How to Edit, Restart, or Continue a Numbered List in Google Docs

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With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage. Read more…
Google Docs logo on a gray background
Numbered lists are perfect for items, instructions, or tasks. When you start a new numbered list in Google Docs, it often continues from the previous one. Other times, it’s the opposite. Here’s how to edit numbered lists in Google Docs.

Restart a Numbered List in Google Docs
Continue a Numbered List in Google Docs
Edit a Numbered List in Google Docs
  Edit the List Style
  Change the List Type
  Apply a List Color

While Google Docs is helpful by recognizing our lists and continuing the numbering, this isn’t always what we want. If you want separate lists instead of a continuous one, you can simply restart the numbering.
Select the list item where you want to restart the numbering. You can select the list item or the number.
Example of a continued list
Click Format in the menu. Move your cursor to Bullets & Numbering > List Options and click “Restart Numbering” in the pop-out menu.
Click Format, Bullets and Number, List Options, Restart Numbering
Enter the starting number and click “OK.”
Enter a restart number for a list
And there you go! You started a new numbered list.
Select a list number
Maybe you have the opposite situation in your document. You have two separate numbered lists that you want to become one. In this case, you’ll simply continue the numbering.
Select the list item where you want to continue the numbering. Again, you can select the list item or the number.
Select a list number
Click Format in the menu. Move your cursor to Bullets & Numbering > List Options and click “Continue Previous Numbering” in the pop-out menu.
Click Format, Bullets and Number, List Options, Continue Previous Numbering
Boom! You now have a single numbered list instead of two.
Example of a continued list
Aside from restarting or continuing the numbering for your list, you may want to make other changes. You can edit the style of the numbered list, switch to a bulleted list or checklist, or use a color.
You might want to keep your list a numbered one but use a different style, especially if you have a multilevel list. Select your list and do one of the following.
Click Numbered List in the toolbar and pick a style
Click Format, Bullets and Number, Numbered list and pick a style
Perhaps you want to switch from a numbered list to a bulleted list or checklist. Select your list and do one of the following.
Click Bulleted List in the toolbar and pick a style
Click Format, Bullets and Number, Bulleted list and pick a style
Rather than changing the list style or type, you may want to simply apply a color. You can use a color for all numbers in the list or only certain ones.
To apply color to all numbers, select the numbering. This highlights all numbers in the list. Then, click the Text Color icon in the toolbar and pick a color.
Select the numbers and click Text Color in the toolbar
To apply color to a particular number, first select the numbering. Then, click the number you want to change. This highlights only that number. Click the Text Color icon in the toolbar and choose a color.
Select a number and click Text Color in the toolbar
If you use Microsoft Word in addition to Google Docs, take a peek at our how-to for working with lists in Word too.
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Digital Strategist Chris Hood

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