Formatting Numbering Like in Legal Textbooks

Some legal textbooks have a numbering format that looks something like this:

1 Heading-1
1-001 Body Text bla,bla,bla…
1-002 Body Text
1-003 Body Text
1-004 Body Text
1-005 Body Text

2 Heading-1
2-001 Body Text
2-002 Body Text
2-003 Body Text
2-004 Body Text
2-005 Body Text
2-006 Body Text

and so on…

Can this be achieved in WORD 2007 in an automated way? I tried to work with field functions but could not get it working.

— Submitted by Oliver


Sue HuckleFor help with complex numbering, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2010, by Jan Berinstein. The Word 2007 version of Jan’s book is still available, too. (affiliate links)

It’s no secret that creating numbering streams with Microsoft Word leaves much to be desired. I usually recommend using fields. Unlike autonumbering, they are stable…I don’t have issues with fields having a mind of their own, and changing my numbering without my permission!

But since you already tried fields, let’s see if we can use autonumbering to accomplish the formatting you want.

Experiment on a sample document first!

  1. Open a new Word 2007 document.
  2. Type one line of content to start a sample list. Place your cursor within the text.
  3. On the Home tab in the ribbon, find the Paragraph group. Click the options arrow next to the Numbering button.
    Numbering options in the Paragraph group
  4. Select Define New Number Format.

Now that that the dialog box is open, you can set up your specially formatted numbering by following these steps:

  1. Under Number Style, select 1,2,3.
  2. Under Format, place your cursor at the beginning of the line before the gray highlighted 1, then type 1-00. See the screen shot for correct placement of the text.Define New Number Format dialog box
  3. Click OK.

This will format the list with the correct numbering, but you still need to tell Word what to do when you skip to a new section and want to continue the sequence.

To continue numbering from the previous section, follow these steps:

  1. Highlight the numbered line.
  2. Right-mouse click, then select Continue Numbering.

The next problem is starting the new chapter. If you are not using a Master document and sub-documents for each chapter, the easiest way to start the new number sequence (2-001) is to repeat the process.