How to Insert a Series of Numbers in a Microsoft Word Table

Updated February 21, 2017

When creating a grid in Microsoft Word, the quick set-up table inserter makes it simple to define the number of columns and rows that will make up your table. Although it may seem like filling that table is then a task of clicking from cell to cell, Word offers a few tricks to help fill the grid. Number the cells of the table so viewers know what's where by taking advantage of Word's auto-numbering process. Insert a series of numbers in a Word table in a single click, without having to click and type into each cell individually.

Open Microsoft Word. Click the "File" tab. Click "Open." Navigate to the Word document with the table to fill with the series of numbers. Double-click the file name. When the document opens, scroll to the table to fill.

Click inside the first cell to fill. Drag the cursor to the right to fill horizontally, or by row, or down, to fill vertically by column so all parts of the table receiving numbers are highlighted.

Click the "Numbering" button on the "Paragraph" section of the ribbon. It looks like a "123" with small lines next to the numbers. The cells of the table automatically fill with the numbers.

Highlight the numbers inserted into the cells. Click the small drop-down arrow to the right of the "Numbering" button. Click "Define New Number Format."

Make any changes to the number appearance -- Word's default is to place a period after each number, but you may not want that and you can eliminate it in the "Number format" box. Click "OK."

Click the cursor into the first cell in the table. Click the "Numbering" button's drop-down arrow and click "Set Numbering Value." Change the "Set Value To" box to the number you want the series to start with -- Word's default is "1," but you are not locked into that.

Click "OK" and all of the numbers shift in the series after the first.


If you haven't already created the table, click the "Insert" tab. Click the "Table" button, then drag through the grid to create the required number of rows and columns for the table.

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About the Author

Fionia LeChat is a technical writer whose major skill sets include the MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), Photoshop, Paint, desktop publishing, design and graphics. LeChat has a Master of Science in technical writing, a Master of Arts in public relations and communications and a Bachelor of Arts in writing/English.