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How to continue a numbered list

Deleted user April 16, 2013

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?


28 answers

1 accepted

6 votes
Answer accepted
Daniel Borcherding
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April 16, 2013

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.

Ramiro Pointis
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April 16, 2013

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

Deleted user April 22, 2013

Thanks for the information, will give it a go.



Ramiro Pointis
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April 22, 2013

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

ap March 14, 2018

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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ap March 14, 2018

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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Dmitry Kim May 1, 2020

May 1, 2020: This is still not implemented.

Like Irene Tsygan likes this
Dmitry Kim May 1, 2020

Found another SOURCE-84. OL start attribute is ignored ticket which was created 08/Feb/2013.

It looks like Atlassian will not implement this feature soon or, what is more likely, Atlassian never implements this feature.

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87 votes
Stefan Eike
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April 22, 2013

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.
Andy Mallio July 22, 2016

Thanks Stefan, this works fine.

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Hack Kampbjørn March 17, 2017

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

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Rakhee Kulkarni May 10, 2017

That worked for code macro as well. Thanks


Like Aleksandr Chusov likes this
Thomas Bithell July 17, 2018

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

Kimberly Giere August 3, 2018

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?

Like Jens likes this
Kris Rehberg September 24, 2018

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.

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Kim Melançon October 22, 2018

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.

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Bill Rudy October 26, 2018

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

Like Kathy Barton likes this
Brian Nakamoto October 26, 2018

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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Alex Alex June 19, 2019

Thanks Stefan Eike.

Paulraj BV [C] July 22, 2019

Thanks much Stefan Eike. Shift + Enter works fine for me. Really it is useful. 

Madhu Ramasamy September 1, 2019

Thanks. Shift + Enter works. Just need to get used to it

Jason Marchese January 15, 2020

This doesn't work with notes still. Is there any work around found yet?

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Bill_Supernor April 17, 2020

Seriously, this is a terrible implementation.  I should be able to create a "Note" block (or anything else) in the middle of a numbered list.  Just about any other product DESIGNED to do text editing can allow for continuing a previous numbered list, or starting the list at an arbitrary number. This basic request has been open for SEVEN years now!!!

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11 votes
Kel Hill December 6, 2016

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.

John Tyler (txn) May 22, 2017

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.

Leslie Munday October 17, 2017

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
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David Carrington Jr. October 17, 2017

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

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Brian Nakamoto March 12, 2018

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

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Shawn Connelly October 19, 2018


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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Karla Nauojkat November 26, 2018

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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eric langer April 24, 2020


The ability to create a numbered list, starting and or restarting from a number other then 1 has been a basic word processor function for nearly 25 years now.  I see posts all over your board's asking for this.  Some going back to 2012. Come on Atlassian, fix this!  

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11 votes
Mick Davidson
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April 22, 2013


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.


Deleted user April 23, 2013

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?)

Kimberly Giere August 3, 2018

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!

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5 votes
Ana Martins April 29, 2020

Shift+Enter works but only in some situations.
What I usually do is Shift+Enter to create a space to fill in with other thing /widgets, then enter when I want the next number
However, this does not work if in that space you want to insert a table (the table is ALWAYS placed under the next numbering and not on the empty space I created.
It also doesn't work if you put an info block on that space. In this situation, Confluence turns my next number back into a 1

5 votes
Ben George February 25, 2016

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

Mark Thompson April 9, 2018

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.

4 votes
Dylan Zwick April 12, 2019

That this isn't solved yet, in 2019, tells you everything you need to know about Atlassian and how much they care about their terrible product.

The best solution is to find a better product.

Bill Rudy April 12, 2019

Good luck!

Diane Hogan November 5, 2019

MadCap Flare is a real authoring tool. I just converted from Confluence to Flare.

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Dylan Zwick November 5, 2019

Thanks. I'll check it out.

4 votes
Shawn in Van October 19, 2018

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. :(

Brian Nakamoto October 19, 2018

FWIW, my company is also a Confluence Cloud customer so we feel your pain on this one. Also, FWIW, @ap 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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4 votes
Kim Melançon June 22, 2018

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?

