Oh, happy dance! I've been working in Microsoft Word again (for a content migration project) and I just broke through a major pain point: I figured out how to design style-driven numbered lists that won't go wonky or ever need restarting. If you use Word for technical publications, I hope this brings you joy.
The answer is to use a multilevel list, but with a twist. Multilevel lists are known to most of us as the way to achieve numbered headings, but they also let us create hierarchical structures for lists, both bulleted and numbered:
The trick, in a nutshell, is to create a multilevel list that starts with a "zero" level above the numbered list levels, so that restart numbering always happens correctly. That zero level (here, List Paragraph, Number0) is easily put to use as the standard intro blurb to the procedure:
Here's the plumbing:
Create a set of styles for numbered lists based on List Paragraph.
- Create a new multilevel list (see red circle on toolbar, below).
- For level 1 (far left, under Click level to modify), select your zero-level style (List Paragraph) as the Link level to style.
- For Number format, delete the autonumber (none) and put in a character (for mine, I put a pipe and changed its color, just as a visual).
- For level 2, select your first numbered list style (Number1).
- For Number format, tweak it as you like (I removed the period and changed the font, for example).
- For level 3, select your second numbered list style (Number2). Tweak it as you like.
- Rinse and repeat.
Hope this helps someone!