Google Docs logo on a white background

When you create a numbered list in Google Docs, you might want something different at the start of each list item. You can customize the list to use a prefix before the number or suffix after it, here’s how.

You might be making a list of instructions and want the word “Step” in front of each item. Or maybe you have a list of project duties and want “Task” at the start of each. Whatever you want to use, it’s easy to set up.

Create the Numbered List

To start, you’ll create the numbered list. You can do this at the start of typing your list items or after your list is complete.

RELATED: How to Edit, Restart, or Continue a Numbered List in Google Docs

Either use the toolbar and select the Numbered List icon or go to Format > Bullets & Numbering > Numbered List. Then choose the style you want to use whether numbers or letters with periods or parentheses.

Select a numbered list style

Add a Prefix or Suffix to a List

To add a prefix or suffix, select the numbers or letters to highlight them all. You can do this by clicking any one of them in the list. If you select the list, a single list item, or an individual number in the list instead, the feature will be grayed out when you attempt to use it. The exception is if you use a multilevel list.

Highlight the numbers

Advertisement

Click Format > Bullets & Numbering from the menu. Move to List Options and select “Edit Prefix and Suffix” from the pop-out menu.

Select Edit Prefix and Suffix

When the Prefix and Suffix window opens, add one or the other, or both, in the Prefix and Suffix boxes. Check the box for Apply to Entire List and click “OK.”

Add a Prefix or Suffix

As an example, we’ll use “Step” as the prefix and a greater than symbol (>) instead of a period as the suffix. You can add spaces after the prefix and before the suffix for formatting if you like.

Added a Prefix and Suffix

Then, view the result of your adjusted numbered list.

New prefix and suffix for a list

Remove a Prefix or Suffix

If you decide later to remove a prefix, suffix, or both, it takes only a couple of clicks. Simply select the number or letter with the prefix or suffix to highlight all. Then, choose a different numbered list type. This replaces the current format.

Change to a numbered list

Not every list you create is as easy as one, two, three. So the next time you want to customize a list in Google Docs, check out the prefix and suffix feature to make your list exactly as you need it.

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
Read Full Bio »