LINGUIST List 15.1746

Tue Jun 8 2004

Sum: Automatic Numbering in Word

Editor for this issue: Steve Moran <>


  1. Janet Randall, autonumbering in Word

Message 1: autonumbering in Word

Date: Thu, 3 Jun 2004 15:22:11 -0400 (EDT)
From: Janet Randall <>
Subject: autonumbering in Word

There was a flurry of responses on this question (Linguist 15.1324).
Thanks to everyone who replied (50 in all!). Some people have been
completely unsuccessful, others more so, but they often have to
"trick" the program to get it to do what they want. One mentioned the
"threatening notes to Bill Gates i've composed in my head in the
process." And, "I have had success using automatic numbering in Word,
but the trick is not to use the ''automatic numbering'' function that
Word gives you. Instead, you need to write a little macro."

The suggestions used several different functions:
a) captions and cross-references 
b) File --> Page Setup ---> Layout --> Line Numbers
 (view must be in print layout mode)
 (from (has glitches)
c) Insert --> Field --> AutoNumLgl
d) Insert --> Field --> Listnum
e) format --> bullets & numbering
 (but this is considered "unstable" (see 2, below).

A number of contributors sent links to websites with tips for
linguists on using MSWord, which include other treasures besides
automatic example numbering. Others sent documents with
instructions. I will give those first, then I will lay out one set of
simple instructions for doing examples that worked for me (see below,
numbering for idiots).


(1) Created by a linguist:
 "Word tricks: MS Word for linguists:

(2) General: this came with a caveat:
 if you have to use Word, you can
 find its numbering explained at:

(3) General: There is an entire newsgroup, devoted to
 various numbering issues (and how-tos).

(4) This is a step-by-step walk-through with illustrations,
 by David Denison, U. of Manchester. (

(5) A webpage of resources for linguists on using word:

(6) A link to Ora Matushkansky's homepage, with a
 downloadable macro:
 The macro generates an autonumber and a unique bookmark to
 go with it. For each new bookmark, the macro updates the
 corresponding global variable in your template, so even if
 you copy an example from one document to another, you
 don't run the risk of conflicting bookmarks.

After reading many of the contributions, I decided to try one that
uses captions and cross-referencing to see if I could get it to work.
I did. Here it is.



If the reference precedes the example, leave ()s in the text and make
the examples first, using:

insert --> reference --> caption

inside there, choose:

new label; call it (

It will insert a stray extra space between the ( and the number,
which you must delete.

To refer to the example, choose

insert --> reference --> cross-reference

and choose

reference type: (

Then choose:

insert reference: only label & number

uncheck: insert as hyperlink

then click on:

for which caption (choose the example you want),

then click on:



Here is the output:

Consider the example in (1) below.

(1) first example

Now consider (2) and (3).

(2) second example
(3) third example 

I want to refer back to the first example, (1). And now I want to
refer to it again, (1), and compare it to (3). Now consider (4)

(4) the cat in the hat

It is unlike (5a,b) in its preposition choice, but like (5c).

(5)	a.	the bug on the rug
	b.	the frog on the log
	c.	the mouse in the house

I did not get the a or b to cross-reference. But I didn't try,
either. Good luck, everyone.
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