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.
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...)
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.
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.