How to Restart Numbering in Google Docs

Written by Ivana Google Workplace / Docs

6 min read

If you are working in Google Docs, you have certainly used a numbering list a few times.

Numbering lists in Google Docs are really convenient for organizing text items, instructions, or tasks. You might have also noticed that when you start a new numbering list, it often continues from the previous one. This might be a problem if you need to have two separate numbering lists that start from the beginning.

Before you totally abandon the numbering list and just put the number manually, there’s an option in Google Docs that allows you to restart the numbering list. The option is stored a bit deeper in Google Docs settings so very few people know it.

But in this post, you’ll learn how to restart list numbering in Google Docs.

How to restart the numbering list in Google Docs

Although Docs automates many text editing tasks, such as list numbering, sometimes we don’t need the second list to continue where the first one left off.

If you want two separate lists instead of one continuous, here’s how to restart the numbering:

  1. With your cursor, select the list item where you want to restart the numbering. Note: You can either select the list item or the number in front.
  2. Go to Format in the top-bar menu > Bullets & Numbering > List Options and click on ‘Restart Numbering’ in the last pop-out menu.

Go to Format in the top-bar menu > Bullets & Numbering > List Options and click on ‘Restart Numbering’

  1. Alternatively, right-click on the list item where you want to restart the numbering, and select ‘Restart numbering’ from the pop-up window.

Right-click and select 'Restart numbering'

  1. In the pop-up window, enter the starting number at which you want the list to begin.

enter the starting number at which you want the list to begin.

  1. Click ‘OK’.

That’s it! Now you’ll see that you started a new numbering list.

✔️ You might also like to learn how to turn off auto caps on Google Docs.

How to continue a numbering list in Google Docs

However, what if you are in the reverse situation where you have two separate numbered lists and you want to join them. In this case, you can continue the numbering list.

  1. With your cursor, select the list item or the number where you want to continue the numbering.
  2. Click on Format > Bullets & Numbering > List Options and click on ‘Continue Previous Numbering’ in the last pop-out menu.

click on Format > Bullets & Numbering > List Options and click on ‘Continue Previous Numbering’

It's as simple as that! Now you have a single numbered list instead of two separate ones.

How to edit a numbered list in Google Docs

Apart from restarting and continuing a numbered list, you can also edit the style of the numbered list, switch to a bulleted list or checklist, or apply a color to the list.

  1. Edit the style of the list

If you have a multilevel numbered list, you can choose a different style of items and sub-items.

  1. Click the Numbered List drop-down arrow in the toolbar and select a style.

Numbered List drop-down arrow

  1. Alternatively, navigate to Format > Bullets & Numbering > Numbered List from the menu and choose a style.

 Format > Bullets & Numbering > Numbered List

  1. Edit the type of the list

Numbers are not the only options. You can switch from a numbered list to a bulleted list or checklist.

  1. Click the Bulleted List drop-down arrow in the toolbar and choose a type of list. You can also click on the Checklist tab to use that list type.

Bulleted List drop-down arrow

  1. Otherwise, you can click Format > Bullets & Numbering > Bulleted List from the menu and select a list type.

Format > Bullets & Numbering > Bulleted List

  1. Change the color of the list

If you want to make your numbered list stand out, you can also apply color to it. Additionally, you can change the color for all numbers in the list or only certain ones.

To apply color to all numbers:

  1. Click on the numbering, which will highlight all numbers in the list.
  2. Then, click on the ‘Text Color’ icon (A) in the toolbar and pick a color.

To apply color to a certain number:

  1. First, select the numbering.
  2. Then, click the number you want to change. This will highlight only that number.
  3. Click on the ‘Text Color’ icon (A) in the toolbar and select a color.

Now that you know how to reset the numbering, check out how to insert a vertical line and how to put images behind text in Google Docs.