How to Use Zapps Pro
The Collection

Pro List Numbering: Find New Lists

Pro List Numbering group on The Collection ribbon

Use Find New Lists to to locate all numbered lists, simple or multi-level, in an open Word documents.

Zapps Pro selects the non-list paragraph just preceding each list that is found. You will use the special controls provided to mark the lists. This allows Zapps Pro to manage the lists properly. 


To Find New Lists

When you click the Find New Lists button:

  1. You will see an indicator of where your cursor is in the document because Zaps Pro will return you to that spot when this process is finished.
  2. For lists that immediately follow a paragraph of text with no paragraph mark in between, you will see each that each non-list paragraph immediately preceding each list has been highlighted.
  3. For lists that have an empty paragraph before them you will see the paragraph mark with a marker indicator next to it.
  4. Both numbered and multi-level bulletted lists will be identified.
  5. You will use the green forward and backward arrows to move through your file from list to list and - for numbered lists that want to always start at "1" - apply a style that Zapps Pro will use to find the lists in the future when you allow Zapps Pro to restart all the numbered lists in your document. 

About the Find New Lists dialog box

Take your time as you first start using this tool. It's not hard to use but you need to pay attention to your computer screen

Find New Lists dialog box
  • You can move the Find New Lists dialog box around on your page.
  • Use the green arrows to advance or go back to a prior list in your file.
  • Look for either a shaded paragraph or the cursor at a paragraph mark above a new list.

At each list you want to mark:

Select a Style in the white box.



Click on Apply Marker Style. 



Or, click on Add Paragraph Marker. This inserts a paragraph mark before your list to mark it.


In the white box under Current Style you see the actual style of the spot where Zapps Pro is in your file.

If you want to use the Current Style style to mark your list:

Click the option to Add Current Style to Marker Style List



You will see the style appear in the New List Marker Styles box



Select it and click on Apply Marker Style.



In Word documents, a list is made up of a continuous series of linked paragraphs.

  • The link is accomplished with a special hidden marker that ties each paragraph to the other.
  • These hidden markers designate the outline level (1 to 9) and the list template that is being used.
  • The list template defines the other qualities of the list including alignment, indenting, and symbol or numbering method.

In the case of numbered lists, the significance of how these list markers control the list’s behavior does not become apparent until new list paragraphs are added to the document.


Why numbered lists?

Numbered lists are particularly problematic because with each new paragraph, regardless of the outline level, the character representing the list item changes. For instance, a numbered list that begins with “1)” has to change to “2)” and “3)” when the second and third paragraphs within the list are added. Contrast that with a bulleted list where all first level list items are designated with the same static symbol, which might be a simple dash (“-“). Because of this consistency of the list item character symbol, bulleted lists, even the multi-leveled ones, are simple and easy to control programmatically. It’s the numbered ones that give everyone gray hairs.

We think it might also be worth mentioning that there has not been any programmatic change to how Word works with numbered lists since 2002. So if your numbered lists appear to be randomly renumbering themselves, it’s not a program bug, it truly is happening by Word’s software design. The only way to minimize its impact on you, especially in large documents, is a programmatic “fix” to restart your list numbering. Otherwise you will have to restart each list manually. By-the-way, whether done manually or programmatically, restarting a list’s numbering is only a temporary fix. It will be overridden in certain circumstances when new numbered lists are added to the document.


A bit more background…

Remember what we described a list to be, “… a continuous series of linked paragraphs” thus when you add a new numbered list somewhere in the document, it will affect all other lists that were previously linked together. This is because list markers have ID’s that are established when the list items are added to the document and they are numerical. 

When you paste in a list from another document, you are also pasting that list’s numerical ID’s. If your existing document already contains that same list marker ID, then Word has to make adjustments, because there cannot be a duplicate ID in the document. The same is true if you manually type in a new list and place it in a location that is previous to another numbered list that already exists in the document. All list marker ID’s have to be reordered and your new list affects the previous one.

The exception to this “all list” renumbering event occurs in tables because the Word software only looks at the first column of tables for list continuation with other numbered lists that exist outside of the table. Numbered lists in other table columns function as if they are an entire document onto themselves.


How can Zapps Pro help?

As new lists are added to the document we cannot stop Word’s renumbering behavior, but we can minimize the amount of manual work you must do to check your document for lists that have renumbered and restart them.

We do this by designating a paragraph style that will always be used to signify that a numbered list follows it. With this “rule” established and the designated paragraph styles identified, our programmatic Zapps Pro solution can locate each list and then look back “over its shoulder” to see if this special paragraph style precedes it, if it does, then Zapps Pro restarts the list numbering.


Zapps Pro Styles

Zapps Pro loads two paragraph styles that
can be used for marking lists:

  1. Zapps Title
  2. Zapps Text

Using Word’s Modify Styles function, you can change the formatting of these styles to anything you desire, but we establish their initial formatting to be based on your Normal style.

  • Zapps Title is formatted in Bold and has different spacing around it, so it is often used for paragraph titles.
  • Zapps Text is meant for basic body style content.

Both styles can be used, and you can also designate other paragraph styles to use. A record is kept in the document so the Zapps Pro Restart Numbering function knows which styles to locate. Another record of the styles you’ve designated for this purpose is kept in the Zapps Pro folder, for new documents you create.


The bottom line is…

  1. Designate a “marker” paragraph style that identifies the point where a new numbered list is to follow.
  2. Use it consistently.
  3. Zapps Pro will have significantly reduce the time and effort you need to spend on managing numbered lists.


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