Force a specific bullet level?

Hi. How can I specify a particular bullet level so that I can have enumerations with different numbering styles? I’ve got several bulleted lists with different numbering styles like A., (1), (i). But when I use enumerations only the first level bullet is used.

The bullet types specified in the styling will always be applied to their bullet-level (i.e., level 1 for the first bullet under a heading; level 2 for the second bullet-level under a heading, etc.).

There is no way to, for example, force a paragraph to take the third bullet level styling, when it is itself situated on the first bullet-level below its nearest heading. This is a deliberate software design decision, to ensure uniformity across the document.

Does this answer your question?

Thanks Maarten, it does answer the question but not the use case. There needs to be some more flexibility in numbering schemes for subparagraphs, bullets, etc. I know from lots of painful experience how tricky this can be when working both in HTML and Word but it’s a really common situation. What’s on the roadmap to support a variety of flexible numbering?

The problem is not the HTML & Word — internally the software uses an intermediate format that is agnostic of the output format, and can also output to completely different file formats (if desired even Powerpoint, Adobe Indesign, or perhaps some jurisdiction-specific tax submission format, or …).

The problem is, instead, that numbering is such an incredible mess that very few people ever master this subject in MS Word (having taught many MS Word courses to lawyers over the years, I have personally never met a lawyer who really understood what is going on below the surface). In the area of numbering, MS Word just gives users way too much rope to hang themselves.

We therefore took a very different approach to numbering, that is specifically focused on contract numbering, and cuts away a few areas in order to make everything a whole lot simpler and, particularly, much more reliable than in MS Word. (Internally, however, the numbering system is by far the most complex part of the entire application.)

We are aware that there are a few scenarios where people are used to a bit more flexibility in MS Word. However, changing the numbering system fundamentelly is not something we intend to do. That said, a few superficial changes (e.g., allowing recitals to use different styling) will be added later this year.

Thanks Maarten. I completely understand and agree with where you’re coming from. Fundamentally changing how you handle numbering would be a big mistake. The ability to have different numbering for recitals is perfect. Looking forward to it!

It is always funny to see that in the few areas where we deliberately cut a few corners (in this case to save the users from the headaches that numbering tends to give), our users want more. And more.

For this particular subject of numbering, I am really convinced that we took the right decision, because numbering is a nightmare to deal with. (I am really not kidding. See — with the famous quote “Let me warn you: this subject is a real brain-breaker. You can use Word very successfully and professionally without ever knowing or understanding this stuff. I wrote it for the real masochists among us who just have to know how it works.”)

For all the other areas in ClauseBase, it reminds me that we, as lawyers, simply need all the power we can get our hands on.

Believe me, I know about nightmare numbering. And how hard it is to keep word in particular from going haywire. When introducing lawyers or a firm to a new document approach (house style, automation, etc) I emphasise it’s a change-opportunity where they can rationalise and simplify numbering schemes and formatting that just metastasised over the decades. Because ClauseBase emphasises building blocks and re-usability, it’s a great tool to encourage that change.