles.

If not the "Header 2" and "Header 3" also have numbering on them you must repeat the process on "Header 2" and "Header 3" as shown for "Header 1" (shown in the bullet list above).

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