Tips on Using the Numbering Assistant to Apply the MSCD First-Line-Indent Enumeration Scheme

These guidelines were written to help with using the Numbering Assistant to apply the MSCD first-line-indent enumeration scheme: it’s more complicated to automate than the hanging-indent enumeration scheme. But if you have questions regarding the hanging-indent enumeration scheme, you might find this helpful.


The numbering utility the Numbering Assistant incorporates the recommendations made in Ken Adams’s A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting regarding enumeration and layout of blocks of contract text. It does so by offering both MSCD numbering schemes (the first-line-indent enumeration scheme and the hanging-indent enumeration scheme) as built-in Numbering Assistant numbering schemes, with each scheme being offered in “Articles” and “Sections” versions.

To use the Numbering Assistant to apply the “Articles” or “Sections” version of the MSCD first-line-indent scheme in a way that complies with recommendations in MSCD, you should consider the following points. (These tips assume that you’re using Word 2007 or a more recent version.)

Numbering Scheme Options

When you open the Numbering Assistant window (at the left end of the Numbering Assistant Ribbon) and of the “Available Numbering Schemes” select the “Sections” or “Articles” version of one of the MSCD schemes, you also have the opportunity to select one or more of four “Options” stated lower-down in the window. (Regarding numbering scheme options generally, see “Numbering Scheme Options” in the Numbering Assistant help files.)

The first option is “Automatically number each paragraph.” It’s a matter of personal preference whether you wish to have the next number in the scheme applied when you press “Enter” or whether you wish to apply the appropriate heading manually. If you have selected “Automatically Number Each Paragraph” but then wish to format a given paragraph as an unnumbered paragraph, simply apply a suitable format section of Home Ribbon.)

The other three options are incompatible with MSCD’s recommendations. In particular, as regards the fourth option, “Apply full justification,” MSCD recommends that you not use full justification.


In the “Articles” scheme, applying heading 1 to any text will turn that text into an article heading by centering it, making it all capitals, and placing before it the designation “Article” plus an appropriate Arabic numeral. Insert manually after the article designation and before the heading a “manual line break” (Shift + Enter)—that will move the heading to immediately below the article designation.


In the “Articles” scheme, sections (heading 2) are numbered using 1.1 enumeration, to reflect that the contract is divided into articles, each with an enumerated heading (heading 1). In the “Sections” scheme, sections (heading 1) are numbered using 1. enumeration.

Sections—Bolding the Heading

MSCD recommends that you use bold to emphasize section headings, including the period. Accordingly, when using either of the Numbering Assistant’s MSCD schemes you designate a given block of text as a section, it will appear in all bold, and the task becomes one of eliminating any unnecessary bolding.

To remove excess bolding from a single section, put the cursor after the period following the section heading, then open the Style Separator drop-down menu on the Numbering Assistant Ribbon and select “Insert Style Separator at Cursor Location.” Removing excess bolding from a single section is helpful if in that block of text you wish to format in bold any text other than the heading—if, for instance, you wish to create a defined term in that section.

To remove excess bolding from all sections throughout the document (other than from those sections where you’ve already inserted a Style Separator), place the cursor within any section, then open the Style Separator drop-down menu on the Numbering Assistant Ribbon and select “Insert Multiple Style Separators.” The only selection you have to change in the window that appears is the one under “Options to Insert Style Separator”: select the radio button “Insert after,” so that the period at the end of each section heading is, like the heading, bolded. Then click “OK.”

Direct formatting—for example, selecting the text from which you wish to remove the bolding and deselecting the Bold icon—would not only be more laborious than using Style Separators, it could also interfere with creating a table of contents.

Sections—One Space After the Heading

MSCD recommends that consistent with standard typographic practice, punctuation should be followed by one space, not two. Consequently, the period after a section heading should be followed by one space, not two.


MSCD recommends that if a section is divided into subjections, you use (a) enumeration for subsections. And MSCD recommends that you place the first subsection designation on the same line as the section heading. To do so, put the cursor one space after the period at the end of the section heading, then click on “Embed Heading on the Numbering Assistant Ribbon,” then click “OK.” You don’t need to adjust any of the preset options.

Don’t give a heading to any subsection.

Tabulated Enumerated Clauses

If any sentence in a section or subsection consists of an introductory clause followed by a series of enumerated clauses, tabulating those enumerated clauses—in other words, breaking them out so each clause stands alone—can make them easier to read. Whether to tabulate enumerated clauses depends on how many of them there are and how lengthy they are.

The first level of enumerated clause (heading 4 in the “Articles” scheme and heading 3 in the “Sections” scheme) uses (1) enumeration, regardless of whether the enumerated clauses occur in a section or a subsection. The next level uses (A) enumeration. The level after that uses (i) enumeration, but it is unlikely that you would need it, and using three levels of tabulated enumerated clauses in a section would likely make a contract harder to read. No further levels are offered.

Because each series of tabulated enumerated clauses constitutes, with the introductory clause, a single sentence, the word that begins each tabulated enumerated clause should start with a lower-case letter, unless that word always begins with a capital letter.

Each tabulated enumerated clause should end with a semi-colon, except for the final clause in a series, which should end in a period. The penultimate tabulated enumerated clause in a series should have an and or or after the semi-colon and on the same line, unless due to lack of space it’s forced to the next line.

Tabulated enumerated clauses are best placed at the end of a sentence.

Formatting Unnumbered Paragraphs

Any contract will contain blocks of text that are unnumbered and so fall outside of the MSCD enumeration schemes. These include the title, the introductory clause, any recitals, the lead in, the concluding clause, and the signature blocks. Also, the body of the contract may contain other unnumbered paragraphs, such as addresses and the text of stock-certificate legends.

If you wish to format a given paragraph as an unnumbered paragraph, simply apply a suitable format using the Styles section of Home Ribbon.)

That’s an introduction to use of the Numbering Assistant to apply the MSCD first-line-indent enumeration scheme. To learn about the Numbering Assistant’s other features, consult the Numbering Assistant help files.

Version of 21 April 2021