Removing a Bulleted or Numbered List

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 22, 2019)


There may be times when you want to remove the list formatting you previously applied to some of your text. For instance, you may have a numbered list that you want to reformat as regular text. Word provides an easy way for you to remove list formatting:

  1. Select the list items you want to no longer be a part of the list. It doesn't matter if it is a numbered or bulleted list.
  2. If the list is a numbered list, click on the Numbering tool located on the Home tab of the Ribbon, in the Paragraph group. Word displays a drop-down list.
  3. Choose None from the Numbering Library group. Word removes the numbering format from the selected text.
  4. If the list is a bulleted list, click on the Bullets tool located on the Home tab of the Ribbon, in the Paragraph group. Word displays a drop-down list.
  5. Choose None from the Bullet Library group. Word removes the bullet format from the selected text.

If you remove the bullets or numbering from only a portion of the list, the remainder of the list maintains the list formatting. If required, Word adjusts the numbering on any remaining part of a numbered list.

Note that this method only works if the original list was an automatic Word numbered or bulleted list. If the list was created manually, then you will have to remove each of the numbers or bullets manually since they were added manually.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5918) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is four more than 6?

2019-08-24 07:15:59

Ken Endacott

You can't. Once a list template has been created it stays forever in the document even if it is no longer used. A document that has been heavily revised can accumulate dozens of dormant list templates.

If you want to determine the total number of list templates including dormant ones, then have to use a macro. For example:

Sub CountListTemplates()
MsgBox ActiveDocument.ListTemplates.Count
End Sub

To look further and determine which list templates in a dormant are dormant requires a somewhat complex macro.

2019-08-23 02:37:37

Matthew Petty

This doesn't tell me how to remove a numbered list. It tells me how to remove the list from being applied to some text. How do I remove a numbered list from the list of lists?

2016-10-13 10:23:21


It sounds to me like your old list was a "manual" list, not an automatic Word numbered list. In other words, someone typed the number 1 (or 2, 3, 4, etc.), then a space or two, then the text beside the number.

The giveaway for this is that you selected all the paragraphs, clicked the Numbering tool, and numbers were added, but the old numbers remained.

The only way to get rid of the old numbers is to remove each of them manually since each of them was added manually.


2016-10-13 01:08:44


(Word 2010) This advice is not working. I cannot remove the numbers from my list! Highlighting the list, and selecting "None" on the numbering menu does nothing!

I also cannot add any more items to this list because it will not number them. Highlighting and including them doesn't work. If I alphabetize the entire batch, the new items are ignored. I've never had this problem.

Copying and pasting to a new doc(without original formatting) does nothing, and keeps the numbers. Cont-Q does nothing.

However, when I begin a brand new doc, making a sample list, it works fine and normally.

My list has about 200 book titles which would be quite a task to retype. It's not essential that this gets done, but I am stumped by the glitch.

I tried every iteration redefining the list, removing all styles and characters, yet nothing works!

I finally re-numbered the entire list, which worked fine, however, the old numbers remain next to the new ones. Can you help?

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