Word – Making numeric bullets indent properly in Word

bulletsmicrosoft word

When I type "1." or "10." in Word, it auto generates bullet properly as follows:

enter image description here

But when I change its value to three digits it gets extra indent which definitely looks bad :

enter image description here

I have to manually reindent it. This is big issue when say I have list of 150 numeric bullets. I have to manually reindent them. Plus when I insert new bullet between 1 to 99, 99th bullet gets promoted to value 100 and automatically gets extra indent. Consider what will happen when I insert 10 new bullets at current bullet 20. So current bullet numbers 90 to 99 will get promooted to 100 to 109 and will eventually end up getting extra indent. And am more prone to reindent the stuff. So I suddently realize that my 50+ bullet points got messed up with extra indent.

How can I fix automatic extra indent provided to bullets of length more than 3 digits?

Best Answer

How can I fix the indent provided to numeric lists of more than 3 digits?

You can select multiple list items, right click and select "Adjust List Indents".

Set the "Text indent" value as appropriate to ensure your numbers line up.

See below for a detailed explanation.

The source link also includes instructions to associate the list formatting with a style.

Keeping Numbers in Line

The built-in number formats work great for short lists—nine items or fewer—but when you get to 10 or more, one or both of two things happen:

  • The numbers are no longer aligned on the period or other punctuation following them.

  • There may be a much larger space after the double-digit numbers than the single-digit ones.

enter image description here

Suppose you apply numbering to Heading 1 using the default numbering style. The result will look like the image above.

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″.

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:

enter image description here

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.

Source Keeping Numbers in Line

Related Question