Creating space in a numbered list to be filled in.

jasonbournecia used Ask the Experts™
Driving me crazy now!
If you see the attached, if a member of staff creates a list of questions and they want students to fill in answers in between, if the student presses enter, it creates numbering; don't want that!
Workaraounds? If you create the first question and then press Shift Enter until the next question, that will give you space, but if the student doesn't press Tab first, they get numbering.
There must be a way of spacing questions where someone fills in the bit in between with answers that:
A) Doesn't continue numbering.
B) Doesn't shove the question down, although that's not the end of the world.
C) Doesn't require the student to press Tab

I just want students to fill in answers without having to think of tab. And, if they do press enter, for them to be able to keep typing without numbers.
I've tried templates and multi level lists, but am really struggling now.
Maybe a table structure? My head hurts now.

Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®

Do you have your nonprinting marks showing? I highly suggest you do have that turned on, if you don't.

You have line feeds at the end of your numbered lines. If you place regular return characters at the end of those (the hard enter), then you'll have a blank line with a number. Remove the numbering from that. I like pressing Ctrl+Shift+N to apply the Normal style, but that's just one way.  

From what it looks like, you could use a form for this.  Turn on the Developer tab (this has to be done in Word options). You can insert legacy form elements, such as text fields. Then just protect the document so that the student can only type in those areas.

I am attaching a sample.
Oh, and my sample does require the student to tab through the fields, but that should feel natural in today's day and age.

A table is a nice way of laying out the text. If the form doesn't do it for you, I would go with a table. Just have a cell for the question and then a blank cell for the answer to be typed.  The student can click on the empty cell to type or just press Tab twice to get to the next one. Though, I'd still prefer using forms, because you don't want the students to accidentally type over your questions.
You have two types of paragraphs: questions (with numbers) and answers (without). That's what styles are for. You're already using the List Paragraph style for the questions -- that's good. Just a couple of tweaks and it will be perfect.

The List Paragraph style currently does not include numbering -- you added that manually. Right-click on any of the numbered questions and choose Styles, Update List Paragraph to Match Selection. That will incorporate numbering into the style definition -- which is what you want.

Get rid of all those Shift+Enter (new line) characters. Just press Enter after the question. This will create another (numbered) List Paragraph styled paragraph. Press Ctrl+Shift+n to apply the Normal style. Zap! The number is gone. Now press Ctrl+m twice (to indent the para over to line up with the text of the questions. Press Ctrl+Shift+s to bring up the Apply Styles dialog. Click in the Style Name box and type in a new style name -- how about calling it "Answer" (without the quotes). You now have a style you will use for all the answers. Almost done.

Click in a numbered question. Notice how the Apply Styles dialog now shows the List Paragraph style name (it always shows the style of the selected para). Click the Modify button to open the Modify Style dialog. In the "Style for following paragraph" box, select the "Answer" style. This means whenever you are editing your document and you press Enter after typing in a question, Word will automatically use the Answer style for the following paragraph. Checkmark the "Add to Quick Style list" box, click the "New documents based on this template" option, then click OK.

Now clean up your document. Delete all the Shift-Enters. Just press Enter after each question. Word will switch to the Answer style. Note that while in an Answer, you can press Enter all you want -- you'll just get more Answer styles, because you did *not* diddle with the "Style for following paragraph" setting for the Answer style. Word's default is to continue to use the same style.

Both styles should be showing in the Quick Style gallery. But you can apply the styles using the Modify Styles dialog, or assign shortcut keys to them so that you can apply them with a single keystroke.


Marvellous! Thanks guys.
lwebber, your solution was pretty much what I wanted. Although it is not me useing this, I need to teach a coulpe of colleagues!!! First time I've played with Ctrl, Shift in Word.
jkunrein, thanks for your input, forms was good, but if you press Enter, the next line doesn't line up.
Tables is pretty good and if lwebbers suggestion blows their minds, we might look at tables.
Thanks again guys, I hope the points split is okay

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial