If there is one option in Microsoft Word that I have seen users use various techniques for it has to be autonumbering. Backspacing and pressing the Enter key are on top of the list. Most times I will explain that a lot of options in Word are simply On and Off options. Autonumbering is no exception. The big disadvantage to messing with the autonumber feature is that it can cause nightmares if you haven’t applied it correctly. In the end you have to spend a lot of time getting the numbers right if you have been backspacing and entering the whole document. Let’s show how to avoid this.
Start by creating a new document and typing a 1. (that is a 1, a dot and a space). Type some text to get started with and after that press the Enter key. You will automatically get a 2. showing up in your document.
That’s great. We get the famous thunderbold sign offering the various options to choose from. Nope that are not the options we need so we type the text for number two and after that we press Enter again.
Now here’s where the interesting part comes into play. Suppose you don’t want number three yet and you first want to add a paragraph with text before adding number three. Here is where most people start with tampering the list. I will show you the various options and what the specific differences are. I have added a square around the button that is activated in the ribbon. Keep that in mind.
Here’s what will happen if you use the backspace key. The 3 will disappear and the indentation will change.
Using the Enter key
Here’s what will happen if you use the enter key. The 3 will also disappear and the indentation will also change.
Using the autonumber button in the ribbon
The final option you can use is the autonumber button in the ribbon. This will give you the following layout:
As you can see the 3 will also disappear and the indentation will be set below the previous numbering aligning the text with the previous numbers.
It is vital to say that there is no wrong option here. You have to decide what fits your needs best.
Adding the third option
After you added your text you can press enter again. Now let’s add another number and preferably we would like to continue the numbering with number three. The easiest way to do this is click on the autonumber button on the ribbon again.
This will add a one to your document again. But this is not what we are after. You will see the thunderbold icon appear again. By clicking this option you will be surprised to see the option that will be offered. “Continue numbering” exactly what we are after!
Thunderbold option disabled?
Now what if you have disabled the thunderbold options? No worries you will see the same option if you right-click the mouse. You will see the following menu with a separate section for autonumbering.
Continue where you left…
With that taken care of you can take the next step. Add more text! If necessary add more paragraphs in between numbers and use that simple autonumber button on your ribbon. Need a number? Click the autonumber button, don’t need a number but just want to add a paragraph of text? Click the autonumber button again. Need to continue numbering again? Click the autonumber button on the ribbon again, use the thunderbold option to continue numbering or choose from the right-click menu options.
No more tampering the autonumber!
So by simply clicking the autonumer option in the ribbon to On or Off you will get perfectly numbered documents. The great thing is that if you use the button on the ribbon you can easily add numbers in between. Try it… Press enter after the second option (2.) You will see that a number three ia added and every number afterwards is automatically incremented. This is how we want to see numbering in your documents!
Happy numbering 🙂