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  1. Is this in the docs? I began this with "7." (seven dot) but it came out as "1." instead. I'm guessing the software thinks I am starting a numbered list, and requires me to start with 1 and not 7.

I found this when inserting a definition into my answer, which was definition number 7 in the dictionary where I found it.

  • It does this in blockquotes as well, which is odd, since it's ostensibly a quote and should appear as-is. – yoozer8 Nov 9 '11 at 20:12
6
1. Numbered lists are easy
2. Markdown keeps track of
   the numbers for you
7. So this will be item 3.

This is a quote from the editing-help page. It's not completely intuitive what it means from that, but essentially, Markdown detects what you presumably input as a numbered list and always starts a 1, always progresses in numeric order. Since you can quote lists, it also occurs with plain blockquotes, but not in code formatting as demonstrated above. It is a convenience in some scenarios, but as you show, there are some points where it is a problem instead.

If you want to start at a different number, I recommend using parentheses rather than periods. Alternatively, if you are citing something in which the original source uses a period, then surround it with backticks to invoke code formatting on the number alone. It doesn't look all that fancy, but... unfortunately I don't know of an alternative method otherwise.

7. Is this in the docs? I began this with "7." (seven dot) but it came out as "1." instead. I'm guessing the software thinks I am starting a numbered list, and requires me to start with 1 and not 7.

  • Nice trick, but it doesn’t get the formatting (indentation) of a numbered item. – Scott Feb 26 '13 at 16:46
  • @Scott Unfortunately, there isn't a mechanism to accomplish that indentation whilst preserving the intended numeration. It requires a numbered list, and by requirement, these are subverting the utility of a numbered list, because a numbered list automatically handles the numbering. – Grace Note Feb 26 '13 at 16:55
  • Too bad we can’t tie in to the functionality of <DL> / <DT> / <DD>. – Scott Feb 26 '13 at 17:14
  • I've been told that boldfacing the number will prevent restart. That's my big problem; I often make one point, then insert text, then do the next point. But it restarts at 1. if there's intervening text unless it's boldfaced. – John Lawler Oct 1 '14 at 18:20
  • @JohnLawler For new postings, or even newly edited ones, this should no longer be a problem for you, as Trig’s newer answer shows. – tchrist Oct 4 '14 at 3:48
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This has been fixed. Now, the numbering follows from the first item in the list. If the first item in your list is 42, the numbering will follow from that. If the next item in your list is 1037, it will still show up as 43. So the first number in your numbered list is now respected; the others still aren’t.

  1. This is a demonstration.
  2. This item is numbered 7, but shows up as 2.

However,

  1. This is item 4.
  2. And this item is numbered 8, but shows up as 5.
3

7. Is this in the docs? I began this with "7." (seven dot) but it came out as "1." instead. I'm guessing the software thinks I am starting a numbered list, and requires me to start with 1 and not 7.

> 7\. Is this in the docs? I began this with "7." (seven dot) but it came out as "1." instead. I'm guessing the software thinks I am starting a numbered list, and requires me to start with 1 and not 7.
  • Nice trick, but it doesn’t get the formatting (indentation) of a numbered item. – Scott Feb 26 '13 at 16:46
  • Sorry, but it's the best I can do. In HTML, there are tricks you can play with <ol>, but it looks like that's silently converted to <ul>. – TRiG Feb 26 '13 at 18:09
  • I prefer this trick over my code formatting. – Grace Note Mar 1 '13 at 20:26

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