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A common question that comes up is about the difference between multilevel lists and list styles. Stuart discussed these two list types in his post The Many Levels of Lists. What I hope to do in this blog post is an in-depth look at the similarities and differences between these two concepts.
An easy way to look at this would be to think of list styles as an improved version of multilevel lists, since both are ways to define all nine levels of a list in one go. So, why do we need both?
Well, a multilevel list is a feature that can be found in Word documents dating back to very early versions of Office. In order for these documents to render correctly in newer version of Office, this feature is maintained and made to work alongside new Word features. The disadvantage, as Stuart mentioned, is that multilevel lists could not be named, modified or easily exported to other documents and templates.
List styles were introduced in Office 2007 to give lists the same advantages as other styles (paragraph and characters styles), which included:
By allowing the list style to be named, Word is now able to better keep the definition of the list separate from the actual instance of the list. That way a single list style can be referenced by multiple lists and each list can have its own individual tweaks if necessary.
Let's start by going through the dialog used to create and modify these two list types. As a quick review, you can create a new multilevel style or a list style by going to the third numbering button on the Home tab.
Other than the differences mentioned above, the features available for both types of lists are identical (as illustrated by the diagrams below). When creating a new multilevel list, you are thrown directly into a dialog that shows all of your available options for customizing the list. This dialog can be a bit daunting, so for list styles in Office 2007, we followed the example set by the other styles and simplified the dialog you are first shown. And also like the other styles, we list all of your customization options under the "Format" button. Once you select "Numbering…" under this button, you are presented with all of the same, advanced options as multilevel lists.
Another strong point of list styles is the ability to share them across documents. This way, once you've spent the time customizing the lists in your document, you can re-use the style in other documents you create. The easiest way to share the "formatting" of a multilevel list is to copy a list from one document to anther and then modified the items of the list to suit the needs of the new document. With list styles, you can transfer them quickly to a new document the same way as other styles: through the Styles Organizer. This way only the formatting you want is transferred not the unnecessary content.
I'm not going to go through the full details of how bullets and numbers are represented in OOXML (although, if you are interested, you can find the ISO standard here: http://standards.iso.org/ittf/PubliclyAvailableStandards/index.html )
Simply put, the xml parts, within the document package, which are most important to multilevel lists and list styles, are document.xml and numbering.xml. Numbering.xml stores the actual definition of the list, while the document.xml part contains the main document text and references the numbering.xml part for the information on how the list should be formatted. The underlying structures of a multilevel list vs. a list style are quite similar.
You can also tell, from the sample above , that list styles grew out of multilevel lists by the fact that the <w:multiLevelType> element for both constructs are the same.
Hopefully, this blog post gave you a better understanding of these two list types and why they both exist in Word today. If you have any other questions about the similarities/differences, please let me know and I'll try to pull together another blog post with the answers.
Finally, this makes sense! Thanks for this!
How do the list indents fit into this in Word 2007? Particularly for just plain numbered lists, there were indent settings in 2003 that appear to be available in Word 2007 only on the right click menu "adjust list indents". This setting seems particularly relevant when restarting numbering, which sets the indents from these list indents and not from the paragraph settings. For multilevel lists are the list indents the settings under "Position"? And are those settings equivalent to the "adjust list indent" settings for simple numbered lists? Also what is the priority of the indent settings for the built in multilevel list vs. paragraph settings?
One question I have is this. If I create a file in Word 2007 using these features and then send it to another user with Word 2003, will the data and/or presentation be changed. Thanks for your patience. Regards, Ivan
Do either of these techniques allow you to specify paragraph styles for the actual text at different numbering levels? I've been trying to do this for about three hours now, and have nearly punched my monitor in frustration (instead I punched my cat, which is cheaper and has worse resolution). It appears that you have replaced one completely useless feature with another, completely separate, completely useless feature. I sincerely hope that this is not the case. All I want is for the top level numbering to have paragraph text that looks like a heading, and subsequent levels to have body-style text. This, it seems, is not too much to ask. Is it?
I feel the Word team has no idea what quality and sheer number of typographical features users expect from Word 2010 (after all these years of no support-real small caps STILL not supported) so please do a search for "Word 2010 Typography" and take the feedback (top 50 results links) into account before releasing Word 2010. Also take a look at OS X and Apple's Pages.
