Over the last few months, we've reviewed Word's numbered list features. Specifically, How to control spacing and alignment in a numbered list in Microsoft Word shows how to control spacing and alignment and How to number headings in a Word 2016 document shows a simple way to number headings. In this article, we'll continue by reviewing Word's Multilevel List feature. Fortunately, it's easier to implement and modify than you might think.

It sure is possible! Numbering and Section options are available in the Pages Panel menu. These options allow you to define what page starts a section and how it should be numbered. Insert a Current Page Number marker (Type>Insert Special Character>Markers>Current Page Number) in a text frame on a page or master page (recommended), select the first page of your section, open the Numbering and Section Options dialog, and enter 200 in the Start Page Numbering at: field. Hope this helps!

Determine what kind of numbering you want to use for your document or book. For long documents, you can assign chapter numbers. Each document can be assigned only one chapter number. If you want to use different numbering within a document, you can define ranges of pages as sections; these sections can be numbered differently. For example, the first ten pages of a document (the front matter) might use Roman numerals, and the rest of the document might use Arabic numerals.


In bulleted lists, each paragraph begins with a bullet character. In numbered lists, each paragraph begins with an expression that includes a number or letter and a separator such as a period or parenthesis. The numbers in a numbered list are updated automatically when you add or remove paragraphs in the list. You can change the type of bullet or numbering style, the separator, the font attributes and character styles, and the type and amount of indent spacing.
Thanks very much for your prompt reply, which reassured me that I was on the right path. From having read various Help topics, I suspected that I'd have to use an Excel data source for the numbers. Fortunately, my knowledge of Excel was good enough to know about the drag and drop facility to create automatic sequential numbering, so the data source creation was easy. In the end, it was the mail merge (no surprises?) which proved a tad tricky, but I got there in the end. I've used MM many times and quite happily in Word documents, but for Publisher label format, it was of course a bit different. The important bit that I had to discover for myself was the significance of, after getting to the Print stage, going into Print options, to Publication & Paper Settings, and selecting Multiple Pages per Sheet (& in my case, also "Single-sided" cos my default of duplex printing had come up). But TA-DA!  All is fine now. Thanks very much again.
Warning  Making even minor changes to an outline numbering scheme won't necessarily change the initial position you've selected in the gallery, but rather may create a new gallery position, overwriting an existing one. Because of this problem, attaching numbering to styles is strongly recommended. This is covered in greater detail later in this chapter and in the chapter on Styles.
A quick way to create a bulleted or numbered list is to type the list, select it, and then click the Bulleted List or Numbered List button in the Control panel. These buttons let you turn the list on or off and switch between bullets and numbers. You can also make bullets and numbering part of a paragraph style and construct lists by assigning styles to paragraphs.
While InDesign veterans may assume everyone already knows this, I can assure you I have worked with very sophisticated documents from designers who did not take advantage of this basic feature. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind as you tackle InDesign challenges is this: If it’s repetitious, tedious, or time-consuming, there’s probably a built-in solution right there in the program. You just need to go look for it.
Another fan of Fusion Pro Desktop here. This is exactly what you need. We have sold both PrintShop Mail and Fusion Pro Desktop for this very application (numbering) and other VDP applications. Fusion Pro Desktop easily beats PrintShop Mail from both a price and performance viewpoint. You could also try Printer's Bench http://www.elkriversystems.com/ProductsList.aspx for a good entry level package

