Having Numbered Lists in Subdocuments Restart their Numbering

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 2, 2019)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


John has a master document with approximately 80 subdocuments in it. About 60 of them contain numbered lists. When he opens the whole thing (outline view | expand documents) the numbers in the numbered lists continue rather than restart. The numbered lists are set using a style from a custom global template based on the standard List Number style. John wonders if there is a way to make sure that the numbered lists restart at 1 rather than continue from the previous list without having to change them manually every time he expands the entire master document.

There are a couple of approaches you could use. First, at the end of each of your documents you could add a LISTNUM field to reset the numbering. The format of the field would be as follows:

{ LISTNUM "NumberDefault" \s0 }

This will set the numbering used for numbered lists back to zero. Depending on your system and your version of Word, you may end up with some visible characters generated by the LISTNUM field. If this is the case, then simply format those characters as hidden text.

Another option is to recognize that Word's built-in automatic numbering is fraught with lots of problems. (These problems are well documented and have been addressed in other issues of WordTips.) Many people abandon the built-in numbering all together and use SEQ fields to implement their list numbering. If you do this, you could use a different sequence for each of your subdocuments, and you would be sure to have just the numbering you wanted.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3429) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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. ...

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