Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Creating a bulleted list

From: InDesign Typography

Video: Creating a bulleted list

Creating a bullet list in InDesign is extremely easy. Let's see how we can do this. So beginning on the left-hand side no bullets at all, and we have applied bullets and all I have done to get the bullets is select the text and then comes the Control panel where we have these two icons Bulleted List and Numbered List. If you just click on this you get what you are given, but if you want to change the options hold-down the Alt key and click. Where you get to choose what sort of bullet character you want and various other options, in this case relevant to the appearance of what we have, I have invented it on the left by 14 points, and then I have added a First Line Indent that is negative for that same amount.

Creating a bulleted list

Creating a bullet list in InDesign is extremely easy. Let's see how we can do this. So beginning on the left-hand side no bullets at all, and we have applied bullets and all I have done to get the bullets is select the text and then comes the Control panel where we have these two icons Bulleted List and Numbered List. If you just click on this you get what you are given, but if you want to change the options hold-down the Alt key and click. Where you get to choose what sort of bullet character you want and various other options, in this case relevant to the appearance of what we have, I have invented it on the left by 14 points, and then I have added a First Line Indent that is negative for that same amount.

Now we can take it a step further than that, and we can apply a Character Style to the bullet character itself, so we automatically have the bullet character formatted in a different color or a different font or a different size or any other character attribute. So that's what I have done here additional to the previous version, I have applied the Bullet Character Style. So the Bullet Character Style in this context is making it red, it's also making the bullet character slightly bigger, and it's also shifting the bullet character up slightly from its position relative to the baseline.

Let's just go and take a look at the bullet character. So if I right-click on that we can see what we have, and this has the following attributes. In the Basic Character Formats everything is left blank except for the Font Style, so it's going to inherit all of the other character formats from the paragraph style that it's applied within with the one exception of the font style not being bold. And then in Advanced Character Formats you will see there is a modest amount of Baseline Shift.

If I remove this, watch very carefully, you'll see they will shift down a fraction, so I am just nudging that up just not even one point but just half a point, and then the third attribute is the color. Now in addition to that, I have also added some space before the first bullet. If we compare left and right we can see that this bullet list begins without any space before it, and I think you can definitely benefit from some so I have added 10 points of space just above the first bullet. Now let's move to the next page, and here is an issue that comes up if you're working with a Baseline Grid.

Now a Baseline Grid is an incremented grid to which the baselines of your type will lock. And if I press W to turn on my Guides and then come to my View options and turn on the Baseline Grid, we can see that the text on the left is aligned to that Baseline Grid, everything is nice and ordered, but the bullet list is not really standing out as well as it might do. So for that reason what I have done with the bullet list over here in the example on the right-hand side is I have removed the bullet paragraphs from the Baseline Grid.

When you're working with the Baseline Grid most of your text will be aligned to that grid, occasionally, and in this case specifically for the bullets some paragraphs will not. So to remove paragraphs from the Baseline Grid we need to make sure that this icon is clicked on or if we are applying this through a paragraph style it's in our Indents and Spacing options Align to Grid > None. Now we do need to make sure though that after the bullet list the body text reestablishes itself on the Baseline Grid, and that the spacing above and below the bullet list is equal.

Now in this case the grid increment is 13.5 points, and for that reason I have added above the first bullet item half of that amount 6.75 points and after the last bullet item half of that amount again 6.75 points. So, so long as there are an even number of lines in your bullet list, and you have half a line space above it and half a line space below it the rhythm of the Baseline Grid is easily reestablished after the bullet list.

Usually when you see a bullet list it is a hanging indent, i.e. as we have here the bullet character sticks out to the left of all the text which follows at each subsequent line is aligned under the first character. However, that's not the only way to do things some people prefer rather than to have a hanging indent instead to have just a regular space, or as I have here, an end space after the bullet.

So in this case, I have changed this option right here Text After, the default option for this is tab, but I have changed it to an en space. On the other hand if you want to emphasize, rather than deemphasize, the left axis what you can do is make the bullet characters hang out to the left of all of your text, and that involves indenting your body text, this is indented by 11 points, this is indented by 11 points, the bullet paragraphs themselves are indented by 11 points, but the first line is outdented or has a negative First Line Indent of 11 points.