4 votes
Maggie Secara May 7, 2018

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.

Shawn in Van November 26, 2018

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

3 votes
Byron February 6, 2019

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.

Jon Sorenson February 25, 2019

I encountered this issue just now while migrating markdown pages from our old GitLab wiki to Confluence.  My process is to convert markdown to HTML (using commonmark) and then import the HTML to Confluence.  The HTML has tags like <ol start="2"> and since the start attribute isn't respected by Confluence, the resulting page isn't numbering lists correctly.  It would be nice to have direct support for this feature in the markdown.

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2 votes
Liam October 1, 2019

6 years, still waiting...

Can't insert a note or warning into my numbered list without it breaking the ordering. Why?

Karla Nauojkat October 2, 2019

Exactly.... I get to now do my wiki in word and copy and paste it over all because Atlassian on the confluence side requires you to be a programmer.  Instead of being able to quickly move and change our intranet and user manuals I have to be a programmer or handle in a different program.  This is SOOO simple, logical and should have been an out of the gate process let alone 6 years and waiting.  IT amazes me Atlassian and Trello are related - Trello does everything to be user friendly and nimble - not the wiki in confluence.

Like Michael Orrill likes this
Claire Campbell October 17, 2019

I've been reading a couple of these posts and I'm satisfied with using Shift+Enter to do a line break without breaking the numbering. However, I'm also waiting impatiently for a workaround to enable me to continue numbering after a table or a note.

Any ideas? Tables are my real issue right now.

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Kel Hill October 17, 2019

Hi @Claire Campbell 

The only way I have been able to successful insert a table within a numbered list without disrupting the numbering is to create the table, leave some blank lines, create the FULL numbered list and then copy and paste the table in front of the number within the list where I want it to appear. Awkward, but it works.

Sunil Aggarwal February 3, 2020

Hi @Kel Hill. Can you let me know how you did this? I've tried and the numbering restarts straight after the table?

Like Brian Nakamoto likes this
Kel Hill February 4, 2020

Hi Sunil,

The method I used to use no longer seems to work.  :(

Confluence is becoming more and more frustrating, rather than improving.

Like Sunil Aggarwal likes this
1 vote
Brian Nakamoto July 8, 2021

Please vote for this suggestion, FWIW. Thanks!

P.S. Please smack me if this issue hasn't been addressed and we're still using Confluence in 2031.

Brian Nakamoto July 7, 2022

I noticed that "Divya Sriram, a PM on the Confluence team" added a status update to the top of the aforementioned suggestion that "Solving continuous numbering on numbered lists is on our priority list." Unfortunately, the message is dated 3 Feb 2022, but we've been waiting nearly two decades for a solution so shame on us that we're still using Confluence at this point. 😓



Kris Rehberg July 9, 2022

We've given up on this and moved to XWiki and not just for this reason.

Like Jens likes this
Dmitry Kim January 9, 2023

Interesting if Atlassian is aware that some customers give up on Atlassian products because they (Atlassian) are ignoring or unable to resolve issues.

1 vote
Henricus Fluthgraf April 4, 2018

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"))

1 vote
Andy Mallio July 22, 2016

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?

Carsten A_ August 22, 2019

The W3C markup validator would throw errors like: "The <img> tag is not allowed as child of <ol>."

So your graphic should be inside the <li/>. Maybe supporting <br> is the better idea.

1 vote
craig wright September 14, 2014

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.

1 vote
Stefan Eike
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April 23, 2013

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:

Deleted user April 29, 2013

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

Hung Nguyen December 1, 2014

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?

Hung Nguyen December 1, 2014

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.

Shawn in Van November 26, 2018

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

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1 vote
Ryan Goodwin
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April 23, 2013

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>

Deleted user April 29, 2013

Thanks Ryan.

Shawn Connelly October 19, 2018

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

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0 votes
Adam Turlej August 19, 2023

I believe there is a better workaround than inserting a line break.

My solution involves inserting an actual paragraph into an <li> element.

I do not know whether this solution works on Cloud. I have only used it on Server.

