Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Continuing Your Numbering.

Continuing Your Numbering

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 6, 2015)

5

You can take advantage of a nifty Word feature that allows you to easily pick up numbering where you previously left off. This is great for numbered lists that are interspersed with paragraphs that have a different format. In general, the feature is most easily accessed as follows:

  1. Enter the first portion of your numbered list and format it. For example, if your list has 17 items, and there is a heading after item 4, then you would enter the first four items in the numbered list.
  2. Enter the heading or paragraph that interrupts the list.
  3. Enter the rest of your numbered list and format it. The list should begin with 1 again.
  4. Right-click on the first paragraph after the list interruption. A Context menu appears.
  5. Choose Continue Numbering. Word adjusts the numbering as specified.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5949) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Continuing Your Numbering.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Creating Custom AutoText Categories

Want to categorize your AutoText entries? You can easily do so using the techniques described in this tip.

Discover More

Printing a Draft Watermark

Adding a watermark to the background of a printout can be challenging. This tip explains the different ways you can implement ...

Discover More

Ignoring Selected Words when Sorting

If you use Excel to maintain a list of text strings (such as movie, book, or product titles), you may want the program to ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Creating a Numbered List

Numbered lists provide a 1-2-3 way of organizing your document. You can create numbered lists very easily using the ...

Discover More

Applying Numbers from the Keyboard

Creating a numbered list is often done by using the tools available on the ribbon. With a bit of preparation you can create ...

Discover More

Randomly Resetting Numbering

Have you ever been frustrated by the automatic numbering feature in Word? You are not alone. Fortunately, there are a few ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four less than 8?

2015-07-02 12:11:24

David Skinner

I could not get this to work until I right clicked on the paragraph NUMBER. Then I saw the "Continue Numbering" option on the context menu.


2015-04-23 07:22:08

Mike

A different way of achieving the same result is to create your numbered list, enter your unnumbered paragraphs, go back and highlight your numbered list, click on the format painter and then choose the paragraphs where you wish the numbering to continue. It is not necessarily any quicker but it does ensure that the numbering and formatting remains constant. Sometimes when I have used the method explained in the article the formatting of other elements rather than the numbering can be different.


2015-04-07 05:52:24

Stephen

I gets problems with this mechanism the opposite way round - I don't want the lists to continue. I have a large document with multi-level numbering within tables - numbering at first level and lettered lists at second level.

This is a document I've been working on for a couple of years (!), and as I edit and change the document I keep getting two problems, even though I set things up right (I think!):

The simple problem, which is most related to the topic, is that the lettered (second level) lists keep deciding to continue, and I have to keep restarting them.

The other problem is that the (first level) numbered lists are supposed to pick up the current section number, but often decides to choose the number 30 instead!

I don't suppose anyone can help me on these problems here, but perhaps it's a warning to users of this feature that, in my experience, Word is fine for shorter documents, but that it gets flakey if you use such features extensively - especially with tables.


2015-04-06 12:28:33

Karl Gregg

Another, maybe simpler method (at least in Word 2013.
1. Start list with "1. space". Numbering commences.
2. When different (heading or just paragraph) text starts, press Backspace to cancel numbering before typing.
3. Start typing next numbered part without a number but same style as the numbered part.
4. Use 'Format Painter' to pick up numbering (and style) in the last previously numbered part.
Word has the smarts to continue numbering where you left off.


2012-09-16 15:24:49

Juan

Thank you very much for this useful tip.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.