Some drawbacks to this feature are that you lose a little control when you are typing. Word formats for you and some users do not like this. Also, on certain items, you will get a number when you do not expect or need one. For example, you have an attorney whose name begins with an initial (A. George Smith). When you type the name and press ENTER, the first initial "A." converts to an automatic number.
My quick process involves setting up a row of plaques with a01, a02, a03, thru a09. Then copy the plaques to the clipboard. Run the REPLACE TEXT feature to replace "a" with "1". Move row down and paste clipboard back into page. Run REPLACE TEXT to replace "a" with "2". Repeat until I get all the numbers. It's faster than manually typing the numbers in but I know there's go to be someway of automating the process. document numbering in publisher