[Athen] Numbered headings in Word: bug, or my goof?

Bourne, Sarah (MASSIT) sarah.bourne at mass.gov
Wed Aug 30 09:29:59 PDT 2017

When using numbering with headings, you need to create a List Style from the "multilevel" icon (never the single level list!), and link that new list style to the heading styles. Linking to the headings is why you might not want to use the provided list styles. Using the multilevel is what makes it start a new list in a new section instead of continuing the numbering.

I sent this link around last week with the steps and details: How to create numbered headings or outline numbering<http://www.shaunakelly.com/word/numbering/outlinenumbering.html>. When I follow those instructions exactly, I have no problems. When I try to wing it, I get all kinds of list misbehavior.

Sarah E. Bourne
Director of IT Accessibility
1 Ashburton Place, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02108
Office: (617) 626-4502
sarah.bourne at mass.gov | www.mass.gov/eotss<http://www.mass.gov/anf/research-and-tech/oversight-agencies/itd/>
Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS)
EOTSS provides secure and quality digital information, services, and tools
to constituents and service providers when and where they need them.

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Susan Kelmer
Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 10:07 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: Re: [Athen] Numbered headings in Word: bug, or my goof?

I have definitely run into this. What I've found is that if I put a blank line between the end of the A-materials, before starting the B materials, then the numbering part reverts to 1, 2, 3, etc. You might try that.

More white space also makes a document more readable for most people, so it's a win-win!

Susan Kelmer
Alternate Format Production Program Manager
Disability Services
University of Colorado Boulder

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Christine Robinson
Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 7:55 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: [Athen] Numbered headings in Word: bug, or my goof?

Hi all -

I've been working on a policy manual, attempting to remediate it for accessibility. This is my first time working with a long-ish document (31 pages) that uses numbered headings that follow traditional outline levels. I've run into a problem with Word's automatic numbering, and I'm not sure whether it's a bug in Word, or whether I'm doing something wrong.

When I was sent the original document, I cleared all the formatting out of it, copied and pasted the text into a new Word document, and created a new set of headings as follows:

* Heading 1 for the title

* Heading 2 for Roman numerals in an outline

* Heading 3 for uppercase letters in an outline

* etc.

When I start applying headings, initially everything is fine and dandy. However, as I get farther down in the document, Word keeps wanting to change my headings' numbering, so that if, for example, I have headings something like...

I. words words

A. words words

1. words words words

2. words words

B. blah blah

Then, when I get into the subtopics for section B, Word insists on continuing numbering from section A:
I. word words

A. words words

1. words words words

2. words words

B. blah blah

3. blah blah

4. blahdy blah

...and the farther I get in the document, the worse it gets.

I can go into the numbering menu manually, and set it to restart numbering, and that works early in the document. But as I keep going, Word ignores my attempts to restart numbering, or it accepts my numbering for that subtopic, but it also changes the numbering in previous sections, so then I have to go back and re-fix those. I don't know whether I'm doing something wrong, or whether it's just a bug in Word.

My bottom-line question: Since Word seems determined to continue numbering from previous sections instead of restarting numbering, am I doing something wrong, or is that a bug in Word that requires my awkward work-arounds?


Christine Robinson | Technical Trainer/Writer | Center for Teaching Excellence
Georgia Gwinnett College | 1000 University Center Lane | Lawrenceville, GA 30043

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