How to create multilevel lists in Word

Creating and fixing multi-level numbered headings in Word might seem to be a bit tricky for the first time users. Nevertheless, if you know the correct procedure, it would be a piece of cake!

Note: If you’ve already created a list, but ran into a problem, read this to fix your list:

Follow the steps stated below to create a new multilevel numbered list the correct way:

The Procedure

Firstly, we will define the multilevel numbering for the heading levels using Multilevel List feature.

1.     Open the Word document in which you want to apply numbered headings.

2.     From the Word Ribbon menu, under the tab Home and within the group Paragraph, click the Multilevel List icon multi list button .  A drop-down menu appears.

(Click the image to view in full screen)

define new multi level list

2.     From the drop-down menu, select the option Define New Multilevel List (at the bottom of the menu). The “Define New Multilevel List” dialog box pops up.

3.     Click the More button  (Picture1)  available at the bottom of the dialog box. The dialog box expands to show additional fields (see below image).

define new multi level list dialog
Create First Level Heading   (or define number format for the first level heading)

4.     Click level “1” from Click level to modify selection box (on the top left hand side of the dialog box).

5.     From the drop-down list named Link level to style, select “Heading 1”.  This way, you are linking heading level “1”  (that you will use in your document) to Word’s default Heading 1 style from the Styles gallery. Later, you can modify style for each heading as you wish.

6.     In this step, enter a numbering format for your heading level 1 in the field Enter formatting for number from the drop-drop-down list Number style for this level. So, the format you select from the drop-down list will appear in the Enter formatting for number field. You can delete the default number format appearing in the Enter formatting for number field and choose your own.

a.    You can reset the value in the Enter formatting for number field by selecting a value from the spin box Start at.
b.    If you find the field Number style for this level as disabled, clear the check box Legal style numbering.
Creating Second Level Heading

7.     Similarly, select level “2” from Click level to modify selection box.

8.     Link level 2 to Word’s default Heading 2 by selecting “Heading 2” from the Link level to style drop-down list.

9.     Delete whatever appears (by default) in the field Enter formatting for number to apply a new number format. From the field Include level number from, select Level 1 (as a prefix) for the second level heading. Apply a dot (.) or anything you would like after the prefix number. I prefer a dot.

10.     After a dot (.)select a numbering format for the Level 2 heading (e.g. 1.1). You are done.

11.     Similarly, you can keep adding levels as needed. While creating the third heading, select Level 1 and Level 2 headings as prefixes from the Include Level Number from field and then select a number format for the Level 3 heading (e.g. 1.1.1 ).

The following example shows how to construct the Heading level 4.

Once you are done with defining number format for all the headings, you can view the same being updated in the Styles gallery, under the tab Home, within the group Styles in the Ribbon. Or, you can open the Styles window by pressing Shift+Ctrl+Alt+S.

Now, select text in your document (which you want as a heading) and then click the relevant heading style (which you have just created) from the Styles gallery.

Please note that you may not see all the  multilevel heading levels (that you have just created) in the gallery depending on the configuration of the Style Pane Options. You can open the Style Pane Options dialog box by clicking the Options link available at the bottom of the Styles gallery pane. See below image.


The Style Pane Options window appears. Click Select styles to show drop-down list and select the option All Styles from the list. Click OK. Now you can view all the 9 heading levels with multilevel numbering in the Styles gallery.
Modify the appearance of the headings

You can modify the style (font, numbering, etc.) of the headings from the styles gallery by selecting Modify from the right-click menu of each heading and then clicking the Untitled button from the Modify Style dialog box.

For example, if you want your Heading 1 to have font “Cambria”, font size “14”, Bold, color Blue then configure these in the Modify Style dialog box as shown in the following screenshot.


You can also apply these style by clicking the Format  button available at the bottom of the Modify Style dialog box and then clicking the Font from the sub-menu. This will display the Font dialog box where you can apply font styles for Heading 1.

Similarly, you can modify other properties of the headings by selecting the appropriate options from the Format sub-menu.

Please let me know in the comment section if you have any difficulty understanding the procedure or if you have any other queries, suggestions, etc. I will be more than happy to help you out! Thank you.

The following post could also be helpful to you:

AutoText Feature in MS Word 2007

AutoText almost anything (graphical elements, tables, etc.) that you can select in your Word document. This is one of the handy features for faster document processing.


