Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a listicle with auto-numbered drop caps, part of Type Tips Weekly.
- [Instructor] This movie is about how to combine InDesign's autonumbering with drop caps. So I want to create a listicle like I have on the left-hand page, and to do that I'd like to use autonumbering and then make those numbers into drop caps. The problem is that autonumbering and drop caps do not play nicely together. So first of all, I am going to just come to my type and set up my formats using a standard drop cap.
So I'll come to my paragraph formatting controls and I want my drop cap to sink three lines, and I also want the number to be very condensed. So I'm going to select this and then come and choose Acumin Pro ExtraCondensed, semibold. And let's make it a color as well. And now I'm gonna save that as a character style.
I'll call that number drop cap. So now with this paragraph style, I have this paragraph style called list, applied to all of these paragraphs, I'm going to edit that paragraph style and say drop caps and nested styles, let's sink three lines and we'll use that number drop cap character style. All right, so far so good. But now what I want to do is add some autonumbering.
Let's go back and edit that style some more. And come to bullets and numbering, and we'll say let's have numbers, and I just want the number. I don't want a tab or a space or a period after it, just the number. And you can see, well it's not really gonna work because the autonumbers are not recognized by the drop cap feature. I said I didn't want anything after the number. Actually, I do, because I'd like to add a little bit of padding after the number, as you can see from the finished version over here on the left.
I don't want the full space because that's gonna be too much, but instead I'm going to insert a hair space. And I'll go ahead and click OK. Now what I need to do to make my numbers into drop caps is select this type and then come to my type menu and choose bulleted and numbered lists, convert numbering to text, or I could just come to the style as listed on the paragraph styles panel, right click on that and choose convert list numbering to text.
And we see that I now have my numbers. What's not really working, though, is the alignment. You can see that they're just a little bit too close and then the space after the number is throwing off the alignment of the m with the d and the t, lines two and three which follow. So what I'm going to do is return to the style definition, come to drop caps and nested styles, and we are gonna say that we want two characters made big.
And that hair space that we included right there is going to also be included as a dropped character. But because the hair space is so small, it's not gonna add too much space, there's just one more consideration, and that is when we get to our double digit numbers. Then we need to actually sync, not by two characters, but by three. So that is how we can use InDesign's autonumbering feature combined with drop caps to create a drop cap numbered list.