CK Note: Word 2007 - 2013 interface has an different automatic numbering scheme which I have been told is much less subject to corruption. Microsoft Word 2010 Bible by Herb Tyson, MVP. However numbering is still very imperfect in these later versions. I still recommend following Shauna Kelly's step-by-step instructions (see above) if setting up numbering in a template or in a document likely to be heavily edited. If you start without doing this and end up with "spaghetti numbering," fixing it will be a very large chore!
If you know in advance that you need outline numbering for your paragraphs, you will want to choose the correct format from the Bullets and Numbering dialog box. Applying one of the preset formats to a paragraph or paragraphs that are already bulleted or numbered applies it to the entire list. There is a specific tab for outline numbers — the Outlined Numbered tab.
The heading here could be anything: affirmative defenses in an answer, articles in a contract, etc. It doesn’t matter; the technique is the same with only slight variations. The result is that you’ll have a heading saved in your Quick Parts that will be numbered correctly, no matter how many items you add or delete. This makes this technique particularly useful in building templates for common documents; because it’s always easier to delete than add, they’ll re-number themselves after editing.
Starting an auto-numbered paragraph is deceptively simple. See those buttons on the top row of the Paragraph section of the Home tab? The left-most one is for bullets; the next two to its right are for numbering and multi-level numbering, respectively. Simply click the button to toggle the feature on, or click on the drop-down arrow on each button to select a specific style. If you don’t like any of the delivered choices, you can click Define New to set your own.
There are three settings we need to embed in this field. The first is to tell it what kind of numbering we want to do (in this case, “First, Second, Third”), what case we want to use (upper case, title case, etc.), and a switch to tell Microsoft Word to increment the numbers. Click each of these settings as shown below, being sure to click Add to Field after each one:
InDesign allows you to add a page number marker to a master page within the document. The master page functions as a template for every page it's applied to, so the consecutive page numbers appear on every page. InDesign updates the page number automatically as you insert, delete and move pages. To add a page number marker to a master page, create a text box on the master page by going to the Type menu and choosing "Insert Special Character," "Markers" and then "Current Page Number."
Thanks for the head start on this, it got me part the way through my problem but I found that when I had 3 figures in a row then a map, the next figure would jump back to #.1 again. Because I had figures, maps and tables that needed to be numbered I used the ‘levels’ to differentiate between them as you suggested, but found if you create a new number list for each entry ie. number list for maps, and number list for tables etc then they don’t conflict. thanks for the start off though. no where else pointed it out as clearly as this. Cheers
I have a word document with a table of 6 exact cells on a full page table. In those cell areas I have been printing tickets with a list and a mail merge and updating labels. I call to an excel list of 1-2000 and then I generate all the pages through the Finish and Merge option. This all works perfect. I get 2000 individually numbered tickets to print...however...I then have six tickets printed on a page of paper with ticket numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ,6 then the next page has 7,8,9,10,11,12. This is fine but I then have to cut and stack these tickets in groups of six and at that point none of the numbering is sequential. The tickets are basically random.
Note: If you are a developer, you would do much better to use a Document Variable rather than a Document Property (so that the user can't update the version without using your macros); and to write a version control macro assigned to an “Update Version” button to take care of updating the document variable, the “Last  Updated Date”, the revision history and the document's filename (and the filepath, if you have an archive strategy for old versions), as well as taking care of transitions between draft and live status. However, that is outside the scope of this article.

You have two choices when faced with the task of numbering headings in a Word document. You can enter the numbers manually and hope nothing changes — lots of luck with that one. Or you can opt for the more efficient solution and create and apply a numbered style. Unfortunately, that can get you into even more trouble, if you don't know what you're doing. To avoid surprises, follow these 10 steps to add a numbering scheme to a style.
This chapter (web page) takes you through how numbering is supposed to work in Word and the various controls. It is useful, but primarily on SEQ fields and simple numbered lists and also as reference showing the menus, dialogs and controls and going through the concepts for outline numbering. To actually set up outline numbering that works, refer to the Kelly and McGhie articles.
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