Microsoft Word/Bullets


Here's a challenge for you
I want to create a custom number style within the 'define new number format option.
The standard options are 1, 2, 3 etc or a, b, c
I have a particular requirement to use predefined sequence of
a, m, s, e, t, ie not sequential

Is there any way to do this and have it appear in the number style
drop down list



There's certainly no built-in way to do what you want, and the only workaround I can think of would be almost silly, but I suppose it could be done. It would NOT add your sequence to the "Number style" list, but it would provide a list that you could use. This method will work only if the sequence has nine or fewer items (a, m, s, e, t, as stipulated, would work).

Exactly how you go about this will depend on what version of Word you have. In Word 2003 or earlier, you'd start with Format | Bullets and Numbering | Outline Numbered. Select the third pane in the list gallery (the outline bullets) and click Customize. In Word 2007 or above, you'd use Define New Multilevel List.

The basic requirements for this list would be that you have a separate style for each bullet (you could use the List Bullet series of styles) and that each lower-level style be set as the "Style for following paragraph" of the next-higher style. In other words, when you press Enter at the end of a List Bullet paragraph, you'd get List Bullet 2. Press Enter and get List Bullet 3, and so on.

Having set that up, you then select Level 1 in the Customize Outline Numbered List or Define New Multilevel List dialog, make sure it is linked to your top-level style (List Bullet in my example), select New Bullet in the "Number style" list, select "(normal text)" as the font in the Symbol dialog, and then select a as the bullet. Continue to Level 2, linking it to List Bullet 2 and selecting m as the bullet. Repeat for each level.

Once you get to t in the list, you can either use shortcut keys to restart the list, or you can set the style (List Bullet 5, say) to be followed by the first style (List Bullet), or it can be followed by Normal or Body Text as appropriate.

The basic technique described above is spelled out in the articles at (Word 2003 and earlier) and (Word 2007 and above); you would just be extending it beyond two levels.
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Suzanne S. Barnhill


I've been using Word for Windows since version 2.0 (1992), and the more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. But I may know a few things that you don't, and I'll help if I can. I answer many questions every day in Microsoft's peer support forums and as a result have been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) designation by Microsoft Corporation. You may be able to find the answer to your question at the Word MVPs' FAQ site or at my own Word FAQ site, so please check those first! Please, no questions about VBA (macros), Registry editing, networks, or complex merges, as I have no experience with these aspects of Word, nor do I have any experience with Word for Mac. Please indicate which version of Word you are using; if you are not sure, see "What version of Word do I have?".


I have a master's degree in classics (Latin), which is surprisingly helpful, though I no longer teach. The things I am proudest of: Having raised two children to maturity, both Merit Scholars, both college graduates (one a philosophy major!), one Phi Beta Kappa (from Harvard!); having been made a Paul Harris Fellow by my Rotary club; having been designated a Microsoft MVP.

Rotary Club of Fairhope, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library

B.A. (Latin), Agnes Scott College, 1966; M.A. (Classics), Emory University, 1972.

Awards and Honors
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award every year since 1999; many Rotary honors

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