Microsoft Word/Multilevel Lists


Hi.  I'm using Word 2010.  I would like to customize a new multilevel list that shows as an option when I select the Multilevel List drop down in the Paragraph section of the ribbon.  I know how to customize a list...I've done it many times!  But I'm missing whatever it takes to make that list show up when I open a new document, and click on the multilevel list button. My customized list is not an option.  I DO see it as long as I stay in the document where I created it, but when I, say, open Word the next day, it's gone.  What am I doing wrong?

I'm not sure. When I open the Multilevel List gallery in a new blank document, I see "Current List" at the top, which is evidently the last monstrosity I was required to use for some document. But that's just the "last used," whether user-defined or built-in. Numbering has never been my strong point, and I'm actually still using Word 2003 for production work (Word 2007 and 2010 only for research to answer questions), so I'm less familiar with the way they work. But I think in general, since a multilevel list, to be stable, must be linked to styles, you would need to link your level to specific styles and then save those styles, as modified, to the document template. Then, instead of applying numbering by using the Multilevel List gallery, you apply it by applying those numbered styles.

You can save a "list style," and perhaps that will do what you want. I've never quite figured out how list styles work, but I know that Shauna Kelly, the numbering guru, recommended their use. For her discussion of them, see It seems like this might be your solution. The important thing is that, to have the customization (including the list style) available to new documents, you must save it to the template, not just in the document. You do this by selecting "New documents based on this template" in the Define New List Style dialog.
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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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