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How can I continue a numbered list that broke?

I have tried the following codes:
%item value=3% - this should start the list with 3.
%item value=resume% - to tell the engine to pick up where it left off


# Step 1 text here
# Step 2 text here

# %item value=resume% this should be step 3
# this should be step 4

Can this be done in Confluence and how?

11 answers

Still not fixed. Very annoying. Poor User Experience. This is a very basic feature. I struggle with this all the time.

I concur. Atlassian is really dropping the ball on basic user experience lately - on pretty much all their products. 

Like # people like this

We moved to Azure wiki & github issue which is awesome and the transition was much more quicker rather than waiting for decades to altassian to fix simple bugs. Crappy UX and they don't listen to users.  Please let Atlassian die peacefully and move on to better tools. We have lots of options these days.

Like # people like this

The owner of the company is too interested in Climate activism to focus on his actual business...


Atlassian doesn't care about its users. The solution is to find a better tool with a better company.

They certainly don't care about this problem. It's only trivial unless it's screwing up your procedures. How hard can it be to let <ol start> do its job?

Like # people like this

Hi Sanet,

If I understand what you are doing correctly, if you use Shift+Enter to create your line breaks, (rather than just Enter), then your numbered list shouldn't be broken even though the required line break is still in place. Please check and let me know whether this works for you, or whether I have misunderstood what you are trying to do.

All the best,

Thank you John.
The example above might not be the best :-). We have different scenarios where the numbering sequence do get broken, for example, when we use an excerpt or an include and the numebring must follow logically. In those cases, I need to continue the numbering with a number of my choice.

Like Adam Kunicki likes this

That's also not a satisfactory solution because you can't change the format of the inserted lines separately from the format of the numbered line.  (For example, if I need to insert "preformatted" text, when I change the style of the inserted text as preformatted, it affects the numbered line as well.  Similarly, I can't indent the inserted lines for readability, without affecting more than just those lines.)

Like Konrad_Polek likes this

I was talking with my wife about using Confluence at her job.  She rejected Confluence outright because of this problem and found that she could do what she needed with Dropbox Paper...a seemingly much less sophisticated tool.  With that tool, she showed me should could just backspace over the number and put in a new one and pick up from there.

Hi, I'm trying to do a similar thing. I want to continue the number of my steps after the previous content has been put inside a "section" and "column" macro. how can I do this?

Yes, we still need a solution, I have not received an answer for this yet. If we could use HTML then we could use <ol start="3"> to force the list to work from step 3 onwards, but you cannot do this in Confluence.

Like Patrick Kullberg likes this

Five (5) years later and we still need a solution!!!

Still no one has fixed such a simple problem!

Like # people like this

Worse yet, I have access to the HTML controls and can edit my page in HTML... but it doesn't seem to honor the <ol> start attribute.

I tried several times, and it even flagged me as invalid when I tried to save my start value without quotes. When I use "<ol start="4"> it seems to like it fine and I can save... but it doesn't change the broken list, it still starts numbering at 1, and when I go BACK into the code, the start attribute has been removed. 

So it appears that the editor recognizes it and will flag it if it is malformed and not let you save, but if you enter it correctly, the edit will get ignored, removed from your code, and will not take effect.

Anyone else have this experience?

Like # people like this

Make that 6 years without a solution.

Like # people like this

And still counting. Doing a migration to Confluence & the numbering issue is giving us fits. We're using a 30-day trial of the source editor to move <ol> tags around. When we finally get the numbering fixed, it breaks again as soon as we open the WYSIWYG editor. Surely someone can come up with a "continue numbering" feature.

It is not a solution for most of us but you can try that by editing the HTML code:


<li value="3"> will start from 3 </li>

<li>will continue - 4</li>

<li value="10"> will jump to 10</li>


7 years passed and there is still no solution! Good riddance!

Shift+Enter doesn't work if you have an info panel appearing in your list, starts re-numbering after the panel.

If you shift+enter on the last line before the panel, then the first line within the panel moves out of the panel. 

Hey ho Atlassian, it's been 8 YEARS!!! Are you trying to raise a child to develop the fix since then?? 
Still impossible to add an information panel without breaking a list. 

As it is, you are sure that nobody working with your tool will even consider propose Confluence to her company.

Haha so true!!

Like Yoni Friedman likes this

That's frustrating, that because of the simple 2x2 table is breaking the numbering. And there is no way to get it back, even without the proper formatting, just continue the list from the number, where it's stopped

1 vote
Deleted user Apr 26, 2019

Looking for the solution.

Where's the fix?

Like Jennifer Durham likes this
Deleted user May 05, 2019

I guess no fix yet.

Pull up a chair. You're going to be here awhile!

Like Amoz House likes this

Sorry guys and gals, but <SHIFT/ENTER> (holding down the SHIFT key and then pressing ENTER or RETURN) works just fine.  Every line between the last numbered item and the new numbered item must be terminated by <SHIFT/ENTER> instead of just <ENTER>.  It works just fine for me.  John Inder gave this correct answer back in 2012.

It works just fine if you don't want the inserted text formatted differently.  It's not a proper solution, though - see my reply to John's post for a couple of examples.

Like # people like this

I was able to use it (SHIFT/ENTER) even with "preformatted" text, images, or any other content.

Just had to hit SHIFT+Enter three times in order to "create the space" where I wanted to insert the new content, and it worked!

That does work for some cases, but another case where it doesn't seem to work is if you'd like to insert an /info macro or something similar, since this will always break the list. Anyone been able to make that work as part of a numbered item?

Try inserting a table after Shift-Enter and tell me how that works for you.

Adding a workaround that won't satisfy anybody, but might move somebody past a problem.

1. de-number your list. (Select list, click the "1 2 3" numbered list icon to remove numbering.)

2. Starting from first item and going down, prefix each line with a number by just typing the number, e.g. "1.", "2."

The end result is close to a true numbered list, but the formatting is a little different and there is no automatic numbering as you change items in the list.

Like # people like this

I had a numbered list with the Expand macro under each.

1.  Description


2. Description


3. Description



After editing content, the numbering restarted at "1" and I couldn't correct it. (i.e. "3" became "1" even thought bullets 1 and 2 remained as originally intended)

  1. I found by moving the numbered items together (contiguous, leaving the Expand sections in place below), I could fix the numbering order.
  2. Then adding a line break between each numbered Description (additional backspace to remove the number, but preserve the subsequent numbered order).
  3. Then move (drag) each Expand section back into position - Voila!

Not intuitive...but it saved me. :-)

This field formatting works so much better. Why not use the same editor in JIRA and confluence??? 

So much easier to work with:

  1. First number
  2. Second line

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