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: Applying Numbers from the Keyboard.

Applying Numbers from the Keyboard

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 28, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


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Word makes it just as easy to create and destroy numbered lists as it does to work with bulleted lists. All you need to do is click on the Numbering tool to convert a paragraph to a numbered item, and click on it again to remove the number. There is no keyboard equivalent for this tool, but you can create one. This involves the use of the Customize Keyboard dialog box:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and later versions display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left of the dialog box click Customize (Word 2007) or Customize Ribbon (Word 2010 and later).
  3. Click the Customize button, near the bottom of the dialog box. Word displays the Customize Keyboard dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Customize Keyboard dialog box.

  5. In the Categories list, choose Formatting (Word 2007) or All Commands (Word 2010 and later).
  6. In the Commands list, choose FormatNumberDefault.
  7. Click in the Press New Shortcut Key box.
  8. Press the keystroke you want to use to apply numbers. Alt+N is a good choice, since it is not in use on a default Word system.
  9. Click on Assign.
  10. Click on Close to dismiss the Customize Keyboard dialog box.
  11. Click on Cancel to close the Word Options dialog box.

Now, whenever you press the keystroke you chose in step 7, it is the same as clicking on the Numbering tool. Press the keystroke again, and the numbers are gone. You can also press Ctrl+Q to remove any paragraph numbering.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11970) 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: Applying Numbers from the Keyboard.

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 four more than 4?

2023-10-29 23:34:00

Tomek

@Ron S:
When you attach screenshot images in you comments, make sure to snip only the necessary part and/or edit/crop them. Images wider than 600 px or higher than 1000 will get reduced and may become unreadable.


2023-10-28 19:44:34

Ron S

If you cannot find the command in that dialog there are a few options.
First is look elsewhere:
#1 At the bottom of the "Categories > Tabs" list is item "All Commands". Pretty obvious, it shows all commands. Try to find your command in that list.
#2 Still looking in the ALL COMMANDS list some of the commands still have the old menu system menu name as a prefix. In this capture see all of the old File Menu commands

(see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1. 


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