By default, bullets and numbers inherit some of their text formatting from the first character in the paragraph to which they’re attached. If the first character in one paragraph is different from the first characters in other paragraphs, the numbering or bullet character may appear inconsistent with the other list items. If this is not the formatting you desire, create a character style for numbers or bullets and apply it to your list by using the Bullets And Numbering dialog box.
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