Customizing Microsoft Word Automatic Chapter Numbering – Adding Prefix to Numbers

Sometimes you may need to customize automatic chapter numbering and add some words as a prefix to the numbers. For example, you may need to change “1. Introduction” to “Chapter 1: Introduction“. Here is how to do it in a few easy steps.

Here I assume that you have already formatted your headings and generated the table of contents correctly. If you haven’t done it yet you may read The complete guide to create professional looking Microsoft Word reports and documents.

Steps to customize automatic chapter numbering (Adding Prefix to Numbers)

  1. Place the cursor somewhere in the heading 1 title (Important: Make sure you’re using built-in heading styles in your document and added numbering to headings.)
  2. Go to; Home>Multilevel List (in the Paragraph group)> Define New Multilevel List…
  3. In the number format section of the “Define New Multilevel List” dialog box, enter your prefix (Ex. Chapter) in the text box below “Enter formatting for number:”. Do not delete the number.
  4. Click Ok

This change is applied to all the numbered heading 1 titles in the document. If you want to have more custom changes you can expand the “Define New Multilevel List” dialog box using More>> button.

Adding Custom Prefix to MS Word Headings

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