You can number items in a table, by row or by column. Simply select the row or column and then click the Numbering option in the Paragraph group on the Home tab. As long as you're working with a single column or row, it's easy. To continue numbering across rows is also simple. Select the rows and click the Numbering option. It's even dynamic, allowing you to easily add or remove items. For instance, the table below numbers items in the first two columns, but not the third. Using the Numbering option, Word numbers the items in the first row and then continues with the first item in the second row, and so on.
What's more difficult is continuing a numbered list across columns. If you select more than one column, Word will number by row first and then column. How would you force Word to number by column first and then continue numbering beginning with the first item in the next column, as shown below?
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Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.