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  1. #1
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    Misbehaving heading numbers in Word 2007

    My client requires me to use Word 2007, and one of its quirks is driving me up the wall.

    I'm writing a document with outline-numbered section headings. I'm using the standard Word heading styles (Heading 1, Heading 2, etc). This should automatically produce consecutive numbers within each section. In earlier versions of Word it did. In Word 2007 it doesn't.

    When I add a new Heading 2, and then add Heading 3 sections within it, the Heading 3's should be numbered 1, 2, 3, 4,... Instead they invariably continue the number in the previous Heading 2 section, as if the new Heading 2 were not there.

    I should be able to fix that by selecting the first Heading 3 under the Heading 2, opening the "Bullets and Numbering" dialog, and clicking the "Restart numbering" button. That does renumber the first Heading 3 -- but only the first one! The rest of the Heading 3's continue the numbering of the ones under the preceding Heading 2. I end up with a document numbered like this:

    Heading 2 #1: Heading 3 sections numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

    Heading 2 #2: Heading 3 sections numbered 1, 6, 7.

    Heading 2 #3: Heading 3 sections numbered 1, 8, 9, 10.

    And so on.

    To fix this I must change the first two Heading 3's in each Heading 2 section to an unnumbered style, then change them back.

    If I then I do some more editing the headings return to their previous state, and I have to fix them all again.

    Sometimes the numbering gets even more contorted, with two or more gaps in a Heading 2 section's Heading 3 numbering. This takes even more work to fix.

    Does anyone know how to make the numbering work as it should?

  2. #2
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    Word Numbering

    Welcome to the weird wacky world of word outline numbering.
    You need to forget about direct formatting via Bullets & numberin dialog.

    Best I can do is direct you to an article by one of the Word mvps, Shauna Kelly.
    Other mvp sites will also have articles about this topic.

    http://www.shaunakelly.com/word/numb...numbering.html
    Apply numbering via styles. Direct formatting is evil

    Cheers
    Geof

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    There are also a number of helpful previous posts relating to this, right here on this forum! (a search on 'multilevel list' will bring up lots of them). Here's one that's particularly relevant: Broken List Numbering.

    Shauna Kelly's instructions are helpful, but I think List Styles are overkill for most one-off purposes. Following the instructions in the post linked to here, you should be able to define your multilvel list elements directly, without needing to define a List Style.

    Gary

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    Gary: thanks for your effort to help. Unfortunately this is getting worse, not better.

    I read the "Broken List Numbering" thread and tried to follow the instructions. The results were not formatted as I wanted. How to fix them? Since I created the problem while using "Define new Multilevel list," I'd expect to fix it with "Modify Multilevel list" -- but there is no such item in the menu.

    I looked at the individual heading styles, but the problematic formatting was not reflected there. Apparently a "multilevel list" is something in its own right, not a wrapper for the styles it refers to; but it can't be a style, since I was never prompted to give it a name. I have no idea what it is or how to modify it now that I have created it.

    I looked at the style list's "New Style" dialog and saw that there's a "list" style type, which apparently lets me define a multilevel list style with a name, so that I can edit it. That should let me create a multilevel list that meets my needs. But it seems wrong to have to define a multilevel list from scratch because the one invoked automatically by the heading styles isn't behaving correctly. That's acting like a dog who digs under a fence because the fence is in front of him, although there's a gate ten feet over.

    Maybe in this case the fence has no gate, and I'll have to dig a hole. But I feel I should ask first: isn't there a way to fix the problem, rather than build a replacement for the broken feature from scratch?

    Geof: I didn't understand your reply at all. You're right that direct formatting creates problems, and I'm not doing it for anything except the "restart numbering" setting. I agree, it's wrong that I have to do even that; the list should restart automatically, like it did in earlier versions of Word, and making it do so is the problem I've focused on.

    You seem to be implying that I should create a set of new heading styles with the "Restart numbering" attribute selected, and apply them to the first level-2 heading under each level-1 heading, the first level-3 heading under each level-2 heading, etc. But that doesn't seem to be possible; "Restart numbering" isn't really a style attribute at all. Word doesn't save it when I define a paragraph style from an example, and doesn't let me set it when I modify an existing style's list properties.

    Even if I could do that, it would create another problem which I'd then have to solve: how to make the table of contents generator make TOC entries for two different styles at each level under the first? This looks like another "digging under the fence" solution.
    Last edited by jsachs177; 2011-04-13 at 13:16.

