Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Lining Up Numbered List Numbers.

Lining Up Numbered List Numbers

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 1, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


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You already know how to create a numbered list using the built-in tools provided by Word. If you create a numbered list that has more than nine items in it, you may notice that your numbers for each item do not line up properly. For instance, the numbers are not lined up on the decimal point as you might expect. This condition is easy enough to fix; follow these steps:

  1. Select all of the items in the numbered list.
  2. On the Home tab of the ribbon, click the drop-down arrow at the right of the Numbering tool in the Paragraph group. Word displays a palette of options.
  3. Click the Define New Number Format option. Word displays the Define New Number Format dialog box, and all the options in the dialog box should match whatever was set in the numbered list you selected in step 1. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Define New Number Format dialog box.

  5. Using the Alignment drop-down list, choose Right.
  6. Click OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6003) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Lining Up Numbered List Numbers.

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 seven minus 7?

2023-10-04 07:34:40

Ivana

Thank you! This solved my problem!


2022-10-04 05:09:16

Leslie Eriksson

I agree and have to use the same comment as Lissa. This was truly something I have needed to know for more years than I care to admit. Brilliant and thank you!!!


2022-10-03 08:28:22

lissa Arsenault

Brilliant! I did not know this and thank you!!


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