We recently created custom list numbers in Microsoft Word for the PC. Today, we are going to create custom list numbers in Word for Mac.
Custom list numbers can combine letters, numbers, words, and punctuation (e.g., A1, Step 1, A-1). We will also customize the style, such as the font, size, alignment, and color.
Plus, the Pro Tip at the end explains how to remove extra space between the number and the list item.
- How to Create Custom List Numbers in Word for Mac
- Pro Tip: How to Remove Extra Space between List Numbers and List Items in Word for Mac
What about Lists Ordered by Letters?
This tutorial refers to “list numbers” because Word organizes all ordered (hierarchical) list options in the Numbering Library. However, all the steps shown here also apply to lists organized by letters.
This tutorial is available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 150 other writing-related software tutorials on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from Word for Microsoft 365 for Mac. These steps will be similar in Word 2021 for Mac, Word 2019 for Mac, and Word 2016 for Mac.
How to Create Custom List Numbers in Word for Mac
- Select an existing number in the list level you want to customize. The entire level should then be selected.
- Select the Home tab in the ribbon.
- Select the Numbering menu arrow.
- Select Define New Number Format from the drop-down menu.
- (Optional) Select a new style from the Number style menu in the Customize Numbered List dialog box.
- Add letters, words, or punctuation before or after the number in the gray shading in the Enter formatting for number text box. Do not delete or alter the number in the gray shading.
If you delete or alter the number in the gray shading, the automatic list numbering will stop functioning.
- (Optional) Select the Font button.
7.a. Select a new (A) font, (B) font style, (C) font size, (D) font color, (E) underlining style, and (D) underlining color in the Font dialog box.
7.b. Select the OK button.
- (Optional) Select Left, Centered, or Right from the Number Position menu.
- Select the OK button.
The list level you selected in step 1 should change to your custom formatting.
Repeat steps 1 through 9 for existing list levels, as necessary.
Your new list number format will be automatically added to the Numbering Library (i.e., the drop-down menu for the Numbering button) and will be available in other documents.
If you want to remove a format from the Numbering Library, Control-click or right-click it and then select Remove from the shortcut menu.
Pro Tip: How to Remove Extra Space between List Numbers and List Items in Word for Mac
By default, Word inserts a tab between list numbers and list items. Sometimes this tab produces unwanted space when paired with custom list numbers. However, we can fix the problem by replacing the tab with a regular space.
- Select a number in the list level with the extra space.
- Control-click or right-click the selected list numbers and then select Bullets and Numbering from the shortcut menu.
- Select the Outline Numbered tab in the Bullets and Numbering dialog box.
- Select the single number outline style from the Outline Numbered screen. (Alternatively, select your customized style, if available.)
- Select the Customize button.
- If necessary, reenter your custom style by adding letters, words, or punctuation before or after the number in the gray shading in the Enter formatting for number text box. Do not delete or alter the number in the gray shading.
- Select the expansion arrow at the bottom of the Customize Outline Numbered List dialog box.
- Select Space from the Follow number with menu.
- Select the OK button.
The tab spaces should be replaced with regular spaces in your numbered list level.
How to Turn On and Turn Off Automatic List Numbering in Word for Mac