What is "organizer"
When I search in Word 2010 Help, it find nothing.
What impact does this undocumented Word 2010 option have upon a document?
Go to File | Options | Advanced | Editing Options. Scroll to "Updating Style to Match Selection". Choices include:
"Keep previous numbering and bullets pattern" (default) OR
"Add numbering or bullets to all paragraphs with this style"
Alt+Ctrl+Shift+S opens the Style dialog box. In the bottom center should be a button that is the Manage Styles selection (hover over it with your mouse). When that dialog comes up, look in the lower left for the Import/Export button. Selecting that opens the Organizer dialog. Highlight the List Style or Style that you want to copy from the document you are in to the Normal doc. This will allow you to always have the List Style available to you.
I have several software application tutorials (original marked up in DITA) that I need to convert to Word 2010 documents (these tutorials need to be edited by authors who have Word, but no DITA experience). Each tutorial contains a procedure that consists of a series of steps. Each step instructs the user to perform some action. In many cases, a step includes additional information about that action, such as what response to expect from the application. That additional information might be quite "rich": it might include figures and tables with captions. Each step might also contain substeps. In terms of Word formatting, then, each step can consist of multiple paragraphs.
After reading carefully (although perhaps not carefully enough!) all of the advice I could find on multilevel lists in Word 2010, I created a Numbered Lists list style that links level 1 to the (unnumbered, unindented) Body Text paragraph style (that I use for "body text" paragraphs outside of the aforementioned step-by-step procedures), level 2 to the List Number paragraph style, level 3 to List Number 2, and so on (up to List Number 5).
This has the desired effect of restarting the numbering of List Number (the "first level" of numbered list, although defined as level 2 in the list style) after a Body Text paragraph.
For the "additional information" paragraphs following each numbered List Number (or List Number 2-5) paragraph, I use List Continue and List Continue 2-5 (and List Bullet and List Bullet 2-5, and a host of others), to match the indenting level (so far, I have not defined, say, a list style for the List Continue paragraph styles!). How I miss the nesting (and relative indents) of elements in DITA (or XHTML, for that matter).
An unintended, and undesirable, effect of linking Body Text to level 1 of my list style is that any paragraph that is based on Body Text also resets List Number (except, curiously, the List Number and List Number 2-5 paragraph styles themselves, which are based on Body Text). So, I have had to change many paragraph styles (the ones I might want to use inside these multilevel lists) from being based on Body Text to being based on what Body Text is based on, which is Normal.
I realize that, instead of using Body Text, I could have confected a new paragraph style to link to level 1 of my list style (say, "List Number Reset"), and explicitly inserted an instance of this paragraph style to reset the numbering of List Number. But I deliberately chose not to do that, because I wanted the "common sense" (at least, common sense to me) behavior of "Body Text resets List Number".
(Actually, I have ended up coining a "List Number Reset" paragraph - that is based on Body Text - as a kludge to explicitly restart List Number in the very few cases where a Body Text paragraph - or a paragraph based on Body Text - does not naturally fall between two List Number lists.)
Any thoughts on this (linking Body Text to level 1 in a list style)?
I've been updating styles in one Word 2010 document. I've used Manage Styles > Import/Export... to copy all of those styles to another document that was originally a copy of that first document.
First problem: after copying the styles from the first document, all the bullets disappeared from the List Bullet (List Bullet 2, etc.) paragraph styles in that second document. (Interestingly, the Organizer description for the List Bullet style only showed the "indent" property - no bullet character - even though the style definition in Modify Style, and also in Reveal Formatting, showed the bullet properties.) So, in the first document, I created a list style ("Bulleted Lists") and linked the List Bullet and List Bullet 2-5 paragraph styles to that list style. Then I recopied all styles to the second document. Now the bullets are back.
Next problem: after copying styles from the first document, List Number Reset (a paragraph style based on Body Text, as described in my previous comment) no longer resets numbered lists in the second document, even though List Number Reset continues to reset numbered lists in the first document. So, that work I did to unhitch paragraph styles from being based on Body Text turns out to be unnecessary; at least, when the styles are copied from one document to another.
What a mess. Again. :-(. What am I doing wrong?