Word Wonders

Word wonders: multilevel numbering for lawyers

Working with documents can be an overloaded part of the legal profession but there are simple ways to boost your routine using the technology at hand. For instance, you can make Microsoft Word work faster for you and automate routine micro-actions. In today’s Word Wonders article, we are going to talk about multilevel numbering in Word and how lawyers can use it.

If you work in law, there’s no need to explain how vital lists are to any contract. Numbering provides a framework for your text and makes your legal writing structured and easy to grasp. But when your agreement has sub-paragraph under sub-paragraph, it’s painfully easy to mess things up, especially when editing and finalizing the text. Enter multilevel lists.

This simple tool allows you to create lists customized for the documents you mostly work with, allowing you to save numbering templates and use them when needed.

Multilevel Numbering

Click on the multilevel list icon and then go to the Define New Multilevel list… tab. Click More and you will see a screen with settings of your new numbering system. It looks like this:

Multilevel Numbering 2

Here, you can go 9 levels deep in your list (we honestly hope you won’t have to though) and set a specific Style for each level. Style is the formatting of your numbering and text on each level, including spacing and font type.

As you create your numbering layout, try following traditional sections, and assign a specific Style to each of them:

  • Title
  • Section Title
  • Subsection Title
  • Paragraph
  • Sub-paragraph
  • Sub-sub-paragraph
  • Quote
  • Citation

After your list is done, press OK and choose it from the multilevel lists next time your drafting an agreement. You can jump across levels (and thus Styles) using the tab key (next level) and shift+tab (previous level) to speed up your typing.

Needless to say, you can create several multilevel list templates to cater to the specific type of documents you draft the most. That way, you will have a simple shortcut next time you need to deliver the draft ASAP.

Speaking of shortcuts, we also advise installing our Loio add-in to check and fix your lists and edit the Styling of your document after you have a ready draft. We have created Loio keeping in mind the enormous document workload and limited automation capacity of Microsoft Word, so do check it out.

We hope this little multilevel lists feature of MS Word will be useful for your work in the future.

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