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Limitations on Numbered Paragraphs in Subdocuments


Regardless of the tag used (Import Tag or Out Tag), imported paragraphs (subdocuments) cannot share the same numbering as numbered paragraphs of the parent template.


Numbered Lists in DOCX

You can import bulleted list in a child template with no problems. However, when you import a template with numbered paragraphs, the numbered paragraphs in the child template are numbered distinctly from the numbered paragraphs in the parent template. With one exception (listed below), there is no way to have the imported paragraphs share the same numbering as numbered paragraphs in the parent template.


This is due to the way that numbering is defined in MS Office's DOCX spec. Windward has no way to determine where your intent would be to start or continue the numbering. And due to how numbering is defined in DOCX, you can have multiple groups that all have the same settings, and you can have 2 groups that look identical in Word but have different settings. And as there’s no “name” for numbering settings (unlike paragraph styles that have a name), there’s no way to match off a name.



The setting for use-child-styles in the Tag Editor has no effect on the numbering in an imported template/subdocument. By definition, all numbering (this includes bullets too, not just explicit numbers) is imported and the imported template keeps all its numbering settings.


Numbering settings include bullets that are not displayed as numbers. This tends to mean there are no issues when importing bulleted paragraphs. But if you create a DOCX report and change the bullet setting for a group in the parent template, then any groups from the child templates (even if they look the same) are not affected. You will have to set each group individually.

The Exception

There is one exception. If you set use-parent-format to true, then the first numbering group encountered in the imported template will be assigned to the closest group before the import in the parent template. No comparison is performed to make sure they’re close; it’s just set to be a part of the parent numbering group.


The purpose of this is is to merge the formatting.  If you have a template with one or several paragraphs that you’re adding to the parent template, they are being added inline in some existing numbered paragraphs, and so they are merged in.


For more on these topics, please see:

Applying Parent Styles

Out Tag

Import Tag

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