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Microsoft Word 2008

Using Multilevel List Numbering

Word’s multilevel list feature takes bullets and numbering to the next step. It makes creating sublists or subpoints in a list easy. An example of a multilevel list is an outline where the first level takes a Roman numeral and the next level takes a capital letter. Another use for multilevel lists is quiz or test questions where the question uses a number and the possible answers use lower case letters.
Examples of multilevel lists

This document describes the following:

return to topApplying Multilevel Numbering to Existing Text

Multilevel bulleted or numbered lists can be applied to selected text at any time. The following steps will use the example of creating a test question. In such a case, you can type the questions and answers for the test without numbering or indenting them. After you have finished typing, you can apply the multilevel list numbering.

  1. Select the text you want to apply multilevel numbering to
    EXAMPLE: Select the text of the test questions and answers.

  2. From the Format menu, select Bullets and Numbering...
    The Bullets and Numbering dialog box appears.
    Bullets and Numbering dialog box

  3. Select the Outline Numbered tab

  4. Select the desired outline option
    EXAMPLE: Select the option that starts with numbers and uses lower case letters for the next level.
    NOTES:
    The bullets or numbers are applied to your selected text.
    At this point all text is assigned the first level character. In the case of our example, all text is numbered.

  5. Continue with Promoting and Demoting Text

Promoting and Demoting Text

You can promote and demote lines of text to adjust your list. Promoting a line of text moves it to the left (up a level); demoting text moves it to the right (down a level). These steps continue with the example of a test question.

  1. Select the text to be promoted or demoted
    EXAMPLE: Select the answers beneath a question.

  2. To demote, from the Formatting Palette, in the Bullets and Numbering toolbar,
    click INCREASE INDENTIncrease Indent button
    Text is demoted to the next level of the outline.
    EXAMPLE: Click INCREASE INDENT
    In this example, the answers are now lettered beneath the numbered question.

  3. To promote, from the Formatting Palette, in the Bullets and Numbering toolbar,
    click DECREASE INDENTDecrease Indent button
    Text is promoted to the next level of the outline.

return to topApplying Outline Numbering as You Type

You can select the type of outline numbered list you want to use prior to typing any list items. The following steps will use the example of creating an outline.

  1. Place the insertion point where the list is to begin

  2. From the Format menu, select Bullets and Numbering...
    The Bullets and Numbering dialog box appears.
    Bullets and Numbering dialog box

  3. Select the Outline Numbered tab

  4. Select the desired list option
    EXAMPLE: Select the option that starts with Roman numerals and uses capital letters for the next level.

  5. Type the text for the first list item
    EXAMPLE: Type Biology Studies
    NOTES:
    Word will automatically number or bullet your headings accordingly.
    In this example, the first item will be numbered I.

  6. To add a subpoint under this first item, continue with Promoting and Demoting Text

Promoting and Demoting Text

You can promote and demote lines of text to adjust your list. Promoting a line of text moves it to the left (up a level); demoting text moves it to the right (down a level). These steps continue with the example of an outline.

  1. To demote, from the Formatting Palette, in the Bullets and Numbering section, click INCREASE INDENTIncrease Indent button
    EXAMPLE: Click INCREASE INDENT

  2. Type the text for this subpoint/level
    EXAMPLE: Type Animal
    NOTES:
    Text is positioned in the next level of the outline.
    In this example, this item is lettered A

  3. To promote, from the Formatting Palette, in the Bullets and Numbering section, click DECREASE INDENTDecrease Indent button
    Text will be positioned in the next level of the outline.

  4. To end the outline, press [return]

return to top Keyboard Shortcuts

Here are some helpful keyboard shortcuts to use when promoting/demoting the different levels and paragraphs of your outline.

Action Key Combination
Advance to next list item [return]
Promote a list item [shift] + [tab]
OR
[control] + [shift] + [Left Arrow]
Demote a list item [tab]
OR
[control] + [shift] + [Right Arrow]
Demote to body text [cmd] + [shift] + [N]
Select list item above [control] + [shift] + [Up Arrow]
Select list item below [control] + [shift] + [Down Arrow]

HINT: To promote/demote levels, you can also click INCREASE INDENTIncrease Indent buttonor DECREASE INDENTDecrease Indent button

return to topOther Helpful Hints

While forming your outline, special needs may arise. For example, you may want to renumber a list so it restarts at the number one at a given point. You may also want to include a non-numbered/lettered line, called a soft return, beneath a numbered/lettered item.

Restarting Numbering with the Number One

  1. Press [control] and click the numbered line to be restarted » select Bullets and Numbering...
    The Bullets and Numbering dialog box appears.

  2. In the List numbering section, select Restart numbering

  3. Click OK

Adding a Line without a Number/Letter

  1. Place your insertion point at the end of the line before your desired non-numbered line

  2. Press [shift] + [return]

  3. Type the desired information

  4. When finished, press [return]
    The next numbered/lettered line appears.

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