Numbering in Apple’s Numbers

Numbers is Apple’s app for creating spreadsheets.
It’s part of the iWork Suite for iOS.

From my point of view it’s the far away best app for working with spreadsheets on iOS devices.
It’s simple but yet powerful. The UI is perfect and with the last update 1.7 (2012-12-04) Apple provided a functionality called ‘LOCK’ with which you may secure objects, e.g. tables so that their position and their content cannot be changed any longer until they are unlocked.

I want to continue my series about the usage of Apple’s Numbers.
The task is to automatically number lines in a table starting with a given value, to extend the numbering if lines are added and renumber them if lines are moved to new positions.

Step 01 …

Set the start value e.g. 100 in the upper left cell. The cell is identified by A1.

Step 02 …

Define a formula which tells Numbers how to generate the line number for the line following the first line with the start value.


To define a formula for a cell double tap the cell and select ‘=’ from the input bar.
The input field is prepared to enter a formula. Tap on the cell A1 which contains the start value 100. A symbol for this cell appears in the input field. Add 1 to this parameter and tap Done on yhe right side of the input field. 101 will appear in cell B1.

Step 03 …

I think you agree with me that you don’t want to repeat this procedure for the next 200 lines.
So select cell B1 and tap on Copy in the upcoming context menu.
Select cell C1 and expand the cell marker downwards for all lines you want to be numbered.
Tap on Paste and then on Paste formulas.


Step 04 …

If you add lines to the table the new lines are firstly not numbered.
To renumber all lines just copy the first cell B1 and repeat the Paste procedure described in Step (3). This can also be done after inserting new lines or changing places of lines.

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