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I have an MS word 2010 docx file where the numbering is screwed up. Level 2 starts renumbering at 0 every time, etc

There are too many for me to address individually, so what I would like to do is to take an existing document where numbering format is correct and impose that on the new one.

For instance, save old as template? Or open old, delete all, paste new, save as? (didn't wok)

I hope that it is clear what I am trying to do. If not, please ask.

Thanks in advance for your help

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up vote 1 down vote accepted
  1. Make a Backup of your document!
  2. Remove the style by "select-all" and selecting the "no style" style button.
  3. Apply a list style as outlined below:

Word's paragraph numbering sometimes goes haywire. Just when you think you've got it organized, the numbering starts doing silly things. the mechanism we use to organize and co-ordinate paragraph numbering is a List Style. The List Style co-ordinates. It doesn't do the actual work of formatting text. We leave that to paragraph styles.

So, you need:

a List Style as the co-ordinating mechanism for the numbering, and
a paragraph style for each heading level (Word allows, actually requires, 9 levels).

A List Style actually does two things. A List Style creates a set or group of styles. Word comes with built-in paragraph styles named Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3. But there is no connection between them. They just happen to share similar names. A List Style 'groups' those paragraph styles into some order. Only the List Style knows that Heading 1 is followed by Heading 2 and that it is followed by Heading 3. There are 9 levels in any List Style. 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).

There are good reasons for using the built-in Heading styles.

Before you begin the numbering, make sure your Heading styles are set up appropriately.

Modify the Heading 1 style so that it is based on "No style". Modify Heading 2 so it's based on Heading 1. Modify Heading 3 based on Heading 2. And so on. Not everyone does this, but I find it useful because of the way the formatting of Word's styles cascade.

Now, modify the Paragraph settings of every Heading style so that the Left Indent is 0, and the Special indent is set to (none). Do this even if you want your headings to be indented from the left margin, and even if you want a hanging indent. Why? Because for outline-numbered styles, we will set the paragraph indent and the hanging indents (if any) when we set up the numbering.

To create your list style, on the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click the Multilevel list menu. From the menu, choose Define New List Style In the Define New List Style dialog (Figure 3), do (only) two things:

Give your list style a name.
Hint: Give it a plural name. That makes it clear that this is a list style that's controlling more than one paragraph style. And, give it a name directly related to the paragraph styles you're going to use. We're going to use paragraph styles Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3 etc. So I suggest that you name the list style as Headings.
On the Format menu, click Numbering.

We're now in the Modify Multilevel List dialog box (Figure 5). The list style is the co-ordinating mechanism for the whole "set" of paragraph styles we'll use. So we set up all levels of numbering in this one dialog box.

To set up the numbering:

In the Modify multilevel list dialog, click the More button.
Attach the Heading paragraph styles to the 9 levels in the list style. To do that:
    In the 'Click level to modify' list, select level 1. In the 'Link level to style' box, choose Heading 1. That attaches paragraph style Heading 1 to level 1 of the list style.

    In the 'Click level to modify' list, select level 2 and attach style Heading 2. And attach Heading 3 to level 3, Heading 4 to level 4 and so on.
Now we tell Word about the numbering itself for Level 1
    In the 'Click level to modify' list, click level 1.
    Delete anything in the 'Enter formatting for number" box.
    If you want the numbering to start with some text (eg to number a paragraph as "Chapter 1" or "Section 1") then enter the text including any space in the 'Enter formatting for number' box. Leave the insertion point after your text.
    From the Number style for this level list, choose the kind of numbering you want.
Set up numbering for levels 2 to 9.
    In the 'Click level to modify' list, choose Level 2.
    Delete anything in the 'Enter formatting for number" box.
    If you want to include a previous level's numbering, then use the 'Include level number from' box. If you want punctuation after each level, add it into the 'Enter formatting for number' box as you go.

    For example, for Level 2, I might want the numbering to be "1.1". That is, I want the Level 1 number and the Level 2 number. So, from the 'Include level number from' box, I choose 'Level 1'. Then I type a full stop (full point, period, whatever). Then I choose from the 'Number style for this level' box.

    You have to do each previous level separately. By the time you come to do Level 9, if you want paragraphs numbered, you need to add Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 etc, all the way to Level 8. This can get tedious, but hang in there!
    From the Number style for this level list, choose the kind of numbering you want for the current level.
    Repeat for each of levels 3 to 9. If you don't want numbering for a level, leave the 'Enter formatting for number' box empty.
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+1 wah! So comprehensive. Thanks! I will try it out & be back later to award the answer. – Mawg Mar 5 '12 at 23:55

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