How to continue a numbered list

Using confluence 4.3.3 - Started a numbered list to add steps in. Inserted a picture and would like to continue with the number list rather than starting at one again. How do you do this?


18 answers

1 accepted

5 votes
Accepted answer

Hello Mike,

This sounds like a great place to use the Source Editor Plugin.

This plugin will allow you to edit the raw html on any page in Confluence. You will just remove the end and begin "ol" tags after your image is inserted.

I think I will use this plugin too... Thanks for the tip @Daniel :D

Thanks for the information, will give it a go.



I've tried this plugin for a few days. It really looks promising.

I just used this plugn for the very purpose of setting starting number.

The changes to the ol tag <ol start="8"> plugin doesn't stick.

For instance this is how HTML should work.

That's standard HTML.  This question is now 5-years OLD and there's still no solution.

See also:

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Hi again,

I wanted to  post this problem as a BUG in the JIRA site.  Alas that apparently cannot be done.  it is a poor show that a bug tracking company won't accept bugs or even provide a service desk portal.

Anyway I wriggled the issue in JIRA here:

Not as a direct bug, alas.

Perhaps visitors here can up-vote it. :-) (y)

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You don't have to use the Source editor.

  1. Create a line feed without affecting the numbering with Shift + Enter.
  2. Press ! to open the image browser and select the image.
  3. Press Enter to create a 'normal' line feed.

Thanks Stefan, this works fine.

This works for images, but I cannot get it to work for info or note macros sad

That worked for code macro as well. Thanks


Hooray! I have been looking for a solution to this for a long time.

Thank you Stefan!  I know it's been a few years since you posted this solution.  So, I don't suppose you've found an easy way to start a list a selected number (like 4 or something) for use folks who are writers and not software engineers?

Shift-Enter doesn't work anymore. While it does create a line break, when you try to create a new numbered line the image appears right on top of it.

Here is a screen shot after I did Shift-Enter, inserted an image, and pressed regular Enter to continue my numbered list.


I am able to correct it by doing multiple Enters and Shift-Enters until it works.

I'm on Confluence cloud.

Yes, I use the SHIFT+ENTER soft return.

Yes, I use the Source Editor.

These are both crappy workarounds that don't always work and require more time and effort tweaking, etc. than should be required. It is ridiculous that there is not a clean resolution by now.

Shift+Enter works fine for me.  Frankly I don't get all the complaints.  How hard is Shift+Enter to do and remember?   Yeah I think it should default to continuing to number after an ordinary Enter (i.e. continue numbering until you deselect the number toggle up top), but if this is your worst Confluence problem, I'd say count your blessings

We use Confluence Cloud so maybe we're missing something about Shift+Enter. What we'd like is for Confluence Cloud's rich text editor to—at a minimum—support specifying the first number of an ordered list. For example:

1.0. Requirements
  1.1. More requirements
  1.2. Yet more requirements
2.0. Second Set of Requirements
  2.1. Some more requirements

SOMETHING BREAKS THE ORDERED LIST (that can't be accommodated by Shift+Enter, or we don't want to format all of 2.1 with the same style)!

3.0. All would be well if Confluence Cloud would let us specify that we'd like to start this ordered list at 3.0.
  3.1. Even better: Confluence Cloud joins 2018 by anticipating which ordered list we'd like to continue here.


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Use Shift+Return to create a line in your list that is un-numbered. Do that as often as you like. You can insert graphics in the un-numbered line.

Press return to re-start the numbered list at the right place.


Thanks Mick and Stefan. On a related note, if I want to add dot points to a number then the number goes astray again. Is it possible to do this? Eg number 1, number 2, dot point, dot point, number 3. (or does this require the source plugin?)

Hello Mick & Stefan, if you are still out there...  This answer did really help a lot; thank you.  This post was in 2013, so I was wondering if in the intervening five years you have figured out an easy, non-technical way to start a numbered list at a selected number?  I'm a writer, not a software engineer.  I have to use Confluence, but am frustrated with simple stuff like trying to do a two column layout with numbered lists.  Such as item 4 starts at the top of the right column (continuing from number 3 that ends at the bottom of the left column).

Got any more easy magic for us?  Thanks!

It is absurd that Confluence still seems to feature no easy way to "Continue Numbering" like Microsoft Word does. Even when you Import numbered content from a Word doc, Confluence re-starts numbering from 1, rather than retaining number values in the Word doc.

See the response above from Steven Eike, about using [shift]+[enter]. This seems to work perfectly for me. It also has by far the most up-votes but I don't think the OP or a moderator has been back to change it to an accepted answer.

Shift-Enter does not work anywhere near 'perfectly', because its paragraph formatting is tied to the previous paragraph. (In fact they are the same paragraph, but with a line break inserted.) This means that any paragraph formatting will impact everything before and after the line break character.

  1. For example
    i create a line break
  2. then i continue numbering
  3. but if i want to add a bullet to the non-numbered line then i get ..
  • For example
    i create a line break

Indeed. It's a shit solution for a problem WE SHOULD NOT HAVE in 2017. This problem was solved DECADES ago.

+1 (for a solution that doesn't require the Source Editor Plugin)—which isn't even an option for Cloud customers.


Atlassian, this is insane! No numbered bullets continuation? This is another most basic document editor functions and it isn't available in Confluence (cloud). 

Not a week goes by that Altassian Confluence doesn't disappoint me. Why oh why?


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I do not want to play with HTML programming stuff.  I just want an option to continue the numbering or not.  Microsoft has it.  Especially the WIKI part since many of us are NOT programmers - we just want clean, clear documentation capabilities.

