Word Outline Numbering Goof-Proofed
Applies to: Word 2007, Word 97-2003
Depending on whether you’re working in Word 2003 or 2007, the path to ‘goof-proof numbering’ means avoiding several innocent maneuvers. Here, we shed some light along Word’s treacherous digit-delivery system.
Outline Numbering in Word 97-2003: Strict rules govern the creation and amendment of outline numbering in these versions of Word. The "Seven Laws of Word’s Outline Numbering" are fully-documented in a venerable white paper Microsystems penned to the industry in 1997. Secure your copy by emailing email@example.com.
Of the “Seven Laws”, however, the most important one is: When modifying any level of an outline numbering scheme, ALWAYS modify from the style linked to Level 1, the highest level of the scheme. Everything else flows from there.
Defy this law, and all previous levels can unlink from their respective style, causing numbering to unravel throughout the document. The illustration below shows the outcome of both the wrong and the right method used in 2003.
Multilevel List Numbering in Word 2007:
In Word 2007, a few things change – one of the most significant being that you can now modify a list from any level without risk of unlinking its previous levels.
The trick is knowing the method. Here are our new twists:
We describe both below.
Amend or Modify an existing Multilevel List:
Just as in previous versions of Word, each level of the scheme should be linked to a style (as highlighted above).
When Modifying a Multilevel List, take care not to Define a New List Style instead…
The interface implies it is not possible to modify a Multilevel List. At first glance it seems you must Define a New Multilevel List or Define a New List Style in order to modify an existing list.
If your numbering is already applied, resist the Define New list entries on this Multilevel List Gallery, as you will indeed create a new list. Depending, you may inadvertently redefine a list already in use in the document.
To modify a Multilevel List, simply click to select the automatic number at the front of the numbered paragraph, then right click and choose Adjust List Indents… To create new Multilevel Lists, do so with awareness of all lists active in the document, taking care to link to a separate cast of styles from those already applied in your document.