How to Format a Word Document, Part 3: Creating a Numbered Paragraph Style

This is the third part in a series on formating a Microsoft Word document. In part 1 of this series, we tackled the problem of keeping Word from automatically formatting our numbered paragraphs. In part 2, we created a style that we can now build from to create numbered paragraphs. As I noted before, I am using Word 2003. These tips may or may not work with other versions.

To create a style using numbered paragraphs, we will build upon the style we created in part 2, our Normal Paragraph.

  1. Select Format > Styles and Formating.
  2. In the Styles and Formatting Pane, click on New Style.
  3. Give your style a name. I call my style Pleading Paragraph.
  4. Style type should be paragraph.
  5. Style based on. Here use the style we just created, Normal Paragraph. This means that you are starting with the formatting that is in Normal Paragraph.
  6. Style for following paragraph. Make sure this is set to Pleading Paragraph.
  7. Click the add to template box before you forget to do so.

These next set of instructions may seem like they are complicated. However, if you just follow along step by step, you will do fine.

  1. Just below the add to template box, click on Format. Select Paragraph.
  2. In the indentation section, select First Line.
  3. For By, choose 0.5″
  4. Click OK.
  5. Click Format again. This time select Tabs.
  6. Tab stop position. Add 1″. Click OK.
  7. Click Format again. This time select Numbering.
  8. Click the Numbered tab.
  9. Select one with numbers.
  10. Click customize in the bottom right.
  11. Your number style should be 1, 2, 3, …
  12. Start at: 1
  13. Number position: Left.
  14. Aligned at 0.5″
  15. Tab space after: 1″
  16. Indent at 0″
  17. Click OK
  18. Click OK

You now have a style that allows you to create numbered paragraphs. Just as with the style yesterday, you can apply the style simply by clicking within the paragraph and selecting Pleading Paragraph.

In part 4 of the series, we will use a combination of the styles we have created to draft part of a pleading.

5 thoughts on “How to Format a Word Document, Part 3: Creating a Numbered Paragraph Style

  1. How do I set bullets? I have tinkered with this for a long time and can’t get it right. For some reason, Word just randomly changes my settings.

    And how do I set my tabs to remain permanently at .25?

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