Archive for February, 2010

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.

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Using Images in Bulleted Lists

Recently, several people have asked how to replace standard bullets with images in a bulleted list.


Changing the Bullet Character

Use the Bullets & Numbering dialog box to specify a different bullet character. If you can find a picture symbol that’s part of a font, you can use that symbol in your list. Here’s a symbol from the Zapf Dingbats font.

bullet_graphics_1.jpg

For details on changing the bullet character, see the Change bullet characters Help topic.


Replacing the Bullets with Images

It would be nice if we could specify images using the Bullets & Numbering dialog box, but we can’t. If you absolutely need to use images for bullets that aren’t part of a font, here’s the workaround solution.

Step 1 – Add a replacement bullet character

We’ll be using the Find/Change dialog box to replace the bullet character, so let’s pick a bullet character that doesn’t appear anywhere else in the document to be safe.

bullet_graphics_2.jpg

Step 2 – Convert the bulleted list to text

Before you do this step, make sure you’re done editing your list. If you need to add items to your list, you may end up doing extra work. Choose Type > Bulleted & Numbered Lists > Convert Bullets to Text.

Step 3 – Resize and copy the image to be used as a bullet

In my example, I scaled down a picture of a belt buckle until it was small enough to replace the bullet, and then I copied it.

Step 4 – Find and replace the bullet character with the pasteboard image

A neat little trick in the Find/Change dialog box is the ability to change the found text to whatever is copied to the Clipboard. Insert the dummy bullet character in the Find What field. Then click the @ icon to the right of the Change To field and choose Other > Clipboard Contents, Formatted. A ^c appears in the Change To field. Then find and change the bullets.

bullet_graphics_3.jpg

It’s not the most elegant solution, but it gets the job done.

bullet_graphics_4.jpg

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