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
You can exclude the first page(s) from numbering. This may be needed if page 1 follows after pages that have no numbers, or have individual numbering as the table of contents in large books. To show number 1 on page 2, double-click on its page number field and set First page to 2. Note that to have the correct page numbers on the following pages, you need either place the page number field on a master page, or set the same First page value on all pages.
If you’re producing any kind of numbered items in-house that are multiple-up on a sheet where you need to control all the variables to meet your production needs, the autonumbering feature through numbered lists is the way to go! Just step and repeat away & InDesign will do all the work. No need to fool with a seperate “numbers” file or deal with a data merged document. I think it’s by far the best option for basic numbering.
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.
Another fan of Fusion Pro Desktop here. This is exactly what you need. We have sold both PrintShop Mail and Fusion Pro Desktop for this very application (numbering) and other VDP applications. Fusion Pro Desktop easily beats PrintShop Mail from both a price and performance viewpoint. You could also try Printer's Bench http://www.elkriversystems.com/ProductsList.aspx for a good entry level package
Krystyna has been an IT Trainer for over 22 years; she has trained Microsoft products since their 1st release, as well as other packages from other companies such as Oracle, Adobe, Lotus and Corel. She has trained a varied audience from University students to Managing Directors, in one to ones, small groups to over 50 in a lecture environment. Her experience of industries covers a wide spectrum from Utilities, MOD, Advertising, Medical, Police, Cosmetics, IT and Financial.
Since Word 2000 applies outline numbering by default, as you press TAB or SHIFT+TAB in a numbered list, you are moved to the next or previous outline level. If you are in a numbered list that has outline numbering generated by the method described in the previous exercise, when you choose Bullets and Numbering from the Format menu (or alternate-click a portion of the numbered list), the Numbered tab appears on the Bullets and Numbering dialog box. However, if you first select the entire list and choose Bullets and Numbering from the Format menu, the Outline Numbered tab from the Bullets and Numbering dialog box is selected.
Tip  Follow the same steps (above) to create Request for Production or Request for Admissions. The only difference would be in Step 3, you would change the "rog" to "rpf" or "rfa". This will keep unique numbering schemes running in the same document. Therefore, you could have an Interrogatory No.1 as well as Request for Production No.1. Keep in mind that if you cut, copy or paste sequence codes, you'll need to select them and press F9 to update the field codes. They do not update automatically.
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.
You can insert page numbers on the current page, all pages, all odd pages, or all even pages. When you insert page numbers on multiple pages, a new master layer is automatically created, and the page number is placed on it. The master layer can be an all-page master layer, an odd-page master layer, or an even-page master layer. For more information about master layers, see Creating layers.

UPDATE: I was able to fix this by DEselecting “Allow Document Pages to Shuffle” and “Allow Spreads to Shuffle.” Or perhaps I only need to do one of those, but I was trying everything in the book and happen to uncheck those. Once I deselected those, I was able to move the spreads back to the way they needed to be. Of course, I had to do each of them individually, which would be tedious if you had a very large document already created. Definitely something that I will have to remember to do at the beginning of creating a document. (Luckily, this particular one is only six pages.) I’m wondering if there is a quicker way if this issue returned.


A single InDesign document can contain up to 9,999 pages, but page numbers can be as large as 999,999. (For example, you can correctly number a 100‑page document that starts on page 9,949.) By default, the first page is a recto (right) page numbered 1. Odd-numbered pages always appear on the right; if you use the Section Options command to change the first page number to an even number, the first page becomes a verso (left) page.

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The auto-indenting feature of bullets and lists has always frustrated me. EVERY time you apply a numbered or bulleted list, you've got to set the indents. I want my lists to be indented at the very left of the page, flush with the rest of the paragraphs. But no, Microsoft insists that you want them indented by 0.63cm and hanging at 1.27cm (WHY 0.63? Why not 0.7? Or 1.0cm? But that's a question for a different session.) (I know, it's because MS is American and still uses inches etc...)

The auto-indenting feature of bullets and lists has always frustrated me. EVERY time you apply a numbered or bulleted list, you've got to set the indents. I want my lists to be indented at the very left of the page, flush with the rest of the paragraphs. But no, Microsoft insists that you want them indented by 0.63cm and hanging at 1.27cm (WHY 0.63? Why not 0.7? Or 1.0cm? But that's a question for a different session.) (I know, it's because MS is American and still uses inches etc...)
Hi Enas, it sounds like the issue you are experiencing is about the PDF Export process. Have a look at this thread on the Adobe Community support forum:http://forums.adobe.com/thread/615575 It seems to suggest that corrupt image files can cause problems like this. You also might want to check that you enough space on the disk you’re exporting the PDF too – if it runs out of room then you would get errors. Sorry I can’t help much more than give you some general ideas. Best of luck resolving the issue. Cheers Philippa
Thanks David for posting this for me. And thanks for sending me the .inx fie. I had a complete memory lapse on how to make a number list like that and was uber-cofused. If it was written about before I couldn’t find it on the search function for the site. And even if it is over a year old it’s still good info. It is in the Mailbag section so it really was just an answer to an email and generoulsy posted.
One of the easiest ways to begin applying numbers is by starting to type a numbered list. Word recognizes that you are creating a list and responds accordingly by converting text that you type into numbered items. The number scheme, delimiter characters that mark the beginning or end of a unit of data and formatting are all based on what you have typed.
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