Restarting list numbering manually with the Restart Numbering command

Article contributed by Margaret Aldis (Click here to go to Margaret's website).

This article covers how to restart the numbering of style-based lists using the Word Restart Numbering command available in Word from version 2002, and explains the problems of this method. For other methods of restarting numbering, see How to restart style-based numbering.

The Restart Numbering command appears on the right-click (shortcut) menu when a numbered paragraph is selected, or you can put the command on a toolbar by using Tools > Customize - the command is called RestartNumbering and is listed under All commands. To restart numbering, put your cursor in the paragraph to restart, and then select the command. The effect of the command is to reapply the list template as direct formatting, and to set a mysterious and undocumented 'restart marker' on the paragraph. It does not make any change to the style, the list template, or the linkage between them, but it does cause Word to restart the count for the numbering at this point.

Word also includes a built-in command to continue numbering, but in style-based lists the simplest and safest method of removing the 'restart marker' is to reset the paragraph to style, either by reapplying the style or by using the built-in command ResetPara (Ctrl-Q).

Never restart numbering using the Format > Bullets and Numbering dialog. Even if you leave the pane selection unchanged, this can build up additional list templates in the document. If you do change the pane, you are likely to find Word has made unintended changes to your styles, and if your list template was named new or duplicate names may appear.

Note that you cannot record the Restart Numbering command in a macro - the macro recorder creates code that uses the ListGalleries collection, exactly as if you had used the Bullets and Numbering dialog. If you need to restart numbering in this way from within a macro, see Restart numbering using VBA.

Pros and Cons

The Restart Numbering command is now the 'standard' Word way of restarting lists, and appears to be stable when used simply within a single document. It is 'out-of-the-box' compatible with saving as Web pages.

The main problems with this method are:

Because of these problems, the manual restart method cannot be recommended for professional 'long document' work, unless you also use macro workarounds to preserve and reapply the restarts, as discussed in Restart numbering using VBA.