Multi-level list is also known as multi-level outline because it resembles outlines. In multi-level list, a list item contains one or more lists thereby creating hierarchical relationships between lists. A multi-level list can be as deep as nine levels.

Defined list and paragraph style are the building blocks of multi-level list. We combine both of these concepts to build a multi-level list. Follow these steps to create multi-level list in InDesign:

  1. Create a defined list. Read this article to know what is and how to create a defined list. This is the only list that you use in all paragraph styles.
  2. Create paragraph style for each list level or outline and assign defined list created in first step. For example, you will need nine paragraph styles for a multi-level list of nine levels, and you will assign the same defined list to each of these nine paragraph styles. You can read how to create paragraph style for running lists and InDesing’s official user guides here for more information about paragraph style.
  3. Customize the settings available for level, numbering format, alignment, indent, tab position, and others. If you read this article on bulleted or numbered lists, you will have a full understanding of how to customize Bullets and Numbering Section on Paragraph Style Options panel.
  4. Finally, use paragraph styles to format paragraphs to a multi-level list.

Creating a Multi-level list of Level 3

Suppose that we are going to create multi-level list of three levels. As a result, we need to define three paragraph styles for each level. As a practical course of action, let’s create them one by one following the steps outlined in point 2 above. In addition, you must have a defined list created as per the step mentioned in point 1. The ultimate result will be the right-hand side of following image:

Multi Level List in InDesign

The left-hand side of above image presents initial list of items before applying multi-level, and right-hand side of image is the multi-level list we are going to create.

First Paragraph Style for Level 1

  • Create a new paragraph style by going to Window > Styles > Paragraph Styles > Paragraph Styles panel menu > New Paragraph Style, and give it a name – Paragraph Style Level 1.
  • Choose Basic Paragraph or No Paragraph Style on Based On field.
  • Choose Bullets and Numbering on left-hand panel menu.
  • Select List Type as Numbers.
  • Choose the name of defined list (same for all levels of paragraph styles) as a value of List field.
  • Place Level value as 1.
  • In Bullet or Number Position section, align to right, set left indent and first line indent to 0p6, and tab position to 2p2, for example.
  • Click ok.

Second Paragraph Style for Level 2

  • Create a second paragraph style and give a name – Paragraph Style Level 2.
  • Choose Based On field value as Paragraph Style Level 1.
  • Choose Bullets and Numbering on left-hand panel menu.
  • Select List Type as Numbers.
  • On List field, choose the same name of defined list as in the first paragraph style.
  • Set Level value equal to 2 this time.
  • In the Number field, place cursor at the beginning of box and choose Insert Number Placeholder > Level 1. This will insert numbering of level 1. Finally, insert period (.) in between to separate the numbers.
  • Check Restart Numbers at This Level After to start new numbering at each new level of 2.
  • In Bullet or Number Position section, align to right, set left indent and first line indent to 2p0, and tab position to 4p6.
  • Click ok.

Third Paragraph Style for Level 3

  • Create third paragraph style and give a name – Paragraph Style Level 3.
  • Choose Based On field value as Paragraph Style Level 2.
  • Choose Bullets and Numbering on left-hand panel menu.
  • Select List Type as Numbers.
  • On List field, choose the same name of defined list as in the second paragraph style.
  • Set Level value equal to 3.
  • In the Number field, if any ^1 metacharacter is at the start of box, then delete it, otherwise place cursor at the beginning of box and choose Insert Number Placeholder > Level 1 and insert period (.) immediately after. Again, go to Number Placeholder > Level 2 and insert period (.) immediately after. As you know this will insert numbering of level 1 and level 2. Note that the inserted periods(.) are for separations of numbers from different levels.
  • Check Restart Numbers at This Level After to start new numbering at each new level of 3.
  • In Bullet or Number Position section, align to right, set left indent and first line indent to 3p6, and tab position to 7p6.
  • Click ok.

After all, you are ready to apply paragraph styles for different levels of a list. Select the list items to be formatted into muti-levels and click paragraph styles to apply them.

Congrats! You are successful in creating multi-level list in InDesign.

Tagged

Author

TopicBin Contribution: 29 articles Total articles contributed

TopicBin is a publishing platform for authors, and it is promoted by an instructor, web developer and commercial banker. It aims to deliver conceptual articles related to economics, banking, finance, management and technical streams.

More Articles
By TopicBin . Updated . 2 min read
By TopicBin . Updated . 4 min read
By TopicBin . Updated . 3 min read

Leave a Reply