MS Word heading styles are showing black boxes instead of numbers--how can I fix this?

I modified the default headers for a large document. They looked fine when I set them up, but after I saved the document and came back to it, some of the outline numbering showed up as black boxes. The instructions for setting up list styles was very confusing. I had particular trouble selecting the multilevel outlining--it keeps going back to the default setting.


For blacked out heading numbering

The problem occurs because the font characteristics in the list template have become corrupted.  It can be fixed by running a macro containing the following code:

For Each templ In ActiveDocument.ListTemplates

For Each lev In templ.ListLevels


Next lev

Next templ

Hope this helps,
Doug Robbins - MVP Office Apps & Services (Word)
Screen shots by Snagit from

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Question Info

Last updated May 6, 2021 Views 59,164 Applies to: