In a word document, I have several levels of titles, and I gave a different style to each one (Title 1, Title 2, ... Title 5). These styles are the default ones provided by Word, just edited the size and the font.

The problem is that Word adds some space between the number and the title, which is different for each style, and I can't edit it - tried every menu :(

Does anyone know how to edit that space?
Note: I'm on MS Word 2011 for Mac, but if you know the solution in other version, I'll try to find out how to adapt it to this version.

See image:

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  • Are you sure it is a space? I haven't used word for a long time but I seem to remember it was a tab. If it is you can alter the tabs in the style of each heading level. – DavidPostill Aug 31 '15 at 20:12
  • @DavidPostill I tried to modify the tabs of the styles and it says there are no tabs... And if I try to use the buttons to add/remove tabs, it will change the level of the list... – MikO Aug 31 '15 at 20:16
  • Ah, now I remember, it's a "hanging indent". Answer coming up shortly. – DavidPostill Aug 31 '15 at 20:18
  • Have you tried setting a Tab on the 'page' at a distinct position to see if they all align to it? – Kram Aug 31 '15 at 20:19

Does anyone know how to edit that space?

You need to adjust the "hanging indent" of the header styles (making the "hanging indent" value the same for all of your heading style levels).

There is a quick summary below on what to do. I suggest you read the whole article Keeping Numbers in Line.

Equalizing the space

Let’s deal with the second problem first; this is an issue often seen in numbered headings. Suppose you apply numbering to Heading 1 using the default numbering style. The result will look like Figure 2. The reason for this is that the numbering has a hanging indent at 0.5″, allowing only 0.25″ between the left side of the first digit (which is at 0.25″) and the right side of the tab character following the number and period. This is adequate for numbered paragraphs in body text (using 12-point Times New Roman), but the heading uses much larger type. So the numbers 1–9, with following period and tab character, fit comfortably within this 0.25″ space, but when the numbers reach two digits, the combination becomes wider than 0.25″ and so the tab goes to the next default tab stop, at 1″.

enter image description here

The solution for this problem is to increase the size of the hanging indent. In many cases, you can right-click in a paragraph and choose Adjust List Indents from the shortcut menu, which opens the Adjust List Indents dialog (Figure 3). You may want to make your numbering flush left. If so, as shown in the dialog, you will need to set "Number position" to 0" and "Text indent" to something more than 0.25"; it may be that as little as 0.3" will be enough to solve the problem.

enter image description here

Source Aligning numbers in automatic numbered lists

  • Thanks for the help, but I can't find that "Adjust Line Indents" menu by right-clicking the paragraph, nor anywhere else... – MikO Aug 31 '15 at 21:08
  • @MikO See support.office.com/en-us/article/…, first image, click the area with the red box. See also support.office.com/en-us/article/…. – DavidPostill Aug 31 '15 at 21:15
  • Your example with item 10 having too much space between the number and text was exactly what I was looking for an answer to. Thanks a lot. It worked! – Rich Jun 22 '20 at 5:21

I know this is an old question (which also has an accepted answer) but the best way I found to have the same spacing between numbers and text for all levels regardless of the depth of the level (i.e. for any combination of integers in the level numbers) is to add spaces at the end of the definition of the format for the number.

This definition is found in the "Define new Multilevel list" dialog box in the field "Enter formatting for numbers". Just go through the levels that you will be using, and for each one add the same number of spaces to the end of the number format.

Lastly, select "Nothing" in the "Follow number with" drop-down list to make sure that no tab or additional space is added.

  • No problemo. In future, split up your answers into paragraphs like I've done here. It makes the post more readable. – robinCTS Jul 3 '18 at 10:48
  • This is an old answer to an even older question, but it is by far the most sensible approach I've come across after spending hours searching and applying different methods! – fsteff Mar 8 at 12:29

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