Creating numbered headings or outline numbering

Far from fancy technological questions today…

How do you configure Microsoft Word to assign numbers to your section headers in a hierarchical way, e.g.:

  • Header 1 (1)
  • Header 1 (2)
  • Header 2 (2.1)
  • Header 2 (2.2)
  • Header 3 (2.2.1)


Well, maybe you’re in my position and you always had documents configured properly but today you have to configure one yourself.

It turns out it’s far from trivial.  There are no ‘activate hierarchical header numbering’ in Word!

Instead of explaining here, I’ll refer you to the excellent article Shauna Kelly (who seems to be a black belt in template document):

The short story is that you have to create a multilevel list, configure it (by default it doesn’t carry its parent sections number and the indentation increases at each level) and associate each level to a header style.  There are bumps along the road on each steps, so be careful!

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