To add an AutoText entry
a.  Select the Word element (text paragraph, tables, image, etc.) that you want to add to AutoText.
b.  Click Alt+F3 (Word 2003 shortcut key, it works). Create New Building Block dialog box appears.
c.   In the dialog box, enter a Name for the Word element.
d.  Select a Gallery type from the drop-down list where you want the Word element to appear. For example, if you are adding a custom table to AutoText, select the Gallery type as table. Later, you can access the  custom  table from Insert > Table > Quick Tables.

Alternatively, you can add the AutoText feature to your Quick Access Toolbar as shown below:


To add AutoText to Quick Access Toolbar

a.  Click the Office button Picture1, click Word Options from the bottom of the menu list, and then click Customize from the Word Option dialog box.
b.  In the Customize window, select the entry All Commands from Choose commands from drop-down list.
c.  Select the command AutoText by scrolling down the All Commands list.
d.  Click the button  Picture4 to add the AutoText command to the Quick Access Toolbar list.


Select a block of text that you want to save as AutoText entry.

After you have added an AutoText entry, Word alerts you to save the changes made to Building Blocks. If you do not save, AutoText entry would disappear next time you open Word.

AutoCorrect Feature in MS Word 2007

Word provides this excellent feature that saves you a great amount of manual work. You can store your frequently used text, paragraph, sentences, or any other text as AutoCorrect entry. Use the following procedure to add AutoCorrect entries.


To add an AutoCorrect entry
1. Select the text that you want to add as an AutoCorrect entry.
2. In Word 2007, press Alt+T+A (Word 2003 shortcut key). AutoCorrect dialog box appears.
Click the Office button, click Word Options, click Proofing, and finally click AutoCorrect Option button under the AutoCorrect options section. AutoCorrect window appears.


3. Word fills the selected text in the With fields. Now, enter the text in the Replace field that would be replaced with the With text.
4. Click Add.

To use an AutoCorrect entry in your document
In the above example (see figure), we have added an AutoCorrect entry. Type auto and then press the Spacebar; ‘AutoCorrect’ will be replace ‘auto’.

How to Create Different Headers and Footers in the same Word Document

MS Word provides an option to create different headers and footers within the same document. Divide the document into different sections using Section break to achieve this. Then you can assign unique header and footer to each section.

Suppose your document has five chapters and you need to insert unique header and footer details to each section, the below procedure does exactly that.


Divide the document into five separate sections using Section breaks. See below to learn how to insert Section breaks at the end of each chapter to create separate page sections.

1. To insert a section break, on the Page Layout tab, within the group Page Setup, click the drop-down list Breaks.

2. From the Page Breaks drop-down, click Next Page. A section break is inserted at the cursor position.


Tip: If you are unable to view the section breaks after applying them in your document, click ‘Ctrl+Shift+8’.

3.  Similarly, apply section breaks at the end for rest of the chapters as well.

4.  In this step, disconnect the Header/Footer section of the first chapter from the second chapter. To do so, double-click the Header or   Footer section (extreme bottom or top of the page) at the beginning of the second chapter. The Header & Footer Tools >> Design tab gets activated in the Ribbon.

5. Now on the Design tab, within the group Navigation, you can find the Link to Previous being highlighted. This implies that header/footer of the second chapter is linked to the first chapter.


6.  Click Link to Previous to deactivate which  disconnect or de-link the second chapter from the first chapter.

7.  Repeat the above steps for the rest of the chapters. After disconnecting header/footer for all the chapters, you can insert unique header/footer content.

Tip: While header/footer is enabled, you can move from one section break to the next by clicking the Next Section button available within the group Navigation, under menu group Header & Footer Tools >> Design.

How to modify the Normal template or how to change default font in Word 2007

Every time you open a new Word document, Word opens the file. is the default template. By modifying the Normal document, you can change the default Word font, paragraph, style, header and footer, page setups, page background, etc.

With Word 2007, it is super easy to change the formatting of the file. To modify the Normal document, use the following procedure.

  1. Close all open documents.
  2. Click the Office button Picture1.
  3. Click Open.
  4. On the Open dialog box, select Trusted Templates as the Look In folder.
  5. Click to open the file.
  6. Format the document, as you want to. Next time you open a new Word document, the modification will be reflected in the documents.

