Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Skipping Numbering.

Skipping Numbering

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 12, 2016)

12

If you are working with numbered lists in your document, you already know that the numbered list is nothing more than a series of numbered paragraphs. There may be times when you want to have a paragraph or two in the middle of a list, and then have numbering pick back up after the unnumbered paragraphs.

In Word this is rather easy to do by following these steps:

  1. Format your numbered list as you normally would, but make sure the paragraphs you want to be unnumbered are also included in the list. This means that those paragraphs will, for the moment, be numbered.
  2. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  3. With the insertion point located in the first paragraph you want unnumbered, click the Numbering tool within the Paragraph group. Alternatively, you can right-click on the paragraph and choose Skip Numbering. Numbering is removed from the paragraph, but the sequence continues with the paragraph following.
  4. Repeat step 3 for each paragraph on which you want numbering skipped.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11776) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Skipping Numbering.

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

Getting Rid of 'Mail To:' in E-mail Links

If you convert e-mail addresses to hyperlinks, you could end up with some 'mailto:' verbiage at the beginning of the ...

Discover More

Editing Reports

The Report Manager allows you to create specialized reports that can be easily printed from your worksheet data. This tip ...

Discover More

Deriving a Secant and Cosecant

Two rather common trigonometric functions are secants and cosecants. Excel doesn't provide functions to calculate these, ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Combining First and Second Numbered Levels on One Paragraph

Want to customize your paragraph numbering in Word? There are a few tricks that can be used to automatically display the ...

Discover More

Creating a Numbered List

Numbered lists provide a 1-2-3 way of organizing your document. You can create numbered lists very easily using the ...

Discover More

Ensuring Standardized Numbering

Want to make sure your paragraph numbering looks the same on different computer systems? It's a harder task in Word than ...

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}] 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 six more than 2?

2019-09-04 00:53:37

Arshad

Oh..! Issue resolved and found the solution. If you skip the number before adding next paragraph Word 2010 enter a blank Para. But if you skip number after adding next para (e.g to skip (i) Complete Para (i) then insert para (j)) then apply the command skip-number then Application will behave in desired manner i.e (i) will be converted to (j) and (j) into (k) and so on.

In short words complete your drafting and apply skip-numbers in the last step.


2019-09-03 10:13:17

Andrew

Arshad, try adding your "dummy" text as what would be in your list as "i" and "o" and then formatting the dummy item (important: including the paragraph at the end of the item) as hidden text. This will sort of work, but if you add another item, say at the beginning, the hidden/skipped items will become "j" and "n."


2019-09-02 03:30:53

Arshad

I'm numbering my paragraphs in alphabets (a, b, c) but I want to skip letter i & o from numbering. Kindly guide me to do this. If i use Option of Set Numbering Value> Continue from prev list > Advanced Number (Skip Number). A blank number is left and next number starts at next line.


2016-09-06 05:28:28

Cad Delworth MBCS

Although there is a SkipNumbering command present in 2010, and you can even add it to the much-despised Ribbon, or to the QAT … the command literally does nothing, so I assume it's only there for backward (NON-)compatibility.

Ali's comment is correct: to perform a SkipNumbering in Word 2010 or later, you have to do this bizarre finger-shuffle of move the insertion point to the start of the paragraph (i.e. between the number and the paragraph text), then press Backspace. This DOES do what anyone who's used GOOD versions of Word (i.e. 2003 or earlier) would recognise as a SkipNumbering command.

Why anyone thought this was in any way better or simpler than having a SkipNumbering command right there on the context menu is a mystery. Personally I'd like to find that person and ensure their DNA is no longer present in the gene pool: the "new way" takes about three times longer than the old right-click, click SkipNumbering. AND the "old way" can be done with the insertion point anywhere in the paragraph instead of having to carefully position the insertion point first.

Why are Microsoft so intent on slowing down Word users by making ludicrous, unnecessary changes like this? And then claiming this is in some way an "improvement?!" GRRRRR!


2016-03-13 11:59:55

Bob Uzenoff

Mike Virostko's tip works for me on Word 2013. Enter and backspace de-numbers and maintains the indent, which I use for multi-paragraph items.


2016-03-13 11:18:27

Mike Virostko

Hello,

A far easier way. Put insertion point at the end of line you want the new paragraph to enter.
Press Enter.
Press Backspace.


2016-03-13 07:30:29

Denis

I use number lists frequently in my work. Your method of including unnumbered lists within number lists will save me a great deal of time.
Thank you Ali Poole


2016-03-12 13:58:45

rcstan98

Why not just us a soft Return, i.e., press & hold Shift key during Return.


2016-03-12 11:14:44

Carol

Good tricks! (Except that Skip Numbering also not an option in Word 2010.) Ali's trick works in Word 2010.


2016-03-12 07:38:14

Bob Uzenoff

Skip numbering is not a right click option for me in Word 2013. I have continue numbering or set numbering value.

Ali's trick doeswn't work for me. backspace does what you'd expect on a "de-numbered" paragraph.


2016-03-12 06:43:36

Ali Poole

If you want the unnumbered paragraphs to be indented as the numbered ones are - you simple put the insertion point at the beginning of the paragraph you want unnumbered and back space. The indenting is retained, but the numbering is removed and the list continues as normal thereafter.


2016-03-12 05:51:59

Sheila McInnes

My choice in Word 2007 appears to be "None" rather than "Skip".


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.

Newest Tips
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.