How to Make a Bullet-Point Format in InDesign

by Elle Smith

Bulleted lists typically consist of short phrases or important keywords and are frequently seen in technical papers, lab notes or other papers that require structure or emphasis. Bullet points are a typographic mark and can be created with any character, although a black dot is most commonly used. InDesign's "Bulleting and Numbering" functionality can quickly add bullets to text without having to worry about tabs and manual spacing.


Open the InDesign file you want to edit. Click the "T" – or text tool – icon in the Tool palette. Click and drag the cursor over the text you want to reformat with bullet points.


Click the "Paragraph" tab in the Control Panel, then click the small arrow to the far right to select "Bullets and Numbering" from the submenu. Click "Bullets" next to "List Type" when the "Bullets and Numbering" dialog box opens. Alternatively, Alt-click the "Bullet List" icon for Windows or Option-click the "Bullet List" icon for Mac.


Click a character option in the "Bullet Character" menu, or add your own by clicking "Add," then select a character from the on-screen keyboard. Select the size, font and color of the bullet point. Click "OK."


Edit the position of the bullet by clicking "Position." Specify whether you want the bullet to left-align, right-align or be centered next to each text entry. Change the "Left Indent" to specify the left side of the bulleted list, if desired.

About the Author

Elle Smith has been an advertising professional for more than 25 years. Her work for ABC, CBS and Sony Pictures Television has appeared on radio, on air, in print and outdoors. In addition, Smith has more than 20 years experience in marketing, graphic arts, commercial photography and print production, and is a licensed real estate agent with property management certification in California.