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


2

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Resetting Ribbons to Their Default

Customize Word 2010 enough, and you may at some point want to set the ribbon tabs back to their original condition. ...

Discover More

Underlining Quoted Text

Do you have a document in which you need to convert all the quoted text (text surrounded by quotes) to underlined text? ...

Discover More

Forcing a Complete Spelling and Grammar Check

There are a couple of ways that various parts of a document can have spelling and grammar checking "turned off." This tip ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Underlining Tabs In Numbered Lists

When Word creates an automatically numbered list, it removes some of your formatting flexibility. One thing you can't ...

Discover More

Aligning Numbered Lists on the Period

When you convert a paragraph to a numbered list, Word adds a number at the start of the paragraph, as you would expect. ...

Discover More

Randomly Resetting Numbering

Have you ever been frustrated by the automatic numbering feature in Word? You are not alone. Fortunately, there are a few ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five more than 6?

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!!


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.