This tutorial shows how to add heading numbers in Microsoft Word. The heading numbers can include labels such as “Article,” “Section,” and “Chapter.”
We will also look at how to modify the numbers and labels attached to each heading level. For example, you may want to change “Article I” to “Proposal 1.”
This tutorial’s companion video shows all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 250 other writing-related software tutorials on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from Word for Microsoft 365. These steps also apply to Word for Microsoft 365 for Mac (a.k.a., Word for Mac), Word 2021, Word 2019, Word 2016, and Word 2013 (PC only).
How to Add Numbers to Headings
- This process is for existing headings created with Word’s built-in heading styles.
- You don’t have to have every heading complete. However, the first Heading 1 level should already be inserted.
- If you are new to working with headings or need a refresher, please see “How to Create and Customize Headings in Microsoft Word.”
- Select the Heading 1 in your document.
- Select the Home tab in the ribbon.
- Select the Multilevel List button in the Paragraph group.
- Select a style from the List Library. Remember that you can modify these styles, so choose the one that is closest to the format you want.
Pro Tip: Hover over each option to see a larger example.
Your headings should now feature the multilevel list numbers.
How to Modify Heading Numbers
These steps assume you have already added numbers to your headings, as shown in the section above.
- Select the first numbered heading in your document.
- Select the Home tab in the ribbon (see figure 2).
- Select the Multilevel List button in the Paragraph group (see figure 3).
- Select Define New Multilevel List from the drop-down menu.
- Select a level in the Click level to modify menu in the Define new Multilevel List dialog box.
- Type the words, symbols, or punctuation before or after the number in the gray shading in the Enter formatting for number text box.
Pro Tip: If you add words, symbols, or punctuation after the number, also add a space after the final character so that a space appears before the heading text.
- (Optional) Choose a new number style from the Number style for this level menu.
- (Optional) Select the Font button to change the font, style, size, color, and other appearance options.
- (Optional) Adjust the number position as necessary.
- Select the More button.
- (Optional) Enter a different number in the Start at text box if you don’t want the level to start with the current number.
- (Optional) Select Space, Tab character, or Nothing from the Follow number with menu. For most users, Space will be the best option. (The Tab character can put too much space between the number and label and the heading text.)
- Select the next heading level that you want to modify in the Click level to modify text box (see figure 8).
- Repeat steps 6 through 13, as necessary.
- Select the OK button.
Your heading numbers should now be modified.
Updated September 07, 2023