You can define a section prefix to label section pages automatically. For example, if you specify A– for Section Prefix on page 16 of a document and include the section prefix, the page will appear in the table of contents or index as A–16. Text you type for a section marker appears when you choose Type > Insert Special Character > Markers > Section Marker.
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Do not let me lead you into a headache under false pretences: this FAQ is not going to tell you how to fix a document that contains broken numbering. It simply explains how the numbering works: this is valuable information if you work with Word a lot, and by understanding it, you can often work out how to fix a document. However, this FAQ is not going to tell you how.  (For a discussion of methods, see: List Restart Methods).

GREAT tip with lots of uses! Thank you. This will save me hours of work on some tickets I’m designing. However, I also need to set up table tents that have numbers on them. They’re 2-up, and are folded, so each number needs to appear twice on the same page. In short, I want a page with 1/1 and 2/2, and I’m getting 1/2 and 3/4. Am I missing an obvious fix? Thank you.

Note  If TAB and SHIFT+TAB do not work for changing the indents for outline numbering, you probably have the option Tabs and Backspace set left Indent turned off. To change this setting, from the Tools menu, choose Options. Select the Edit tab and check the option Tabs and backspace set left indent. As an alternative to turning this option on, you can instead use ALT+SHIFT+LEFT ARROW or RIGHT ARROW to increase or decrease outline numbering.
You can define a section prefix to label section pages automatically. For example, if you specify A– for Section Prefix on page 16 of a document and include the section prefix, the page will appear in the table of contents or index as A–16. Text you type for a section marker appears when you choose Type > Insert Special Character > Markers > Section Marker.

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:
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.
I want to point out that if this document is a fixed set of standards but will be amended in later editions, then autonumbers will increment, which is a bad idea. In legal documents, numbers are usually static, and deletions are struck-through, not deleted, to preserve the original numbering, so that older and newer editions can be compared number-by-number. Inserted and appended content would need to be manually numbered. You may want to create the first edition with autonumbering, then convert the numbered list numbers to text, to avoid unwanted renumbering in future editions.
There are lots of options. For instance, you might reduce the amount of space between the number and the text by changing the Text indent at setting. Or, you might center the heading by choosing Center from the Number alignment dropdown. For even more options, click More to expose several more settings. You could use the Apply changes to option when setting level 1 to the I, II, III numbering style instead of changing it for each level.

i’ve had to do tons of this lately and found that for the amounts of tickets being done (e.g. 7000 x 10 tickets + cover & mailer) that chuckT’s solution almost 2 years ago is similar to what i use. would be interested to know if others doing similar VDP are using a wholly indesign/excel solution, or if specific VDP software such as XMPie are being used.
To include numbering prefixes from higher levels, enter text or click at the start of the Number box and choose Insert Number Placeholder and then select a Level option (for example, Level 1), or enter ^ and then the list level (for example, enter ^1). In a list with first levels numbered 1, 2, 3, and so on, and second levels numbered a, b, c, and so on, including the first-level prefix in the second level renders second-level numbers as 1a, 1b, 1c; 2a, 2b, 2c; 3a, 3b, 3c.
Now, I need to number the paragraphs in this section without them being headings, and link the number to the above Heading 2., i.e. 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3..... or even 2.1.a, 2.1.b. ….. in order that I have the possibility to cross-reference them somewhere in the document. Obviously this section cannot have a Heading 3 in the event of using 2.1.1 etc, otherwise the numbering gets confused.
Thanks for asking, but if you haven't done the Google search I suggested in post 1 of this thread and practiced with any of the tutorials at the linked resources there, or those recommended in posts 2 and 6, please do. Perhaps someone on the list will do the work you're requesting. As a trainer I feel my best value is to offer paths to solutions so folks can learn to use the tools. Some tools require more practice, but those are the ones that give the most pleasure of discovery at the "Aha!" moment that comes when one "gets it."

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:
Understanding outline numbering and how outline numbering interacts with styles is crucial to your success in using Word with legal documents. Basic outline numbering can be handled much the same way as bullets and numbering. Seven default outline numbered lists come with Word. Three of the lists format the paragraphs with outline numbers. These lists are in the top row of the dialog box. The remaining four format the paragraphs with outline numbers and apply heading styles to the paragraphs and can be found in the bottom row.
In the example I explained, I was using a list, but did it with un-linked text boxes using “continue from previous number” and “continue numbers across stories.” I’m guessing that there is no way to tell InDesign that even though there are 4 text boxes on the page, that there are two different lists? I’d probably have to just create two threaded stories for that scenario to work.
@Aaron: I am stuck exactly with the same problem. I am constructing a style guide document, and thus my content is mainly images, not text. Still I do need numbered chapters in multiple levels, but the automatic numbering seems to be almost impossible as my headings are in separate text boxes. I have tried linking heading text areas, section markers, numbered lists and whatnot, but I am about to revert back to manual numbering instead of battling with this and wasting time! It’s just so devastating, I believe that machines should do what they do best, instead of people keeping track of numbering chapters!
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 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.
You probably know about Word's mail merge feature, and you might even use it to print labels or other documents, where some of the information changes (such as form letters). You can use the same feature with Publisher. Although you might not think of Publisher as an Office app, it comes with several different versions of Office. In this article, I'll show you how to print sequentially numbered tickets using Publisher and Excel. This article provides instructions for Publisher 2007, 2010, and 2013.
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