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How to link to a numbered list item

Let's say I have a numbered list of goals, which I've formatted using the standard "Numbered List" in Confluence.


  1. Reduce crash rate
    1. Implement crash monitoring metrics
  2. Improve customer retention
    1. Give away free stuff
    2. Put lots of smiley faces in text

On a separate page, I want to describe projects that meet these goals


  • Name: "Operation Stable"
  • Goal Affected: 1.1 'Implement crash monitoring metrics'
  • Developers: 10

Do you see the reference I have created under 'Goal Affected', which links from the Projects page to a specific item in a numbered list on the Goals page? That is what I want to do, but I cannot figure it out. I've tried:

1) Creating a table of contents on Goals that outputs my numbered list items (2 deep), and then linking to outputted TOC items. This is not currently possible because my TOC requires using heading levels & setting "Minimum Heading Level" in the TOC. Manually applying heading levels (H1, H2, H3, H4) to each line in my numebred list is not practical, and it totally kills the formatting.

2) Manually defining anchors for each item, and then referencing that anchor

Any suggestions appreciated. It sounds like what I need is a slightly more robust 'TOC' that can index numbered lists to an arbitrary depth, that would be the most elegant solution. Such as what Microsoft Word does in its TOCs.

3 answers

1 accepted

0 votes
Answer accepted

Answering my own question as "this is not currently possible and should be a feature request" so that I stop getting spam to my work email address from Atlassian Answers begging me to resolve this question.

Did you submit a feature request for this? If so can you post a link so it can be up voted please?

I'm also interested in this. It's equivalent to cross-reference functionality in MS Word. Was there a feature request made?

I'd like this feature as well. While working on Use Cases it is useful even on the same page to be able to dynamically reference a list item's item number.

For example


  1. Use case step 1
  2. Use case step 2
  3. Use case step 3
  4. ....


In another part of the document:



2.1 variation on step 2

3.1 variation on step 3


Now it would be very nice that if I add a new item between 1 and 2 that the variation steps automatically update to display 3.1 and 4.1 rather than having to manually update those numbers.


0 votes
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
May 07, 2013


Defining anchors should be possible. Did you find that approach didn't work for you? If so, can you please specify the steps you took and the results?

For reference, I am including a how-to that details the process - just in case you missed a step, etc.

Jason | Atlassian

Using an anchor would work. I should have been more specific. The problems with using an anchor are:

1) In the source doucment, if the item's numbering or description were to change, as regularly happens with team-collaborated numered lists (from 1.1 some item to 1.1.1 some item with new details), my anchor is broken because I manually have to go in to the referencing document and update the link to read "1.1.1 some items with new details".

2) Creating an anchor is time-consuming. Take a look at how MS Word's "Insert Cross-reference to numbered item" works. This generates a list of numbered items in the source document and I simple click on the desired numbered item (1.1) and hit 'Insert'. If I should then renumber or change that items' description, and reindex my document, the link gets updated automatically.

I guess this is a feature request, then, since you indicate anchors is the way to solve this problem currently. It appears this level of robust numbered item linking is not yet supported in Confluence.



this would be very useful for document control as items in lists are often cross-referenced many other places and having automatic updating would be very useful if one document is changed.  It would be to:

1) When creating an anchor, allowing the anchor text to show in the linked to document (say 1.1 based on automatic numbering).  Then, when I create a document and say "cross-referenced to PR-" and I insert a link back to the anchor 1.1 I get "cross-referenced to 1.1".  Now if later, that original item PR-1.1 becomes PR-1.2, my other document updates to show "cross-referenced to PR-1.2"

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