Incrementer - bug?

I have tried many times to add an incremented number to our locality records.
They run from 00001 to 02990, no duplicates, no skipped numbers.
BUT, when I turn the incrementer on, all I see is ##### on new records (old ones still have numbers).
Is it not possible to retro-auto number?


Retroactive auto-numbering is currently not possible.

In Specify 6, you can use batch editing to assign numbers to existing locality records based on the field you want to edit.

Alternatively, if you are familiar with SQL, you can also achieve this as well by running commands on the database.

Do either of these approaches seem feasible to you?

Sigh, that’s too bad. I’ve already updated old records, so that doesn’t help if new records will not increment. I will have to keep my cheat notes for this too.

What do you mean by “retro-autonumbering”? Automatically populate the existing records?

I read Support’s response as that auto-numbering should work if you’ve correctly populated the field on existing records. Did you include the zero padding (LPAD) on when you updated the old records? The Specify formatters generally require zero padding of the field on all records to work (at least in our experience). If you did not, you can have your sysadmin update the field in the DB using the MySQL/MariaDB LPAD function ( in and update statement.

By retro-autonumbering, I simply mean turning the incrementer on for an established field of unique, sequential numbers, and having it successfully increment new records.
Each record has a single unique number in the field, sequential, no gaps in sequence, no dupes, all with zero padding. I’ve done multiple “data cleaning” passes on this.
I will try the MySQL function and see how that works. Thanks!