So I'm trying to mimic this in my MS Word (Office 365) .docx file but failing:

List Formatting Example

Specifically, I need the spacing around the entire list to be greater than between each list element.

Perhaps I could achieve this result if I were to edit each line manually, but my goal is to use stylesheets, as I do with all the text in this file (a manuscript), so that I can simply select a list that's already present in the manuscript and apply the desired formatting to it.

I've gone through all paragraph stylesheet and list formatting style options, yet I can't seem to find a way to get this result, as Word treats both lines as separate paragraphs, despite the fact that I'm using Word's automatic list formatting.

Has anyone else, perhaps, run into this challenge before and would be willing to share some wisdom?

  • You mean the space above 1 and below 7, correct? You should be able to do this using space before and space after, but if you add more entries they'd likely also have the space after Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 3:33
  • @ZachSaucier Yes, that's the whole problem. I can't create a stylesheet that will only add that that spacing before the start and after the end of the entire list. So I'm trying to find out if there's some way to do this that I'm missing, or if I'll have to manually set the leading and trailing space on the first and last entries in every list in my file. Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 4:06

1 Answer 1


Text layout software usually doesn’t have an option to space an entire list element, like CSS has for example. So the spacing between these paragraphs are always paragraph settings. In your case, your main text paragraph style (but not your list text paragraph style) would need a “space before” and “space after” value. If you apply that and don’t like the result (i.e. because that space is unwanted in other places where there is no list) you would have to create variations of your existing styles to be applied in specific instances, e.g. “last paragraph before a list” or something like that. Not really recommendable, but sometimes its unavoidable.

  • The variant style is what I was going to suggest. There's really no way around it. Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 10:28
  • @foefirelord, I have actually done research on this myself and this particular solution is what the experts suggest. So I always create a style called something like "last bullet point" with the extra space. It's clunky, but necessary.
    – magerber
    Commented Mar 11, 2017 at 20:04

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