Saturday, 22 February 2014

SmartTable Number

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word

SmartTable Number  renumbers table rows using a range of numbering strategies defined by the user. It also removes unwanted blank rows from the table.

SmartTable Number is the main processing routine for the SmartTable suite of tools described in the previous post.

A control menu allows the user to indicate whether or not a table should be renumbered, and what numbering style should be used.

Example - Before and after using simple numbering. Blank Lines have been removed the rows renumbered

Many other numbering formats are supported

This shows a table prefix stored in row 2 which is applied to all rows using a "." separator.  This is useful when uniquely numbering entries across many tables in a document,
This shows the use of sections to provide structure to the entries.
This shows section numbering using one leading zero and a "-" separator.

This shows sub numbering for rows with indented content.

 Controlling Numbering

The user controls the behaviour of the numbering process through the SmartTable Control menu command.  This is called via a shortcut key.

First Column headers: This is a list of column 1 header values that can be renumbered, each separated with a comma.  If the table numbering needs to be frozen, the value should be removed from the list or the header changed (eg add a “.”)

 Section Row Format: Sections provide structure to the contents of the table.  A section is denoted by a row with a background colour (F=Filled) or text in bold (B=Bold).

 Prefix Source: A prefix appears in front of the number.  

The prefix values are:
  • N= No Prefix. The rows are numbered 1-n with section rows skipped.
  • S=Section Header. The prefix is recorded column 1 of each section header and is applied to all rows unitl the next section.
  • F=First Row. This prefix is applied to all rows with section rows skipped. The prefix is recorded column 1 the second row of the table.  The text of this row describes the meaning of the prefix (e.g. col 1 = “NF” , col 2 = “Non Functional Requirements”. The numbering using this prefix is applied to row 3 and onwards.

Separator: The separator inserted between the prefix and the number.  Usual values are “.” Or “-“.  If not prefix is used, it may be left null.

Leading Zeros:  “A1” has no leading zeros, “A01” has one leading zero, “A001” has two leading zeros.


August 2014: The routine now handles subheader rows with different column numbers than regular rows.  I found this was necessary as some people like to place a single merged cell subheader row as a more obvious break than other methods.

August 2014: The routine now sets subheader rows with "Keep with Next".  This ensures that the subheader row is never the last row of a table before a pagebreak, the subheader and the next row appear on the top of the next page.  There have also been some minor improvements in the way that subheader rows are identified by the code.

Shortcut Key Assignment’s

The shortcut keys are:
dpSmartTableNumber: Control+Numberpad 0
dpSmartToolsMenu: Control+Q
With a laptop keyboard, consider using zero key in the number row of the keyboard.  See here for instructions on assigning keys.


Tables are a concise way to record information. The headings provide the necessary context for the information,  and the limited size of the cells promotes the use of simple, direct language.  The layout allows the reader to quickly grasp the essentials without having to read lengthy prose.

I have always tried to use tables, but became frustrated with Word’s inability to renumber the rows after editing.  I could have used number styles in the rows, but I found those hard to use and they did not promote the use of sections in tables which I like to use to organise content.  In addition, there are times when the numbering of rows needs to be frozen, and convert number styles to fixed values is not easy either.

I often use the differing numbering methods to ensure that requirements statements are uniquely numbered within documents with many tables.  The also support a number of common requirements numbering formats which allows these tools to be widely used.

I have added to the basic numbering tool over the years.  SmartTable Insert allows me to add lines five at a time.  This allows me to clear space in a table to record a number of points quickly, without the distraction of adding rows each time.  I have also provided delete line tools, cell punctuation tools, and tools to insert new tables and keep the structure of these aligned with the original.  These will be released over the next few posts.


Using these table tools allows me to capture and organize information very quickly. I hope you will be able to get a great deal of use out of them.

More details including how the SmartTable works can be found each of the release documents in Downloads tab.


I have reworked the numbering routines and added some functionality

The highlights are:
  • Ability to handle multi-row headers.
  • Suffix codes e.g “7a, 7b, 7c..” added for rows that follow from the one above.
  • Continue numbering from a previous tabl

See Smart Table Number Update

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