Category Archives: Word

Word stuff

Word and numbering 2 – outline numbering

In the first part of this short series we looked at simple numbered lists in Word. In this concluding part we will look at some of the important issues surrounding the use of Outline Numbering.

First of all, some information on the general uses of Word outlines. Word outlines involve allocating paragraphs to different levels. So a main heading might be level 1, the sub-heading level 2, sub-subheading level 3 and so on to level 9. Standard paragraphs of text would not have a level, but would be ‘body’ text. Once these levels are established, they can be used to quickly re-arrange a document or to automatically create a table of contents. In addition, and with particular relevance to our numbering issue, they can be used to automatically create and maintain numbering throughout an entire document.

Outline example

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Word and numbering 1 – simple numbered lists

Using outline numbering and styles

Coping with paragraph numbering is a common cause of problems and irritation in Word. Whilst Word’s automatic numbering will cope adequately with simple lists, once things get more involved and multi-level numbering is required, things can quickly get out of hand. Our usual advice in these situations is to use Word’s ‘Outline numbering’ facility to cope with the numbers and formatting. A recent query from one of our clients who was setting up a ‘Letter of Engagement’ template, incorporating several levels of paragraph numbering, led us to investigate the whole area in a bit more depth – and to discover a useful – and vital – feature we were previously unaware of.

So in this short series we will look at the whole subject of numbering in Word.

Simple numbered lists

First of all, let’s look at simple numbered lists and some possible complications.

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Word 2007 – lost in the maze and found

Has anyone found the options to turn on either AutoText/Building blocks AutoComplete, or to display text boundaries – surely they’re not really lost and gone forever in the latest version are they? In fact, inspired by writing this post, I’ve just found one of them! The text boundaries option is in Word Options, Advanced, ‘Show document content’ rather than in Word Options, Display where I was looking.

In a way, I’m finding getting to grips with Office 2007 at bit like one of those old-fashioned adventure games where you blunder around in a dark maze and then occasionally triumphantly find something you’ve been looking for for ages. Help is a bit like the cryptic clues you used to get. Great fun, but not currently helping my productivity a great deal…

Automatic continued in Word

Excellent question from one of my clients working on a Word template for their letters, how could the word ‘continued…’ be included automatically on page one of each letter, but only if the letter was longer than a single page?

A more standard question is how to include space for the headers and footers of preprinted letterhead stationery on page 1 only. This can be done by ensuring that in the Layout section of File, Page Setup, the ‘Different first page’ option is selected. This allows you to set up empty headers and footers on page one of the right size to allow for the letterhead but, because of the ‘Different first page’ option, they will not appear on subsequent pages.

The ‘continued…’ question is not so straightforward. The headers and footers for the letterhead are required on page one, whether there is one page or many pages, but as we have said, the ‘continued…’ should only be included when a second page is needed. After a fair amount of thought, the following solution came to mind. Set up the ‘Different first page’ option as before, and this time, in the appropriate position of the header or footer insert a Word ‘IF’ field. The IF should check whether the number of pages in the document is greater than 1 and if so, include ‘continued…’, and if not omit the word.

The Word field should look something like this:

Word IF field code

Be very careful when entering the Word field – forgetting a space or getting the syntax wrong in any other way will probably stop it working properly.

If you are not very familiar with using Word fields, the best method of inserting an IF field is probably to use the Insert, Field option in two stages.

First use Insert, Field to insert the IF field. Don’t worry about calculating the number of pages at this stage, but instead just type in a placeholder – for example the word ‘pages’:


IF pages > 1 “continued….” “”

The IF field compares two ‘expressions’ and then prints one item of text if the comparison is evaluated as ‘true’ or a different item of text if it is ‘false’.

In fact, in this case because we don’t need anything printed if the result is false we could omit the ‘FalseText’ altogether:

IF pages > 1 “continued….”

Word IF field

Then right click on the resulting field result, and choose Toggle Field Codes to show the underlying code. Double Click on the word ‘pages’ to select it, then go to Insert, Field again and this time use the field DocProperty, Pages:
Word pages property field

Now select the entire field, right click, and choose Toggle Field Codes again to toggle back to displaying the result of the field.

Finally, to make sure the field result is recalculated every time the document is printed, set the ‘Update field’ option in the Tool, Options, Print screen:

Update fields option

Portrait and landscape in one document

A relatively straightforward, but hopefully useful, Word tip. Sometimes you might want to include a page in landscape orientation, in the middle of a normal ‘portrait’ document – for example if you need to include a wide table or schedule of some sort. You can achieve this in Word by creating multiple sections in the document. Each section can have it’s own Page Setup settings. You can do this by using Insert, Break. But it is easier to let Word do the work for you as shown below:

Portrait and landscape - animation



To do this, position the cursor immediately before the place where the landscape section is to begin and choose File, Page Setup. In the ‘margins’ section, set the orientation to ‘landscape’ and from the ‘Apply to’ list choose ‘This point forward’:


If you now look at a multi-page preview of your document you will see that the pages after the current cursor position are now in landscape orientation:


If you have your ‘non-printing’ characters turned on, then you will see the section break that has been automatically inserted:

Portrait and landscape - section break close up

If you need the document to revert back to portrait after the landscape section, you will need to click at the end of the landscape pages and use File, Page Setup to create another portrait section again from ‘this point forward’.