Bullets & Numbering Gallery

This is another addition to the Feature Galleries series. I’ve provided as many types of bulleted lists and numbered lists as I can think of.

Simple bulleted and numbered lists


When you need to create a simple list of bulleted or numbered paragraphs, just select the paragraphs and click the Bulleted List or Numbered List button on the Control panel. Alt/Option-click the button to bring up a dialog box that lets you format the list. See the Create bulleted or numbered lists and Format a bulleted or numbered list Help topics.

You may also want to check out the Bullets and Numbering in InDesign CS3 section of the Real World InDesign CS3. (Bullets and numbering hasn’t changed since CS3.)

Mixing numbered lists with other paragraphs and lists


Whenever you need the numbered list to be broken up or intermingled with other paragraphs or list items, define a list style that’s part of a paragraph style. For example, in a technical manual, you might want a numbered list for headings that continues across multiple text frames, and you might want to use running captions for images and tables. Define a separate list for each type of numbering.

See the Defining lists Help topic.

Using different bullet characters


 You can specify any font glyph to use as a bullet character. See the Change bullet characters Help topic.

Bulleted lists with images instead of glyphs


 Sorry, you can’t use placed images as bullets when using the Bulleted Lists feature, unless you can figure out a way to save the image as a glyph in a font. The workaround is to cut and paste the image into the paragraph as an anchored object. See Anchored objects in Help.

Numbered lists with flush punctuation

Number indents after.jpg

This image may give you enough information to line up the periods in a numbered list, but if you need more details, see the Aligning Punctuation in Numbered Lists article.

Multi-level lists


Creating multi-level lists seems intimidating at first, but it’s really not that difficult once you grasp a few key concepts. While the Create multi-level lists Help topic is to generic to be helpful, the blog entry about Numbered Lists – Part II Multi-Level Lists gives more detailed information.

Also, check out this video about Creating an Automatic Numbered List by Gabriel Powell of Instant InDesign.



Read the Numbered Lists – Part I Outlines blog entry to see how to create traditional outlines.

Multiple sets of numbered steps


You can learn how to restart numbering automatically after each section head from the Numbered Lists – Part IV Numbered Steps blog entry.

Running lists for captions


For information on creating running numbering for captions and tables, see the Numbered Lists Part III – Figure Captions blog entry and the Create running captions for figures and tables Help topic.

Avoiding common formatting problem


The bullet or number takes on the formatting of the first character in the paragraph. In this case, one of the bullets is red because the first word is red. To avoid this problem, apply a character style in the Bullets & Numbering dialog box. In this case, the character style would specify a black color. For more information, see the Format a bulleted or numbered list Help topic.

That’s it. Let me know if I missed anything.

One Response to Bullets & Numbering Gallery

  1. Scott says:

    Now if it would work this easy in the Kindle I would be set.