Microsoft Word

Fix Numbering Problems in Numbered Lists

Word offers several ways to fix numbered list problems, for example, right-click a list and choose “Restart at 1” to tell Word to restart numbering for the list or choose “Continue Numbering” to tell Word to continue numbering for this paragraph.

Restart each list manually

Restart each list manually by right-clicking its first item and choosing Restart at 1 from the shortcut menu. Wait until the document is finished before you restart numbering, because otherwise, the numbers may walk as you insert further lists.

Restarting lists manually is seldom a satisfactory solution, but if your goal is simply to get the document printed with steps numbered correctly, it may be enough.

Restarting a list manually (Restart at 1) places a restart marker in the first paragraph of the list. If you copy or move this paragraph, the restart marker goes with it. So if you restart a list, then copy the first paragraph and paste it later in the document to create a new list, the numbering on the first list changes from “restart” to “continue,” continuing the numbering of the previous list. You’ll have to insert a new restart marker at the beginning of that list to preserve the correct numbering.

Continue Numbering

Some of your numbered list items might be separated by elements such as charts, explanatory paragraphs, or sidebars. When you click the Numbering button, if Word doesn’t automatically continue with the next numbered step in your process, you can continue numbers in an existing numbered list by right-clicking the first incorrect number in a numbered list and then click Continue Numbering.

Set Numbering Value

You can also force the Word to start a numbered list with a specific number. Right-click the first incorrect number and select Set Numbering Value to display the “Set Number Value dialog box”, which will allow to choose one of the following:

  • Start a new list
    Restart numbering from 1.
  • Continue from the previous list
    Assign the next number used in the last numbered list (at any point of the document).
  • Set value to
    Choose a number to set your list to start at.

Click on the OK button to commit the change.

More Tutorials on Word Lists:

  1. Bullets and Numbering
  2. Create and Customize Bulleted List
  3. Create and Customize a Numbered List
  4. Fix Numbering Problems in Numbered Lists
  5. Multilevel Lists
  6. Define new Multilevel list dialog box
  7. Define Multilevel List with “ListNum field list name”
    List Numbering using SEQ Fields
    Sort Paragraphs or Lists Alphabetically