Aligning Punctuation in Numbered Lists

“How do I align the periods in a numbered lists?” I’ve seen a variation of this question asked repeatedly in user forums. Here’s an example of one such forum thread.

If you’re wondering how to align the periods in a numbered list. It’s your lucky day. Here’s a video tutorial that explains the tricky workaround.

If you don’t have time for the video, click below to see pictures.

Number indents before.jpg

See how the periods don’t line up after the numbers? The simple answer is to use right alignment and increase the First Line Indent value by increments until the numbering is aligned.Here are the detailed steps:1. Select the numbered paragraphs.2. Alt/Option-click the Numbered List button in the Control panel.3. In the Bullets & Numbering dialog box, select Preview.4. Choose Right from the Alignment menu.5. Increase the Left Indent value to create a buffer.6. Increase the First Line Indent value gradually until the periods are aligned.

Number indents after.jpg

Of course, if your numbering goes past 100, you’ll have to add even more space. This same method works when you’re editing a paragraph style that uses numbering.

6 Responses to Aligning Punctuation in Numbered Lists

  1. Mark Hebert says:

    This really helps and as you noted to me recently on the forum you are now adding it.One thing I notice in your example and in my documents is that the “10″ period does not line up! This misalignment occurs with or without right alignment. My seniors are engineering types and this is not acceptable. I’ll have to use decimal tabs to get it lined up right on the period. If I could kern the “10″ I’d cheat the space to line it up right, but the numbered list function under bullets doesn’t allow for that.

  2. Stephanie Aaron says:

    I’m trying to do this but I can only get left aligned numbers. choosing right or centered makes no change, even with a huge indent I’m in CS4 any suggestions?

  3. Hey Bob, your 9/3/09 thread on Aligning Punctuation in Numbered Lists begins with the sentence “How do I align the periods in a bulleted lists?” I think you meant numbered list![Thanks, Barb. I fixed the typo. -Bob]

  4. Hey Stephanie: I’m sure you have already figured this out, but if you are still struggling, consider reading this: It’s basically the same steps as above but with a little more detail and a few more screen shots.

  5. cosmin says:

    How could I put the number at right? It is possible? Maybe a script for this?

    For exemple>
    Chapter title 1


  6. Vinoth Kumar says:

    Very nice, how to skew the bullet and number list? can you explain.