Multilevel List in RoboHelp 8


A multilevel list has lists within lists, in which you can have many levels, or layers. Here is a simple example

Article 1. Level 1
   Section 1. Level 2
      Paragraph 1.a. Level 3
   Section 2. Level 2 again
Article 2. Level 1 again

Multilevel lists can be either single level or multiple levels. This feature is probably much richer than what many of us think.

Creating multilevel list
Select paragraph or any existing list or put the cursor where you want to create your list.

  1. Either press RH_ML_TOOL_ICON.jpg(Create a Multilevel List) or go to Format > list -> Multilevel list
  2. A dialog will appear. Choose a list style or template and press ok.
  3. The selected content will be changed into chosen list style. If selected content has a list with levels then its level will be update based on the selected style.
  4. Press tab or shift tab to change the level of selected list items.

List structure:
Multilevel list can have up to 9 levels. Each level can have the following properties and they get applied to the selected paragraph.


These properties can be modified using the List style definition dialog as mentioned below


Numbering Behavior:
The scope of ‘numbering’ of Multilevel list is defined at the topic level. Multilevel list items need not be adjacent or contiguous to retain the numbering sequence. Different items of the same Multilevel list can be in different blocks within a topic and its number is sequenced. You can also write any content between two items of multilevel list without having to choose to restart or continue numbering.

List Indentation & Margin control
User may control the margin space and indentation space of the Multilevel list as shown below.

User may control the margin spacing using RH_ML_INDENT.jpg buttons present in the style dialog or through the Style sheet (.css) file
Let’s take the following example of multilevel List
The style of this Multilevel list is defined in style sheet (.css) as

Multilevel Prefix
Any Multilevel list prefix can have text in the following format in list style dialog.


<x|1-9>: This denotes level number. These will be replaced with sequence value with specified list style like (1,2,3, …) or (a,b,c, …) or custom sequence. This could be <x> or <1> or <2> or <3> up to <9>. <1> means first level, <x> means current level of list item.

<text>: Here text could be anything arournd level number. This text will appear as it is in the prefix.

Following are some examples of required ‘list numbering’ and its correponding ‘prefix


Custom Sequencing:
RoboHelp provides five numbering sequence options in list style (viz. decimal, upper-alpha, lower-alpha, upper-roman, lower-roman) and 30+ bullet options. In addition, RoboHelp also allows you to define your own custom sequence. To create a custom sequence, use the List style dialog:

  1. Press ‘New…’ rh_ml_custom_new.jpg
  2. Press ‘Add Sequence’ and name it
  3. RH_custom_dlg.jpg

  4. Type entries in ‘Edit Sequence’
  5. Press ‘Add’ RH_custom_add.jpgto add more entries in the sequence.
  6. Press ‘OK’.

List style dialog will automatically choose the sequence you had defined. If the number of list items exceeds the number of entries in the sequence, then the sequence will get repeated.

Restart/ continue numbering
You may restart/continue numbering of any multilevel list items by following these steps:

  1. Right click on list item.
  2. Select “List Style…” option
  3. A dialog will popup, select “Restart numbering at” check box and choose a number from where you want to restart. If you want to continue just deselect “Restart numbering at” check box.
  4. Close the dialog

As always, please continue to share your feedback and suggestions.

Amit Jha
RoboHelp Engineering Team

RoboHelp, TechComm

Posted on 11-20-2009


  • By Holly - 3:54 PM on May 18, 2013   Reply

    Excellent explanation! But, how do I restart a list that is added to Robohelp by linking a FrameMaker file?

  • By Sue - 6:00 PM on June 5, 2011   Reply

    I also have the same problem. If two procedures appear in the same topic, I can’t restart the numbering on the second procedure. Has anyone figured this out? I also want this done in the conversion from Frame to RH > I’m using TCS so that I can maintain my source in FrameMaker and not have to manually find and restart numbering in RH.

  • By nesspa - 3:25 PM on February 21, 2011   Reply

    Works great! Thank you kindly, Karla.

    • By nesspa - 6:20 PM on February 21, 2011   Reply

      I spoke too soon. Karla’s solution worked on the one page with 4 levels of complex steps but all other pages went nuts.

  • By Karla - 7:39 PM on January 26, 2011   Reply

    Ditto. This is really odd that you can’t make this automatic.

    To the previous posters, you can make the output look right if you convert to text. Not an ideal solution in my opinion.

    File >> Project Settings >> Edit conversion settings for FrameMaker documents >> And then select Convert Autonumber to Text for each of your FM paragraph styles. You can either select RoboHelp Style [Source] or some RH style that does not have a list associated with it.

    The process is escribed in this article:

    Just maintain the look & feel and indentation

    Explanation: If you are concerned about the look and feel of the list prefixes and the relative indentations of various list levels, select this option. The generated content will have the same look and feel as the source content.

    Best Practice: Use the autonumber option “Convert Autonumber to Text”

    Best Suitable for: Small sized lists which do not require any further editing in RoboHelp.

    Advantage: Maintains the exact look and feel including list prefix styling.

    Limitation: Since it is not a real list, it will not behave like list while editing in RoboHelp’s editor. E.g. Pressing enter after a bulleted list item, will not populate a bullet automatically in the editor.

  • By Jackie - 5:39 PM on December 28, 2010   Reply

    I am having the same problem…if I have two procedures in a single help topic, I want the second procedure to restart at 1 and not continue the numbering from the previous procedure. In our Framemaker files, we start each procedure with a special intro heading that restarts the numbering. How can we set up RH to restart numbering in the same way when the files are converted from Frame?

  • By Helen McManus - 2:18 PM on November 4, 2010   Reply

    I’m still unclear how to restart numbering. The instructions above have you do that in the RoboHelp file. I want to do that in the conversion so I don’t have to restart manually. I can’t find any instructions that tell me how to restart a list in in the RoboHelp style I’m mapping to.

    Any help would be appreciated.

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