Each section within an InDesign document can be numbered differently. This allows you to use one type of numerals to consecutively number a document's preface or other introductory materials and another numeral system for the remainder of the document. You must first define your document's sections, and then you can add section markers or page markers to your master pages. Apply the master page to document pages to include the section and page numbers on the document pages.

The values for Number position (here called Aligned at), Text indent and Follow number with are in the Position section at the bottom. With multi-level numbering, you also have easy access to settings that control the type of numbering at each level, the characters before and after each level’s numbers (period versus parenthesis), and the list number style (1, a, I, etc.).
You may wonder whether typing 1, 2, and 3 would be easier than using the ListNum field. Although doing that may be easier initially, the value of using the ListNum field becomes apparent when you cut and paste. When a paragraph contains multiple numbered items that you move or delete, Word automatically updates the ListNum fields. Using ListNum fields assures you of accurate numbering within a paragraph throughout the document.

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!
To create a running list—a list that is interrupted by other paragraphs or that spans multiple stories or documents—create a paragraph style and apply the style to paragraphs that you want to be part of the list. For example, to create a running list of the tables in your document, create a paragraph style called Tables, make a defined list part of the style, and then apply the Tables paragraph style to all paragraphs you want in your Table list.
To create a running list—a list that is interrupted by other paragraphs or that spans multiple stories or documents—create a paragraph style and apply the style to paragraphs that you want to be part of the list. For example, to create a running list of the tables in your document, create a paragraph style called Tables, make a defined list part of the style, and then apply the Tables paragraph style to all paragraphs you want in your Table list.
In summary, paragraph numbering is really just an exercise in logic, and this blog post is showing the numbering styles for a very specific project. Your project may be similar, but not exactly the same. You just need to think though the levels and how you want to restart the numbers. I do my best to think it through correctly the first time, set it up, and then try as hard as I can to break it, so that I can find my errors. The good news is that once you get your numbers working, you shouldn’t ever have to think about it again.

You can't use Word's Numbering feature to generate a multilevel numbering system, even if you use built-in heading styles. Figure A shows a document with two styled heading levels: Heading 1 and Heading 2. You can apply the Numbering option (in the Paragraph group) and Word will number the headings consequently, but the feature ignores different levels; if you expected 1, 1.1, 2, 2.1, and 2.2, you might be surprised. If you select the entire document first, Numbering not only ignores the different levels, but it also numbers the paragraphs!


Word's Numbering Explained by John McGhie, MVP - comprehensive and not pretty (Downloadable pdf file in letter size) - Reading this is vital to anyone attempting to use automatic numbering or bullets in a law office setting or other places where the documents are likely to be reused or heavily edited. See also How to Create a Template with a downloadable template with style-based numbering. I strongly recommend that you read both of these before doing anything with the contents of this chapter.
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