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: Skipping Numbering.

Skipping Numbering

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 29, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


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.

There are two primary ways you can accomplish this within Word. This is the first method:

  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. Select the paragraphs you don't want to have numbered—the paragraphs within the numbered list you just created.
  3. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  4. Click the Numbering tool within the Paragraph group. The numbering is removed from the paragraphs you selected in step 2, but the sequence continues with the paragraph following those you selected.

The second approach is similar:

  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. Place the insertion point at the very beginning of a paragraph you don't want to have numbered.
  3. Press the Backspace key. Word removes the numbering from the paragraph, but the sequence continues with the very next paragraph.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each paragraph you want removed from the numbering sequence.

There is a major difference in the effect of this approach and the previous approach. In this second approach the numbering is removed (step 3), but the indent of the paragraph remains the same as the other paragraphs in the numbered list. In the first approach the numbering is removed (step 4), but the paragraph indent is returned to what it was before you first created the numbered list.

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, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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

Inserting Endnotes

Endnotes appear at either the end of a section or the end of an entire document. It is just as easy to insert an endnote ...

Discover More

Ignoring Case in a Comparison

Do you want Excel to take the case of your text into account when it does comparisons in a formula? The IF statement ...

Discover More

Resizing a Disk Partition

Windows provides you with the built-in tools to change the size of partitions on your hard drives. Here's how to use the ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Restarting a Numbered List Easily

Word provides tools that allow you to add numbered lists to your documents. Sometimes the quirks built into these tools ...

Discover More

Numbered Lists without Indentation

Do you want to modify how your numbered lists (or bulleted lists) are created? The key is to use styles to create your ...

Discover More

Applying Numbers from the Keyboard

Creating a numbered list is often done by using the tools available on the ribbon. With a bit of preparation you can ...

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 four more than 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.