How can I correctly link nested numbering in Word? Currently it is doing this:


I want this:


I can't find the setting to 'link' it to its parent (and yes, I want roman for the top level).

  • I/II is 'heading one'
  • '1/2/..' is 'heading two'
  • It maybe doing that because you're using headings, but I just tried this with a simple numbered list on MS Word 2007 and it worked as expected. Ensure that you've set your enumeration levels in your headings properly, and that each successive header style is based on the previous one. – Breakthrough Sep 14 '11 at 11:39
  • Not sure how to do that, under 'numbering' (in styles and formatting) there don't appear to be any options to do this other than things like 'start at x' – adolf garlic Sep 14 '11 at 12:53

I'm not sure if you can find similar settings in Word 2003, but in Word 2007 you can make multilevel numbered lists (and assign them to headers later).

First, click the multilevel list button under the Home tab, and go to Define New Multilevel List.

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  1. Select '1' under Click level to modify.

  2. Pick the roman number style under Number style for this level.

  3. Make sure Start at is set to I.

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  4. Select 2 under Click level to modify.

  5. Pick the decimal style under Number style for this level.

  6. Set Start at to 1.

  7. Check Start list after, and set its value to Level 1.

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  • 1
    +1 Gave me the idea of where to find it in 2003, thanks – adolf garlic Sep 15 '11 at 8:56

Word 2003 solution

Format (on menu)

"Styles and Formatting"

then select the 'heading 1' , specifically the small drop down on the right and 'modify'
then 'format' 'numbering' 'outline numbering' and select the one 2nd row, number two then click 'customize' (sic)
Number style "I, II, III"
then OK OK OK back to the "styles and formatting"

select 'heading 2', modify, format, numbering, customize (sic), number style "1,2,3" (you may need to delete the "I" showing in the text box at the top ),OK,OK,...

select 'heading 3', modify, format, numbering, customise (sic), number style "1,2,3", (you may need to delete the "I" showing in the text box at the top )


Choose the heading you are starting with, click Modify, in the field "Style based on:" choose the parent heading style to inherit the numbering system from (example: if you chosed Heading 2, inherit Heading 1). Then choose the correct numbering method (in Modify style > Format > Numbering...), now it shows first digit, the parent section and second digit for the current sub-section. You can go as deep as you need by inheriting the styles down the structure. This post is based on Word 2016, but I suppose it's roughly the same with older versions.


You want the numbered list in your Word document to start at 1, but it keeps starting at 4, even if you select Restart Numbering from the shortcut menu. Rather than try to renumber, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the numbered list.
  2. Click Set Numbering Value.
  3. Select the Start New List button.
  4. In the Set Value text box, type 1 and then click OK.

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