So one final point I'd like to make about bullets, and that is that sometimes we need to split our bullet list. We have a fantastic feature that is in InDesign CS5 and above feature called Span Columns, and that's very useful if you have a headline that you want to span over multiple columns. Its converse is Split Columns, and that's what we see here where we have a bulleted list in a single column of text, but we want to split that column. So in order to make that happen we just select the text and up here is where we can split into 2, 3, or 4 sub columns, obviously I have gone into two.

So if I were to put this back to None, that's how things would look otherwise, but I am going to just split this into two, and that's how it looks. And of course this can be incorporated into a Paragraph Style. Span Columns, we see that Split Column into two Sub-columns. So there we have the nuts and bolts of formatting bullets as well as some design considerations for how you might format you bullet lists.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for InDesign Typography
InDesign Typography

125 video lessons · 22823 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 4s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      51s
    3. Customizing the workspace for type
      2m 18s
  2. 9m 25s
    1. What is Typekit? (CC 2014.1) NEW
      1m 56s
    2. Choosing and syncing fonts (CC 2014.1) NEW
      3m 6s
    3. Syncing problems (CC 2014.1) NEW
      1m 43s
    4. Typekit resources (CC 2014.1) NEW
      1m 5s
    5. Using the Font menu (CC 2014.1) NEW
      1m 35s
  3. 55m 41s
    1. Working with text frames
      8m 26s
    2. Using a primary text frame (CS6 and later)
      3m 59s
    3. Understanding text flow methods
      6m 25s
    4. Understanding text threads
      3m 40s
    5. Understanding Smart Text Reflow
      2m 27s
    6. Mocking up pages with placeholder text
      5m 47s
    7. Placing multiple text files
      3m 50s
    8. Using Auto-Size text frames (CS6 and later)
      4m 1s
    9. Copying and pasting vs. placing
      2m 25s
    10. Cleaning up text with Find/Change
      5m 46s
    11. Using the Story Editor
      3m 41s
    12. Spanning columns
      5m 14s
  4. 48m 34s
    1. Choosing your type
      6m 46s
    2. Understanding text essentials
      6m 37s
    3. Scaling type
      2m 27s
    4. Using italic and oblique type
      4m 33s
    5. Working with condensed and extended type
      4m 26s
    6. Setting type in all caps
      3m 46s
    7. Setting type in small caps
      4m 21s
    8. Underlining type
      4m 11s
    9. Using superscript and subscript
      4m 35s
    10. Applying baseline shift
      4m 8s
    11. Combining typefaces (CC 2014.1) NEW
      2m 44s
  5. 16m 6s
    1. Understanding type anatomy
      3m 25s
    2. Exploring serif and sans serif
      2m 48s
    3. Comparing points, picas, and ems
      8m 34s
    4. What's in a name?
      1m 19s
  6. 16m 27s
    1. Setting leading
      4m 56s
    2. Avoiding auto-leading
      4m 12s
    3. Leading shortcuts and preferences
      4m 7s
    4. Using autoleading with inline graphics
      3m 12s
  7. 21m 25s
    1. Defining kerning and tracking
      2m 5s
    2. Understanding kerning methods
      5m 10s
    3. When and how to kern
      5m 53s
    4. When and how to track
      8m 17s
  8. 48m 42s
    1. Working with quotes, primes, and apostrophes
      8m 16s
    2. Using dashes
      5m 24s
    3. Using ellipses
      2m 56s
    4. Working with accents and special characters
      4m 1s
    5. Using space characters
      4m 15s
    6. Working with ligatures
      4m 29s
    7. Setting fractions
      3m 56s
    8. Using lining and proportional numerals
      2m 49s
    9. Using alternates, swashes, and ornaments
      5m 2s
    10. Working with optical sizes
      4m 40s
    11. Stylistic sets (CC 2014.1) NEW
      2m 54s
  9. 57m 20s
    1. Understanding alignment
      3m 47s