  5. #5
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    Hi again,

    As has been pointed out here before, the "Define New Multilevel List" button is misnamed - it really functions as both "Define New Multilevel List" AND "Modify Existing Multilevel List" (!) - so you were in the right place.

    You can't look at the numbering properties that are associated with any given style, via that style's 'Modify Style' dialog - that's because the numbering properties are associated with the style, but are not part of the that style (and in fact, that's the way it's always been in earlier versions of Word as well - the distinction was muddied in the past by permitting you to access the Outline Numbering dialog, via a style's Modify Styles dialog).

    You don't need to give a multilevel list a name (nor, I think, is it important to define a List Style), but it can often be helpful to define your own multilevel list from scratch, using the "Define new Multilevel List" dialog - in fact, that's really the best way to ensure that you have control over the properties of the list (and this was also always the case in earlier versions of Word, when modifying outline numbering).

    Regarding your question to Geof: no, you should never have to define extra styles with Restart Numbering selected - if the Multilevel List is set up correctly, lower levels will always restart after an instance of a higher level in the list (again, something that's the way it's always been with Word outline numbering/multilevel lists).

    Would it be possible to attach a sanitized version of your problem document? - I'm betting it's something that could be fixed in minutes.

    Gary

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    I may or may not be able to post a sanitized version. When I tried to create a minimal one, the problems didn't occur. Trying to sanitizing the document without removing the problem may be very time consuming, or impossible, or both.

    I'd really like to have meaningful section numbers in my document, and I'd really like to know how to fix this problem, but the document will be converted to a wiki at the end of the project, so this is not a "must fix" problem. I'm approaching a limit on the amount of time I can justify spending on it.

    Meanwhile, though, I seem to have created another problem in the course of trying to solve the original problem.

    I mentioned that I tried creating a special style to use for the first level 3 heading under a level 2 heading, and it didn't work. Well, now I can't get rid of it.

    The style is named Heading 3 1st. I reset all of the headings on which I used it to Heading 3. Then, according to the documentation I've found, I should be able to delete it by right clicking it in the "Styles" list and selecting Delete from the context menu. But there is no Delete in the context menu.

    Worse: even after I have corrected the multi-level list I defined, Word continues to misnumber the headings; and when I try to correct the problem by setting the first Heading 3 in a series to "Restart numbering," Word sets its style back to Heading 3 1st!

  7. #7
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    From what I can tell of your description, the first problem was that someone had failed to set the restart after for number level 3 in the outline/multilevel list dialog. The second is that the list broke when you manually reset the numbering using the flyout (right click) menu. This behavior is the same as it is in W2003. You have not described your list scheme, but I'm going to guess that it is 1 Heading 1, 1.1 Heading 2, 1.1.1 Heading 3.

    Your fix is to, first, change the Heading 3 1st's to Heading 3's (sorry ... again) and clear the manual formatting by clicking on the first level 3 number (not the paragraph) in the document (all should then have a grey background) and pressing Ctrl+spacebar. Second, put the cursor in the first level 1 heading in the document. Then, click the multilevel list button and from the list library choose the list that looks like the one I described above. Okay out to the document.

    If your list is customized, you'll need to modify it in the multilevel list dialog. Follow the first and second steps above, then click the multilevel list button, and choose Define new multilevel list. In the dialog, go to level three, click the more button to expand the dialog, put a check in the Restart list after box, and set the drop-down list to Level 2. Okay out to the document.

    One of these suggestions should fix your problem.

    HTH,
    Pam

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    Pam, I followed your instructions exactly (including the ones that changed nothing because I had already performed them). The numbering is just the same as before.

    I did at least figure out how to delete the Heading 3 1st style by using the "Manage Styles" dialog. Word can't change Heading 3 paragraphs back to Heading 3 1st any more.

    Thanks for your efforts to help. I can't spend any more time on this. I'll live with the wacky numbering until the document is converted to wiki form, and in the future I'll warn any client who asks me to produce documents with Word 2007 or later... at least until Microsoft cleans up its act.

  9. #9
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    I found time to build a sanitized document that demonstrates the error.

    I sanitized the document mainly by selecting the block of paragraphs under each heading and replacing it with a single paragraph consisting of the word "text." When I did this to the block under the level-3 heading "Initialization," Word made the "text" paragraph a numbered paragraph with the style "List paragraph" and the number "2." At the same time the following level 3 heading, "Getting an instance of XXX," was renumbered from "2" to "1."

    I looked at the "Initialization" heading and discovered that it had reverted to the style "Heading 3 1st," even though I eliminated the use of that style and deleted it from the style catalog several days ago.

