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.
Some drawbacks to this feature are that you lose a little control when you are typing. Word formats for you and some users do not like this. Also, on certain items, you will get a number when you do not expect or need one. For example, you have an attorney whose name begins with an initial (A. George Smith). When you type the name and press ENTER, the first initial "A." converts to an automatic number.
So I spent some time trying to figure it out, playing with Normal.dotm and the various styles (List paragraph, List Number, List Bullet etc etc). And finally, when I've got Normal.dotm open (i.e. I'm editing that template file), I get my result: I apply a standard numbered list, and it comes up flush left (i.e. not indented) and hanging at 1.0cm (cos I don't use inches...) and with a tab stop applied at 1.0cm as well - funky stuff!
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!
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.
A List Style stores the information about how to number each level. That includes the format of the number ( "1" or "a" or "i"), whether the number is preceded by text (eg "Chapter 1" or "Part A"), whether the number includes previous levels' numbers (eg paragraph 1.4.3), and the indents (the distance from margin to number and from number to text).
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.
If you’re a self-taught InDesign user, you may not have been introduced to automatic page numbering, one of the biggest time-saving features in the program. InDesign allows you to set up the page numbering feature in your Master Pages. Then, as you add or shuffle pages, InDesign updates individual page numbers accordingly. You can style the page number any way you like.
Changing the numbering display affects how pages are indicated in the InDesign document, as in the Pages panel and in the page box at the bottom of a document window. The numbering display also affects how you specify page ranges when printing and exporting the document. However, the numbering display does not change the appearance of page numbers on document pages. numbering in indesign
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