Let us assume that you wish to include some additional content inside an <li> element. This content might be simply a paragraph, an image, or a macro.

To do so:
1. When you are at the end of the line in a list item, press Ctrl+Shift+D. This shortcut opens the Insert markup window. Obviously, you can also open the window from the menu but it takes more time.
2. In the Insert markup window, enter any text (for instance, 'asd') and click the Insert button.

Now, the text that you have entered is added as a paragraph which is part of the <li> element. You only need to backspace the random text and replace it with the desired content.

Disclaimer: Once again I emphasise that I have only tested this solution on Server. Thus, if you use Cloud, you need to double-check it there. This is particularly important if you use Confluence to generate output in various formats. In such a case, test the output to see whether the solution works as intended.

0 votes
Diane Hogan October 19, 2020

I suggest to all that find Confluence a bit limiting - if you are managing a Help system, you might consider moving to an authoring tool such as MadCap Flare.

Last year I converted our product documentation from Confluence to Flare. Flare is a powerful, robust tool that allows you to single-source and generate multiple output types: HTML5, Word, PDF, etc. If you visit the website, make sure you review the Customer Showcase to see what users are doing with Flare.

0 votes
Jens October 19, 2020

It looks like Atlassian doesn't care about the point. I've been working with Confluence for a few weeks and quickly came across the shortcoming that I can't add any starting number to a list in a table cell.
The product, with its numerous hooks and eyes, reminds me of Lotus Notes, which wasn't a bad program at the time, but was hated by users for similar hassle.

0 votes
Bill Rudy March 2, 2020

Another simple workaround:  

- On the numbered list, hit return as you would for the next numbered thing, but instead of text, paste the image after the number

- Hit return again; all lines should be numbered

- Then just put the cursor between the pic and the number to the left and hit backspace

jessica.schneck August 19, 2020

This works for an image, but we have tables... :(

Like Jens likes this
Bill Rudy August 19, 2020

? This works for tables (at least for us, we're on Server, v 7.4.1...but pretty sure it worked on earlier versions)

0 votes
Brock Price September 5, 2019

What about using this macro in the Word document before importing it into Confluence: ActiveDocument.Range.ListFormat.ConvertNumbersToText

After running the macro, I can do a Find&Replace on the bullets, converting them from the Symbol font, which Confluence doesn't seem to recognize.

The only problem I'm now having is that there's no indentation for numbered/lettered list items (and bullets). I wonder how I can tweak the Word macro to add indentation for those items in a way that will translate over to Confluence.

0 votes
Paul Kern July 30, 2019

Found a solution that worked for my case, where Shift-enter did not work to continue bullets 3-4 after applying the Code Style to some text in the 2nd bullet (this was to eliminate implied italics to part of a filename specification that had underscores before/after that middle part of the file specification).

The Code Style inserted a blank line after the code, that was only visible in the Text Tab; the Visual tab of the editor did not display a blank line however it did make bullets 3-4 a second set of 1-2.

Removed the blank line in the Text Tab that preceded the third bullet, and now I have bullets 1-4 with some code between bullets 2 and 3.

Here's what I now have in the Text Tab that worked to make the four pound signs get interpreted as bullets 1-4:

# The first numbered bullet
# The second numbered bullet
Here is some code, using code:java so that surrounding underscores in a file name spec, Node1_Node2_Node3.xml do not get interpreted as wanting italics
where Node2 is either BeginOfDay or EndOfDay.
# The third numbered bullet.
# The fourth numbered bullet.

0 votes
Kimberly Giere October 5, 2018

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.

Kim Melançon October 5, 2018

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

Like Cortlandt Wilson likes this
Kim Melançon October 5, 2018

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

Like Cortlandt Wilson likes this
Kim Melançon October 30, 2018

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. 

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jo llo October 30, 2018

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

Like Ayelet Ashkenazi likes this
0 votes
Deborah Deborah October 5, 2018

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.

Deborah Deborah October 5, 2018

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

Kim Melançon October 5, 2018

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. 

Kimberly Giere October 5, 2018

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"

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