We recently looked at how to create and modify numbered lists in Microsoft Word. However, Word also offers automatic list numbering which begins a list when you type the number 1 followed by a period at the start of a blank line. This feature is not ideal in all situations, so today’s tutorial shows how to turn on and turn off automatic list numbering in Microsoft Word.
Plus, the Pro Tip at the end shows an alternative way to turn off automatic list numbering from within the text.
- How to Turn On and Turn Off Automatic List Numbering in Microsoft Word
- Pro Tip: How to Turn Off Automatic List Numbering from within the Text in Microsoft Word
This tutorial is available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 100 other writing-related software tutorials on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from Word for Microsoft 365. These steps also apply to Word 2021, Word 2019, Word 2016, and Word 2013.
How to Turn On and Turn Off Automatic List Numbering in Microsoft Word
- Select the File tab in the ribbon.
- Select the Options tab in the Backstage view.
- Select the Proofing tab in the Word Options dialog box.
- Select the AutoCorrect Options button.
- Select the AutoFormat As You Type tab in the AutoCorrect dialog box.
- Check Automatic numbered lists to turn on automatic list numbering or uncheck it to turn off automatic list numbering.
- Select the OK button in the AutoCorrect dialog box.
- Select the OK button in the Word Options dialog box.
Pro Tip: How to Turn Off Automatic List Numbering from within the Text in Microsoft Word
When you first begin working on a list with automatic numbering turned on, you can quickly turn off the automatic numbering by selecting the AutoCorrect Options button and then selecting Stop Automatically Creating Numbered Lists from the drop-down menu.
Alternatively, you can select Control AutoFormat Options to open the AutoCorrect dialog box (see figure 6).
Note that the AutoCorrect Options button only appears when you first begin working on a list with automatic numbering. The button disappears when you create the second list entry.