Let's assume we have a small Word document containing:

First Title On Level A

Lorem ipsum ..

Title On Level B

Lorem ipsum ..

Second Title On Level A

Lorem ipsum ..

What I would like to achive is the following:

1. First Title On Level A

Lorem ipsum ..

1.1 Title On Level B

Lorem ipsum ..

2. Second Title On Level A

Lorem ipsum ..

I can't set this up by simply adding numbering to the title styles, because that only adds one number to the title without support for the x.y number format.

2 Answers 2


Have a look at How to create numbered headings or outline numbering.

Use Word's built in HEADINGS, not bullets...

  • +1 You modify Heading 1,2,3 etc and add numbering to them directly. Jul 31, 2009 at 9:46
  • 1
    Excellent link, but it's about older Word versions and I couldn't apply it on Word XP, the dialog seem to be different.
    – mrg
    Jul 31, 2009 at 9:50
  • Try looking here office.microsoft.com/en-gb/word/HP051860471033.aspx I don't use word much anymore, so I can't tell you about the differences between versions, but I doubt it has changed that much...
    – Ian G
    Jul 31, 2009 at 10:19
  • @mrg: it's almost the same thing. The same applies even to Word 2007. Just use different headings.
    – alex
    Aug 28, 2009 at 8:32
  • Is there a place somewhere that has Shauna Kelly's arrangement already done in a downloadable template? For example this one: acm.org/sigs/publications/pubform.doc
    – Tom
    Mar 10, 2014 at 4:10

MS Word has some default "Heading" styles. You can change the format of these styles.

Goto MS Word Menu -> Format -> Style And Formatting. Pick the Heading formatting to be edited. Right click and select modify. Select format -> Numbering -> tab "Outline Numbered". Select the desired outline numbering.

Do this for all the heading styles that you plan to use.

All these headings are automatically picked up by MS Word to prepare the Table of Contents (Menu -> Insert -> Reference -> Index And Tables -> Tab Table Of Contents).

  • When I do this, it works fine for Heading 1, but for heading 2 the numbering is like 1,2,3... with no regard to the enclosing heading 1. So instead of 1 1.1 1.2 2 2.1 3 3.1 I get: 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 (the heading 2 number just go from 1 onward... italics are heading 1) Aug 1, 2018 at 12:42

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