What is the easiest way to renumber lists?

I need a real solution too.

my experience

  • Open in Typora I see the same problem.
  • Even Obsidian Preview Mode does not always display a complete auto-renumber (eg first item of the list renumbered to 2 instead of 1.)


no need to keep any order.
Just type something like this (with always digit ‘1’) :


and you are done :

  1. Item 1
  2. Item 2
  3. Item 3
    1. Item 3a
    2. Item 3b
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Need an CSS hack in Editor to force Zero increment produced by New line char. Anyone?

Ulysses is good about changing numbers in lists…

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mWeb will automatically renumber your list when changed

I expect that this will be included in the future WYSIWYG editor, but for now, all of these are good suggestions, either use a different text editor, or use 1. for all numbered list items.

See previous replies. What you’re describing works for preview mode, but do you do most of your editing and reading in preview mode? I’m looking for a solution that’s applicable in how Obsidian is actually used.

(Sorry if this reply comes off as frustrated. Not my intention. I only mean to keep the thread focused the UX issue.)

Oh. Well that’s good if so, but why do you expect this? Is it on a roadmap or being discussed somewhere else?

Also, I know that you didn’t mean to be dismissive, but can we please taboo all forms of “if it doesn’t do what you want then tough, put up with it or use something else” no matter how politely worded? It doesn’t instill confidence that the issue will be taken seriously. Feels more like being swept under the rug. (Maybe this is just a case of things not translating as intended over the internet, or maybe I’m just oversensitive. Either way, I hope you can at least see where I’m coming from.)

The WYSIWYG mode is discussed in several forum posts and on the Trello roadmap. No guarantee it will include automatic re-numbering (and this specific function hasn’t been specified elsewhere that I have seen), but it seems reasonable to think a WYSIWYG or hybrid edit/preview mode would do this.

I think it is not so much “put up or use something else” as it is “there are active plans to improve the editing experience, but the product is still in beta so we may have to wait a bit”

Edit: you could turn this into a feature request if you think it is worth discussing future. Unfortunately, as a “help” topic, the short answer (above) is simple “no, not possible with the current software”


Thank you @tobyp. Your response covers the issues really well.

@SquareBottle I certainly wasn’t trying to be dismissive - I was just literally answering the help question. Obsidian is very much in beta. We are all stumbling through these issues together, and the forum is the place to bring attention to them - make a feature request, make your case, describe how you would want this to work in Obsidian, use examples from other apps - that’s how you get taken seriously, by being an active participant in the community.

I’m not sure how to respond to this because it’s just the reality of using Obsidian right now. In fact, it’s by design that since it’s just editing plain text markdown files, you can take advantage of features from other editors, apps, and automation scripts without having to worry about lock-in and proprietary data formats.

For reference, here’s the main WYSIWYG feature request: https://forum.obsidian.md/t/a-wysiwym-typora-like-editing-mode/1953

Hi @WhiteNoise

As mentioned by OP, when an list item was removed from numbered list, the other numbered bullets get autocorrected in the Preview but not in the Editor.

This issue persists until today’s v0.9.1 (see gif below). Do you consider this a bug?


Final screen:
final screen

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There will always be possible inconsistencies between them when two different underlying engines are being used. I’m hoping that the WYSIWYG editor will deal with these by reducing the design to one underlying engine.

My preference is for the devs to concentrate on taking things forward rather than trying to track down and bandage over discrepancies between two entities neither of which they control.

Wait, parity is not the idea!

I brought this up for the Dev simply as an user who lives in Editor practically all the time. The auto renumbering functionality is not minor or good to have but does much for Editor-centric users like me.

To be honest the Preview is secondary to me but the Editor is where all my workflows take place, including in-note searches and foldings/unfoldings.

And others spend most of their time in preview.
You can blame it on markdown, because it doesn’t care what the number written is only that it’s numbered.

I don’t disagree about it being an issue but how many temporary issues are worth dealing with is a matter of priorities when the devs are already flat out.

this is exactly what happened to me!! Thanks for making it so clear! Hope it gets fixed soon!

Hi @SquareBottle,

I wonder if my solution below will help you… almost 1 year since you asked the question! It was bugging me for the past few weeks, so I am sure this solution might help others, too.


  • ordered lists in edit mode become frustrating out of order when swapping lines up and down when outlining a document


  • map a hotkey for the function unordered and ordered lists - see @nickmilo’s best practice suggestions - Alt 1 to toggle unordered/ordered lists
  • select text of the entire list
    • image
  • toggle to unordered list, and back again to ordered list - all items are now numbered 1.
    • image
    • image
  • move cursor to the beginning of the second item, press delete a few times to delete the number and paragraph, and now press return/make a new line - the entire list will be ordered 1. 2. 3…
    • image
    • image



You guys all make it much more complicated than it should be.
Let’s say you have an unordered list in EDIT and an ordered list in PREVIEW.
Just go to PREVIEW, copy the whole list, back to EDIT and paste it on top of the current list.

  1. Ctrl + E
  2. Ctrl + C
  3. Ctrl + E
  4. Ctrl + V
    All of that takes about a second or two. GL.

This is definitely no longer a problem in v0.12.15!
The numbering reorders itself in editor mode seemlessly!

edit 2021-09-12: @william you’re correct, the problem persists. However I have embarked on a plugin immersion, and the Outliner plugin is what fixed the number reordering problem for me. I recommend it!

I’m using 0.12.15, and the problem persists.


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