Numbered List With Only Odd Numbers


We need to create a numbered list in Microsoft Word that displays only odd or even numbers in it. However, numbered lists do not have this feature incorporated so we will have to get sneaky with Word.

In a nutshell, we are going to create empty lines behind the even numbers and then hide them by changing their colour to white so they can’t be seen on the white background. Here’s how to do it:

Create the numbered list so that your text is entered only on the odd numbers. Each even number is simply a blank line, like this:

Odd Numbers

It would be so easy if we could just delete the even numbers, but if we did, Word would just resequence the list to include all the numbers again. Booo!

We now need to change the even numbered lines to use white as the font colour. We can select multiple lines by holding down control as we select them. To select a line, move the cursor over to the left margin until you see it turn to the pointy arrow. When you see the pointy arrow, click and that line will be selected. Hold down the ctrl key while you click to selectthe rest of the even lines.

You won’t actually see the numbers themselves selected, but you should see something like this:

Even Numbers Selected

With those lines selected, change the font colour to be white by clicking the Home tab > Font Color (in the Font group), and select the white swatch.

Change Colour To Be White

When we do this, the even lines disappear. They are still there really, but because they are the same colour as the page, we can’t see them.

Even Numbered Lines Disappear

The problem with this method is that the odd numbered lines now have a lot of space between them where the “invisible” even numbered lines are. We can tweak that a little by reducing the line spacing. Select the list and click the Line and Paragraph Spacing button in the Paragraph group on the Home tab. Click Line Spacing Options and reduce the Line Spacing value to be something like 0.75.

Reduce Line Spacing


If you reduce it too much, however, you’ll start to cut the top of each line.