Table numbering ascending down columns, not across rows

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David Cunningham

Feb 3, 2003, 3:03:54 PM2/3/03
Using Word 2002.

I want to number the cells in a table so that the numbers
first ascend vertically down columns, then across rows,
as opposed to horizontally across rows first, then down
columns. For example, if there is a table with 3 columns
and 4 rows, and I have a list of 11 items, I want item 1
in row 1, column 1; item 2 in row 2, column 1; item 3 in
row 3, column 1; item 4 in row 1, column 2; etc.

I want to do this in a table, not with "newspaper" style

Thanks in advance for any help.

Shauna Kelly

Feb 3, 2003, 3:21:31 PM2/3/03
Hi David

There are several ways to achieve what you want. Here's one.

You'll be creating fields, and it's often useful to be able to see what's a field and what's not. So, Tools > Options > View and set
Field Shading to "Always". This will give a grey background to your fields. The grey background won't print. You can go back and
turn this off if you don't like it.

Ctrl-F9. Between the brackets, type SEQ David (Note that "David" can be any string you like.)
Press F9 to update.
You'll see a 1, shaded.

Repeat whenever you want the next number in the sequence. If you get bored doing that, make an AutoText so you can apply the number
easily. Choose the whole of the grey field, choose Insert > AutoText and use that to create an AutoText. You can then use Tools >
Customize to assign the AutoText to a shortcut key or a toolbar button.

Note that these numbers don't update automatically. Click on one of them and press F9 to update. Ctrl-a and then F9 to update all of
them. In any case, make sure that Tools > Options > Print has *ticked* "Update Fields".

If you don't like that method, here's another one. Use the List Number style for all your numbered paragraphs. If you don't like the
default numbering style, modify it as described in the following page (it talks about heading styles, but the principles are exactly
the same).

How to create numbered headings or outline numbering in your Word Document

Hope this helps.


"David Cunningham" <> wrote in message news:07d701c2cbbf$60f53570$8af82ecf@TK2MSFTNGXA03...

Klaus Linke

Feb 3, 2003, 4:16:41 PM2/3/03

Hi David,

A one-column table in a section with 3 "newspaper" style columns would be
the only simple and automatic method I can think of.

For the table lines to fit together nicely, you'd need to set the width of
the table equal the width of the "newspaper" column, and the left indent of
the table equal to the left cell margin (Table > Table properties, table
tab > Options).
Any reason why you don't want to use "newspaper" columns?


David Cunningham

Feb 3, 2003, 3:34:03 PM2/3/03

Thanks for your reply. I'm still trying your second
option, but option one didn't work - numbering still
ascends across the row first, then down the column.
Perhaps I misunderstood something?...

Still trying...


David Cunningham

Feb 3, 2003, 4:07:06 PM2/3/03

That seemed to work acceptably. Why no newspaper
columns?... Maybe just stubborn, but you used to be able
to do this (could that have been in an OLD WordPerfect?)
and I think tables offer the greatest formatting control.

Thanks again.


Bruce Brown

Feb 4, 2003, 11:30:43 AM2/4/03
David -

This should number the cells the way you want. Doesn't matter if the
cells are filled in or blank. Start anywhere within the table to be

In case you're not that familiar with macros, to install one: After
copying macro from the thread, on a blank doc press Alt-F8. In the
'Macro name' box where your cursor is, type in the new macro name. In
the 'Macros in' box make sure is selected. Then click
Create; it takes you straight to the new macro code.

Remove the empty code that's already there and paste in the copied
macro, making sure there's only one Sub line at the start, with the
macro name followed by (), and one End Sub line at the end. Where you
get two red lines, take out the break between them. Press Ctrl-S to
save. Alt-q takes you back to the document. Whole thing takes less
than a minute.

To run macro: Alt-F8, scroll down to macro, click Run.
Sub NumberDownByColumnCell()
If Not Selection.Information(wdWithInTable) Then
MsgBox "Must be in a table. Quitting.", , "Not Within a Table"
Exit Sub
Application.ScreenUpdating = False
ActiveDocument.Bookmarks.Add Range:=Selection.Range, Name:="H"
Do While Selection.Information(wdWithInTable)
Selection.MoveDown wdLine
End If
Dim k As Integer, R As Range
Dim T As Table, Col As Column, C As Cell, CellEmpty As Boolean
Set R = Selection.Range
R.Start = ActiveDocument.Range.Start
Set T = ActiveDocument.Tables(R.Tables.Count)
k = 0
For Each Col In T.Columns
For Each C In Col.Cells
CellEmpty = False
If C.Range.Characters.Count = 1 Then CellEmpty = True
If Not CellEmpty Then
With Selection
.MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1,
End With
End If
k = k + 1
With C.Range
.Font.Bold = False
.Font.Italic = False
.Font.Color = wdColorAutomatic
If CellEmpty Then
.Text = k & "."
.Text = k & "." & vbTab
End If
End With
If Not CellEmpty Then
With Selection
.EndKey wdLine
End With
End If
Selection.GoTo What:=wdGoToBookmark, Name:="H"
End Sub
I can't resist writing table-numbering macros. Thanks for enabling
the addiction. Holler if it doesn;t work. - Bruce

"David Cunningham" <> wrote in message news:<022b01c2cbc8$351065c0$d6f82ecf@TK2MSFTNGXA13>...

Shauna Kelly

Feb 5, 2003, 4:43:14 AM2/5/03
Hi David

Sorry. I mis-read your post. Klaus's suggestion looks good, though.


"David Cunningham" <> wrote in message news:083b01c2cbc3$975ad990$8af82ecf@TK2MSFTNGXA03...

Apr 19, 2013, 11:05:31 PM4/19/13
This can also be done using the "Styles" option. Somewhere else in the document make up a numbered list and define the list as a style (Ctl-Shift-S). Then somewhere else make up another list and define it as another style. You can use one of the styles in one column and the other one in the other column. You can redefine the styles to the specifications you desire.

May 6, 2015, 10:15:11 AM5/6/15
Let's upgrade this to Word 2010. Take the column that you want to number, highlight everything in it, and then click highlight. If you don't allow you're highlighting to "cross over" and select the other column, it will only number what you have highlighted.

Marshall Grant

Sep 30, 2020, 4:43:44 AM9/30/20
Why is this simple task not simple..... like right-click, number vertically....?

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