Note: You can create a section for each chapter of your document and apply unique header and footer to each section.

Insert Different Page Numbers in different sections of a Word Document

What if you need to use different page number formats (1, 2,….or I, II, …. or A, B, C,….etc.) in different sections of a document? Many writers follow this convention of using Roman numerals in the initial few pages and continue with integer numbers for the rest of the pages of the document.

To achieve such page numbering style in MS Word, we need to use  Section Breaks. Each document section can have unique page number format.

The following procedure shows how to insert Roman numerals on the Footer section of the first three pages of a document and then integers for the rest of the document.


Firstly, will divide the document into two sections by applying a Section Break. The first section will consist of the first three pages of the document.

To apply a section break

  1. Place mouse cursor at the bottom of the third page of the document.
  2. From the Ribbon, under the tab Page Layout, within the group Page Setup, click Breaks. A drop-down list appears.
  3. From the list, select option Next Page available under Section Breaks.

See the following image:

next page

Word inserts a Section Break at the end of the third page. If you are unable to view the Section Break, click Ctrl+Shift+8. With a Section break, Word divides the document into two logical sections.

To enable the Footer section of the document

  1. Right-click at the bottom of the document and then click Edit Footer. Word enables the Footer section.
  2. Place cursor at the Footer section of the third page (where you are going to insert page number). Now, we are going to insert page number in the footer.

To insert page number

    1. On the Insert tab, within the group Header & Footer, click the Page Number drop-down and then point to Current Position. From the Current Position sub menu, select Plain Number (see below image). Word inserts a page number at the cursor position for the first three pages.
    2. Subsequently, change the page number format to Roman numbers.
      1. Select the page number that has been inserted.
      2. On the Insert tab, within the group Header & Footer group, click Page Number and then navigate to Format Page Numbers.
      3. On the Format Page Numbers dialog box, select Roman numerals from the Number Format drop-down list.
      4. Word replaces the integer numbers with Roman numerals as pages i, ii and iii.

See the following image:

insert page number

                    3.  Now, place cursor at the Footer section of the fourth page. Then, on the Insert tab, within the group Header & Footer, click the Page Number drop-down and then click Current Position drop-down list and select Plain Number format. Word will insert page number starting with number.

Note: If you do not want your cover page to have the page number, do the following:

    1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click the arrow button on the right bottom corner. The Page Setup window appears.
    2. Select the Different First Page check box.
    3. Click OK.


Importing Custom Heading Styles

One of the frequently asked query when it comes to MS Word Multilevel Lists is “how to import custom multilevel headings from one document to another?”

Word 2007 provides an option to import previously created multilevel heading styles. This saves you from recreating a multilevel heading styles over and over again.

To be able to import custom styles, you must save them as Templates. Let’s see how to do that.

Firstly, we will save a custom templates in the Trusted Templates folder for future use.

To save documents as Templates
    1. Open a new Word document. Create your own heading styles, etc.
    2. After creating your own heading styles, save them as templates. To save, click the Office button, point to Save As. The Save As dialog box appears.
    3. Select the Trusted Template folder (from left) as the Save In folder.
    4. Select Word Template as the Save as type (from bottom).
    5. Click Save.

You can save multiple templates (with different styles) as explained above in the Trusted Template folder.

Now to import styles from an old template to a new template/document, do the following:

    1. Open the Style window (press Shift+Ctrl+Alt+S or Alt+O+S).
    2. Click the Manage Styles icon on the Styles window.


3. Manage Styles window appears.


4.   Click the Import/Export button. This opens the Organizer dialog box. See below.


You can view the style elements of your current document in the left hand side and style elements of the Word Normal.dotm file on the right hand side of the Organizer dialog box.

  1. Click the Close File button on the right hand side to close the normal file and then click Open File button to open one of your previously saved trusted templates. You are copying the styles from this template to you current document.
  2. Style elements from your template will be populated on the right side. Select the styles (Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, Normal, Header, Footer, etc.) that you want to copy to your current document.
  3. Click the copy button Picture3. Word will prompt the message, “Do you wish to overwrite the existing style entry element?” Click Yes or Yes to All. Styles elements from the current document will be overwritten by the copied style elements.