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The fact this question is being asked and 3 years later is still catching people out says a lot about this product...

How about just being able to cut and paste a graphic.  Using confluence is a pain to upload word documents.  I shouldn't have to reformat my word document and manually figure out a way to import images that work fine in the word document.  It's not like word is a new thing.

Is there some reason a simple HTML expression <ol start="X"> isn't allowed to do its job in Confluence? This is very frustrating, not to mention annoying.

Maybe in the hosted version, but Atlassian restricts just about everything in the web hosted version.

Agreed. I have used the source editor and the shift+return methods to manage keeping my ordered lists properly numbered. However, it can be painful. And now I need to numbering sequence between two sections... What a pain! Can't we get the <ol start="n"> working?

Hi Mike,

For this to be possible, I think you'll need to revert to Daniel's answer above and use the source editor to insert a bulleted <ul> </ul> list inside a <ol> </ol>

Daniel's answer is not applicable to anyone using Confluence Cloud. :(

Hi Ryan,

you're absolutely right! Using the Source plug-in is possible and maybe a solution for technical users. But it is neither efficient nor usable for users who don't know how to use XHTML. I'd recommend to you to use a user macro. I wrote it for you:

## Macro title: nestedNumberedLists
## Macro has a body: Y
## Body processing: Rendered
## Output: HTML
## Developed by: Stefan Eike
## Date created: 24/04/2013
## Installed by: Stefan Eike

## @noparams

&lt;style type="text/css"&gt;
li {
  list-style-type: none;
ol &gt; li {
  counter-increment: h1c;
  counter-reset: h2c;
ol &gt; li:before {
  display: marker;
  content: counter(h1c) ". ";
ol &gt; li &gt; ol &gt; li {
  counter-increment: h2c;
  counter-reset: h3c;
ol &gt; li &gt; ol &gt; li:before {
  display: marker;
  content: counter(h1c) "." counter(h2c) " ";


Looks like this in the editor:

And like that in View mode:

Thanks Stefan, will talk to my administrator to see if I can get the macro added and give it a go.

How can you get this macro added? Do we need to have this as a file with certain extension so that it can be picked up by Add-on setting?

I installed the macro successfully, but not sure how it helps to continue the numbering after a picture is inserted in the middle of the items.

Unfortunately, none of this is helpful for those who use the Cloud edition. :(

Does Source Editor work with Confluence On Demand? When I do an add-on search for it, it doesn't show up in the results.

I would like this to be more intuitive. Stefan's comment below worked just fine for me but I feel like it's a bit of a kluge.

I would prefer Confluence to obey:


<li> </li>


<li> </li>


<li> </li>


Which, of course, equates to 









allow this markup:

<ol start="X">


What do you think Confluence?

It would be fine to get this possability.

If i have a legend under a Picture, e.g. with 13 points of explanation, i want to sort it in two raws, to get a better overview in a paper (not a long list and a disturbtion in the complete overview).

I voted for the feature ( editor e.g. (ol start="XX"))

Complaints for this FAILURE go back more than five years! 

YES, it is a FAILURE because numbered bullet continuation is a basic editor function that is missing for both the self-hosted and Cloud versions. I have the cloud version for which there is no known work-around. 

To me, this demonstrates that Atlassian doesn't really care about meeting the needs of the people who keep them employed. :(

FWIW, my company is also a Confluence Cloud customer so we feel your pain on this one. Also, FWIW, @a platypus filed a bug about Atlassian being way behind the times in this case if you'd like to vent more there. :) Have a nice weekend!

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Thanks Mick and Stefan. On a related note, if I want to add dot points to a number then the number goes astray again. Is it possible to do this? Eg number 1, number 2, dot point, dot point, number 3. (or does this require the source plugin?)

I would say you can create the lists separately and then use the source editor to move one (bulleted) into the spot you want it in the ordered list.

Thanks Sam, that sounds like another option

0 votes

If you don't mind using "a., b., c." and "i., ii., iii" instead of bullets, you can hard space down (enter) then use  indent on the Edit bar. This will preserve numbering at the top level.

Quick followup - This works within a single section, I don't believe it will work across sections.

Yeah, but it is not a continuation of the existing list. It is a separate list.  I understand what you mean. The issue here is that you have a list and then want to add a picture, note, or other item (which requires a non-numbered paragraph) and then continue with the same list afterwards. 

That is correct.  It only works within a section.  Unfortunately.

I think you can go vote on it, so the fix gets elevated here: 

Ann Worley (Atlassian Team) says:

"I haven't found an elegant way to continue numbered lists in columns or after inserting other content. I found that we have a request open to add that functionality to the editor - please vote or comment to emphasize your use case to the development team:

Cloud: Allow the number list to continue in case a different format is inserted between the number list

Server: Allow the number list to continue in case a different format is inserted between the number list"

After the text of your number, press Shift Enter and it will create a blank line.  Then insert your image.  Press Shift Enter again after the image is inserted.  Then press enter by itself to continue the next number in the list.  Works at all list levels.

Yes, this is the method we are currently using. However, it is kludgey. It will reformat unexpectedly, etc.

We even fix it directly in the code <>. They need a better solution.

SHIFT + ENTER is not a solution when you want to include a list with in a list. For example a numbered list of steps and a bulleted list of items needed for one of the steps. 

Agree! I would like to be able to do that too.

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I was confident that there would be a solution for this by now. This is a total pain. Why is this so difficult to resolve?? Everyone needs to update documentation with existing material.

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