Microsoft Word offers a good selection of styles for creating multilevel lists. But if you want one to suit you, you can create your own.

Here we will show you how to create a custom multilevel list style in Word.

How to Define a New Multilevel List in Word

Open your document in Word and then head over to the tab Beginning. You can create the new list style whether you have already inserted a multilevel list or not.

tip: If you want to speed up the process or use an existing style to base the new one, put at least one level in your document. Then continue below.

Click on Multi-level list in the section Paragraph from the ribbon and select Define new multilevel list.

When the format window appears, click Plus at the bottom left to show the full range of settings you can make. The following are additional settings, which are optional.


At the top, you will start with the level you want to modify. When you choose a level from one to nine on the left, you will see that level in bold on the right. You can then adjust the settings for that level.

In the right part of the window there are additional settings for the level you are modifying. These include applying the changes if you want to link the level to an existing style, the level to display in the gallery, and the list name of the ListNum field.

Number format

In the section Number format, you can start by choosing a number style for this level from the drop-down list.

tip: You will notice that you can go beyond numbers and letters by using bullets, symbols, pictures, and other special characters if you wish. This allows you to combine numbers and symbols into a single type of list.

Then just above it, enter the format of the number or letter. On the right, click Source to select a font style, format, color, and size.

On the right side are the additional settings for this section. These include choosing a start number, a restart number, and whether you want to use legal style numbering.


In the section Position, choose the number alignment from Left, Centered, or Right. You can enter a number or use the arrows to choose the position Alignment. Then select Indent text in by entering a number or using those arrows.

If you want to apply these settings to all levels in the list, click Set for all skill levels. Confirm or edit the settings and click To accept.

In the right part of the window there are also the additional settings for position. You can choose to follow a number with Tab mark, Space or Any. You can also add a tab and select the position.

After making the above adjustments for a level, choose the next level and fill in its details in the same way. When you finish setting up the new style for your multilevel list, click To accept.

Use your custom multilevel list style

Once the new style is set, you can apply it wherever you want in your current document. In the tab Beginning, click Multi-level list and you will see, a section labeled as Lists in current documents. Just select to apply it.

tip: If you open a separate Word document, your custom list style will appear in the Multilevel List menu. So you can reuse it in a new document as long as both documents are open at the same time when launched.

Create your own multilevel list style in Word

It is always good that applications like Microsoft Word allow you to customize things your way. Consider this feature the next time you want a multi-level list with a unique style.

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