Problem with Numbered Lists in Word 2010 RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm attempting to clean up a Word 2010 document that someone else previously created. One of the main problems is inconsistent formatting, which I'm solving by the use of styles. All is working well except in the case of numbered lists. I've run into the problem that when I apply a style to a numbered list, Word won’t let me start each list numbered from 1.

    Here's the details of what happened:

    Selected the first numbered item in the document's first list, expanded the Styles group in the Ribbon,  clicked Save Selection as New Quick Style, and named the new style List 1. List 1 was added to the Style gallery.

    Selected the remaining items in the first numbered list and clicked List 1 in the Style gallery to apply that style to all the list items.

    Moved to the second numbered list which had no applied style and was numbered starting from 1. Selected the three items in that list and then click List 1 in the Style gallery to apply that style to the items. That did apply the style, but it altered the list numbering so that the first item was now numbered 4.

    Right clicked the first item in the list and clicked Set Numbering Value in the context menu. This opened the dialog box in which I made sure Start New List was selected and changed Set Value To to 1. After clicking OK, this message was displayed:

    Changing the number format for this list updates the style "List 1" and reapplies the style to each paragraph.

    Clicked Yes. The list was properly renumbered, but the paragraph format changed. Whereas Special in the Indentation section of the styles Paragraph dialog box previously contained Hanging with 0.25" as the By value, Special now contained (none) and the By box is empty.

    So, my question is this: How do I apply the style to each numbered list in the document without having the numbering in each list changing?

    Sunday, November 11, 2012 9:42 PM


  • Hi Charlie

    The best place to get assistance on this problem is the Word "Community" site, as you're working at the end-user level:

    Numbering is a very complex function in Word; trying to handle it with a macro is even worse than working in the UI - and you can't do it with a macro without a thorough understanding of how it works in the UI. You'll find many more people conversant with the ins-and-outs of combining numbering with styles on the Community site.

    I can summarize the principles for you:

    1. Numbering definitions are separate from paragraph style definitions. You can only link a numbering definition's LEVEL (as in Outline level) to specific paragraph style.

    2. If numbering is linked with a style, then all paragraphs formatted with that style will take on the same settings.

    3. Indents defined by numbering override indents defined by the paragraph style

    In my experience, the only way you can reliably achieve what you propose is to first create two paragraph styles with identical definitions (look the same). One will be used for the first paragraph in a list, the other for all the other paragraphs.

    Set up an outline numbering definition where the first and second levels look identical. The first level will start at 1, the second at 2. The first will restart numbering when it follows the second level; the second level will start renumbering when it follows a first level. Associate one style with the first level and the other style with the second level.

    Obviously, if you're not familiar with any of these principles, this is not enough information to really come to grips with the problem. But this isn't the proper venue for the discussion...

    Cindy Meister, VSTO/Word MVP, my blog

    Monday, November 12, 2012 10:41 AM