Microsoft Word

Using ListNum field

Inserting a list using ListNum field helps you to avoid list renumbering when you add a new paragraph or remove an item. In this tutorial you’ll learn how to use the ListNum field to construct a multilevel list.

The ListNum field inserts a set of numbers anywhere in a paragraph. It support two switches that enable you to control how numbering is performed, such as, starting number and the list level. To insert ListNum field:

  1. Press Alt+Ctrl+L keyboard shortcut, or;
  2. Choose Insert tab, click Quick Parts icon from the Text group, click Field and choose ListNum from the Field names box (see, Using Fields in Word):
Field dialog box: ListNum field


{ListNum ["Name"] [Switches]}
  • Name (optional):
    List name defined in the active document.
  • Switches (optional):
    1. \l Specifies the level in the list
    2. \s Specifies the start-at value for this field

ListNum Example

A common instance in which you’d use ListNum is when you’re numbering things within a single paragraph and don’t want to worry about having to renumber them when you insert or remove items. For example:
“I needed to 1) make a list of things to do, 2) do the things
on the list, and 3) add additional things to the list.” ListNum field is updated instantly and automatically anytime another ListNum field is inserted or deleted:

Example: Ctrl+Alt+L keyboard shortcut keys to insert ListNum field

ListNum field supports two switches that enable you to control how numbering is performed, the starting number, and the list level: 1), a), i), (1), (a), (i), and so on.

Change starting number in ListNum field

Use \s switch to change the lists starting number, for example, press Ctrl+Alt+L to insert ListNum field and add \s 10 before the closing curly bracket to start the list from 10 number: {ListNum \s 10}.

Change ListNum field starting number

Change level in the list

Use \l switch to change the lists level, for example, press Ctrl+Alt+L to insert a ListNum field and use \l 2 switch before the closing bracket closed. It will demote the list level to 2: {ListNum \l 2}.

Change list level in ListNum field

Change starting number and list level

You can use both switches together to change the list level and starting number, for example: {ListNum \s 10 \l 2}.

Define Multilevel List with “ListNum field list name”

You can create a custom multilevel list by using the ListNum field. Just edit its code and write the name of the list before closing the curly bracket. When you define a new Multilevel list (see understanding “define new multilevel list” dialog box and Define Multilevel List), you can assign the list a name which you can later use in the ListNum field, for example: {ListNum ListName}:

Create a multilevel list and use it with ListNum field

More Fields Tutorials:

  1. Word Fields
  2. The ListNum field
  3. List Numbering using SEQ Fields
  4. Hide, Unhide, Lock, or Unlock Fields
  5. Apply Formula Field in Paragraphs