    2. Working with left-aligned type
      3m 24s
    3. Working with justified type
      7m 5s
    4. Using Optical Margin Alignment
      3m 39s
    5. Determining column width
      4m 53s
    6. Working with center alignment
      5m 36s
    7. Working with right alignment
      1m 22s
    8. Aligning to or away from the spine
      1m 50s
    9. Understanding the Paragraph Composer and Single-line Composer
      3m 44s
    10. Combining alignments
      9m 20s
    11. Using hanging punctuation
      2m 13s
    12. Working with vertical alignment
      10m 27s
  10. 14m 9s
    1. Using first-line indents
      2m 26s
    2. Using indent alternatives
      2m 3s
    3. Working with left and right indents
      4m 0s
    4. Using last-line indents and outdents
      1m 26s
    5. Using paragraph spacing
      4m 14s
  11. 23m 19s
    1. Setting hyphenation
      6m 14s
    2. Working with line breaks and discretionary hyphens
      4m 48s
    3. Balancing ragged lines
      1m 36s
    4. Using the No Break feature and non-breaking characters
      2m 52s
    5. Using frame, column, and page breaks
      3m 42s
    6. Defining Keep Options
      4m 7s
  12. 37m 53s
    1. Understanding tabs
      8m 58s
    2. Considerations for table text
      3m 55s
    3. Table tips and tricks
      11m 55s
    4. Creating a bulleted list
      6m 50s
    5. Creating a numbered list
      3m 46s
    6. Creating a multi-level numbered list
      2m 29s
  13. 23m 12s
    1. Understanding drop caps
      11m 3s
    2. Navigating tricky drop caps
      5m 14s
    3. Using a nested character style with a drop cap
      3m 59s
    4. Other uses of drop caps
      2m 56s
  14. 1h 11m
    1. Understanding paragraph and character styles
      7m 13s
    2. Creating, applying, and editing styles
      7m 3s
    3. Removing overrides
      4m 58s
    4. Creating and applying character styles
      5m 4s
    5. Creating and applying nested styles
      12m 30s
    6. Using GREP styles (regular expressions)
      4m 8s
    7. Creating and applying sequential styles
      6m 19s
    8. Using paragraph rules creatively
      11m 48s
    9. Mapping Word styles
      6m 12s
    10. Working with anchored objects and object styles
      6m 24s
  15. 25m 30s
    1. Applying a text wrap
      6m 7s
    2. Making items ignore a text wrap
      1m 46s
    3. Using text wraps for flexible layouts
      3m 2s
    4. Working with difficult text wraps
      8m 39s
    5. Inverting text wraps
      2m 7s
    6. Setting text wrap preferences
      3m 49s
  16. 29m 33s
    1. Choosing a page size and setting margins
      6m 33s
    2. Setting up columns
      2m 53s
    3. Dividing a page into rows
      3m 27s
    4. Setting up a baseline grid
      5m 40s
    5. Handling baseline grid problems
      3m 37s
    6. Baseline grid tricks
      7m 23s
  17. 44m 26s
    1. Working with type outlines (CC 2014.1) NEW
      6m 50s
    2. Creating an interlocking effect (CC 2014.1) NEW
      3m 31s
    3. Fusing letterforms (CC 2014.1) NEW
      7m 15s
    4. Type and gradients (CC 2014.1) NEW
      4m 57s
    5. Type and transparency (CC 2014.1) NEW
      1m 50s
    6. Type on a path: Circles (CC 2014.1) NEW
      4m 48s
    7. Type on a path: Calligram (CC 2014.1) NEW
      6m 16s
    8. Vertical type (CC 2014.1) NEW
      2m 58s
    9. Type and image: Gradient (CC 2014.1) NEW
      1m 38s
    10. Type and image: "See-through" type (CC 2014.1) NEW
      1m 8s
    11. Type and image: "Disappearing" type (CC 2014.1) NEW
      3m 15s
  18. 12m 19s
    1. Looking at screen documents
      4m 2s
    2. Setting size, leading, and line length onscreen
      3m 13s
    3. Exploring typefaces designed for the screen
      3m 36s
    4. Accessibility: Contrast and color
      1m 28s
  19. 28s
    1. Goodbye
      28s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed InDesign Typography.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.