Lists are very important in document formatting. Lists can be either bulleted or numbered, and these lists automatically update as you add or remove list items.

These are the few methods to create bulleted or numbered lists in InDesign.

  1. Convert existing list items to bulleted or numbered lists: Select the entire list to convert to bulleted or numbered list, then click Bulleted List or Numbered List button in Bullets and Numbering section of Properties panel.
  2. Using paragraph style to create a list: For this you can read the article about how to create paragraph style for running list.
  3. Place insertion point on a place where you want to start a new list, then click Bulleted List or Numbered List button in Bullets and Numbering section of Properties panel. If you want to open a Bullets and Numbering dialog box, then Alt + click the list icons.
  4. You can directly start or apply list by going through Type > Bulleted & Numbered Lists > Select a required action from the list.
  5. Go to Control panel Window > Control > Control panel menu, or Window > Type & Tables > Paragraph > Paragraph panel menu to access Bullet and Numbering dialog box. Choose the required options to create a list.
  6. Windows > Properties > Options in Bullets and Numbering Section > Change the List Type as required. Choose None as List Type value to remove list, or click Bulleted List or Numbered List button in Bullets and Numbering section of Properties panel to end the current list.

Note that an automatically generated list is not inserted in document pages. Therefore, they cannot be selected or searched unless converted into text.

How to Format Bullet or Number Position?

Bullet or Number Position section is common setting for bulleted and numbered lists. The options in these settings are directly related to the default number expression. Adjust the following option to get the intended results.

  • Alignment – It lets you align list to left, right, or center.
  • Left Indent – It helps to position lines in a list after first line. It is especially useful for creating the hanging intent in a list. Set positive value for hanging indent i.e. 2p0.
  • First Line Indent – It specifies the position of number or bullet in a list i.e. it positions the first line of list item. Set equal negative value of Left Indent to create hanging indent i.e. -2p0.
  • Tab Position – It sets the space between number of the list item in a list. More precisely, it sets the value of (^t) in number expression.

Note that to align numbers based on period (.), you need to right align the number and increase first line indent until number aligns.

How to Format Bulleted List?

Bullet and Numbering dialog box gives you a range of options to format the bulleted or numbered list. You can choose, add, and remove bullet charecter from Bullet Charecter grid. Note that a bullet character that is available in one font may not be available in another font or currently used font. If so, you need to choose Remember Font with Bullet to let new bullet remember current font and style. When you add bullet character that only references unicode value is displayed with red ‘u’ character.

How to Format Numbered List?

Choose list type as Numbers in Bullet and Numbering dialog box. Adjust the following Numbering Style options to get your desired numbering result.

  • Format – lets you choose the type of numbers to be used in a list.
  • Number – lets you input number expression that shapes numbering style. Initially, it is filled with default number expression, in which (^#) is number metacharacter, (.) is period after number, and (^t) is tab space. You can place your number expression also.
  • Character Style – This option lets you apply certain character styles to number formatting. See How to Create Paragraph Style for Running List?
  • Mode – This lets you choose the number to continue from previous number or start new number at your desired value.

If you want to read more about the bulleted or numbered lists, you may read InDesign’s official user guides.

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