In this video, learn how to use automatic numbering in Word to automatically fill table cells with sequential and incrementing numbers, and design your own number style to be used.
- [Instructor] In this week's Word tip I'd like to address a question I'm often asked by people working in tables here in Microsoft Word and that is is there a way to quickly have numbers automatically fill up cells in the table much like they might in Microsoft Excel when you have incremental numbers that need to appear by simple clicking and dragging the corner of a cell. Well, yes, it can be done here in the table in Microsoft Word. It's not done the same way but it is just as easy and we're going to do it with this file, LeafAndMortar Inventory 040.
If you have the exercise files, open it up. Now, if you don't have the exercise files, just use one of your own tables. All you need is an empty column. You can see here on page one we do have a table for garden tools and inventory and we need to number these and instead going into each cell and typing in a new number that increments by one, we're going to use a trick to have it automatically fill up that way. On page two of this document you can see there's a second table for hardscaping tools, so we want to differentiate these numbers, so we might want, for example, hardscaping tools, their item numbers to start with the letters HT whereas the garden tools up above might need to start with GT and then the number.
Keep that in mind as we now go to the column where we want the numbers to appear. All you need to do is select the entire column. In this case we have a header column with a label in there, item number, so we're not going to use the trick of going to the top and clicking when that arrow appears, instead we're going to select the cells where the numbers need to go. With them selected, now we'll go to the ribbon. With the Home tab selected, go to the Paragraph group and just go to the Numbering dropdown arrow. Don't click the numbering button, that's going to add the default number but click the dropdown.
You'll see the different numbering options that are already in the numbering library. You can hover over those to see what it's going to look like. You can see the numbers incrementing by one with a period or with brackets. We could use Roman numerals, even lettering here but if we want our own numbers, we go down a little bit further and click Define New Number. Give that a click. You should see the number style one, two, three selected. Click that dropdown and if you wanted to use something other than one, two, three, like Roman numerals or letters, they're there as well but we do want to start with just plain old numbers one, two, three.
And you can see what shows up down below. The number format is the number and then a period and we see a sample of what that's going to look like down below. Well, the first thing we can do is click in that field just to the right of the period and hit your backspace key to take it out, we don't need the period. Now, we can move over to the left side of the number by using the left cursor key or you can click if you want just in front of the one and here's where we can add things like letters. GT, for example, then a dash and if that's all we need, we'll see GT-1, two, three etc. all the way down the column.
Maybe you'd like to add zeros in there, like 01, 02 etc. You can do that as well. Once you have exactly what you want, simply click OK and it's done and by the way, that number format is there going forward, so the next time you want to use it, it's going to show up in your numbering library in the document as a number format and if it's one you've recently used, it shows up on this list as well, so you can choose it any time you like. Just click in the background and close that up, click outside the table to deselect everything to see how easy that was to get incremental numbers that start with letters and a dash.
Now, scroll down to the table on the second page. Now that you know how to do this, you're going to create your own number style that starts with HT, a dash, perhaps a zero and then incremental numbers by following those same steps on this table. That's your homework knowing what you know after this week's Word tip.
Skill Level Intermediate
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