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)


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. ...


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What is two more than 9?

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


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


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


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

2016-03-12 11:14:44


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".

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