    Word treated the "text" paragraph the same way every time I inserted it after a level-3 heading, although all of the others were styled "Heading 3" instead of "Heading 3 1st."
    Attached Files Attached Files

  10. #10
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    I'm so glad you came back. I've been thinking of this problem.

    You have two (at least) multilevel lists in the document. It looks like the kind of mult-iauthor, mult-isource documents that I see so much of. Your chapter headings are in one list with only heading 1 linked to a number level. The other list was probably at one time.
    A no style linked,
    1 Heading 2,
    1.1 Heading 3, but this was unlinked probably by the manual restart.

    You are probably well less than a half hour away from coherent numbering:

    Select the whole document. Click the multilevel list icon and in the list library, click none.
    --This step may not always be necessary. I just like to be sure: Back in the document, modify Heading 1, 2, and 3 style to get rid of the numbering (modify > format > numbering > none).
    Place the cursor in the first heading 1 in the document. In the Multilevel list library click the list icon for 1 Heading 1, 1.1 Heading 2, 1.1.1 Heading 3.
    With the cursor still in the first heading 1 in the document, click the multilevel list icon again. The click define new multilevel list. In levels 2 and 3, remove the number field for level 1 (the leftmost number) and its period.

    That's it. You can have more than one list in a document, but number levels can only interact (restart, etc.) when they are in the same list.

    Good luck,

    Pam
    Last edited by PamCaswell; 2011-04-19 at 21:17.

  11. #11
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    Thank you for sticking with me. I'm sorry to report that we're not out of the woods yet.

    Here's an exact account of what happened:

    1. I selected the whole document, clicked the multilevel list icon, and selected "None."

    2. I opened the file, then opened the style gallery. Heading 1 was not listed.

    3. I clicked the Options link to see what the gallery was displaying and found that it was (supposedly) displaying all styles used in the document. Wrong...

    4. I put the insert point in the first Heading 1, opened the Apply Styles box, clicked the Modify button, and selected "Format > Numbering," opening the "Numbering and Bullets" box. The "None" option had a gold frame around it, which I assume means it is (supposedly) selected, although the heading was numbered. I clicked "None" and "OK" anyway, then clicked OK, which closed "Numbering and Bullets." I closed the "Modify Styles" box. Now the heading was unnumbered.

    5. I put the insert point in the first Heading 2, clicked the Modify button, and got "Microsoft Office Word has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience."

    I've tried this on the document three times now, with the same result every time. I haven't tried it on the sanitized version.
    Last edited by jsachs177; 2011-04-20 at 13:47.

  12. #12
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    Actually we're doing OK. Now we know the document is damaged. You should be able to fix it by using Open and Repair (Office button > Open. With the file name selected, click the arrow on the Open button on the lower right of the dialog. Then click Open and Repair. When Word opens, it will tell you where it found the errors (numbering or styles, I'd guess). Inspect the repaired document to make sure all the text is there. Save and perhaps rename it and use use this version from now on. I usually run Open and Repair a second time.

    I think you should now be ready to apply the new list scheme.

    Pam

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    The method I used to fix this doc was not as labour-intensive:
    1. Put my cursor in the paragraph 1. Guided Tour
    2. On the Home Ribbon, go to the Multilevel List dropdown and choose the List Library #6 (1, 1.1, 1.1.1 etc)
    3. On the Home Ribbon, go to the Multilevel List dropdown and choose Define new Multilevel List
    4. Click the More>> button and verify that for each level, the 'Link level to style' setting is on the relevant Heading #
    5. Click OK
    6. Put cursor in paragraph 'Is this page for you?' and press Ctrl-Q to reset the paragraph numbering

    Everything worked from that point onwards. In reality, I didn't even need steps 4 and 5 unless I wanted to modify the attributes of the numbering. The most important step was #6 AFTER the all styles were linked to the same outline list.
    Last edited by Andrew Lockton; 2011-04-20 at 21:51.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    I followed your (Pam's) suggestion. Word said it found an error in "Numbered Styles 1." I saved the file, then tried to apply the correction procedure. Word crashed in the same place as before.

    I tried repairing and saving the file twice, and Word said it found the error both times. Then I tried repairing and saving it a third time, and Word found the error again. Apparently it detects the error but never fixes it.

    I don't think I'll be able to spend any more time on this for a while. The project ends in three weeks, so "a while" may turn into forever. I'd still like to figure out how to fix the problem in case I encounter it again, but the chances that we'll be able to correct this document are dwindling.

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