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Adobe FrameMaker: Aligning Punctuation in Numbered Lists

By Barb Binder, Adobe Certified Instructor on FrameMaker

When I teach Numbering Properties to new FrameMaker users, about half of them ask me how to line up the punctuation on a numbered list. The picture on the left shows what I am supposed to teach them, the picture on the right show what they actually want.

Example of Punctuation in Numbered Lists

How do you do it? The trick is setting two tab stops per list item: one decimal tab for the punctuation, and one left tab for the text. Here are the steps to align the numbers on the right-hand side:

  1. Create a Paragraph Format for your list. (I used List2 in my example.)
  2. In the Paragraph Designer > Numbering Properties, add the following to the Autonumber Format text box: t<n+>.t
    Autonumber format
  3. Click Update All.
  4. In the Paragraph Designer > Basic Properties, specify a Left indent value if you would like the paragraph to have a hanging indent. (In my example, I used 30.0 pts.)
  5. Still in Basic Properties, add two tab stops:
    1. The first tab stop should be a Decimal tab. (I used 20.0 pts in my example.)
    2. The second tab stop should be a Left tab. Be sure that the number matches your left Indent value (because, I used 30.0 for my left indent, so I’m using 30.0 here).
      Basic Properties: add two tab stops
  6. Click Update all.

These exact numbers may not work for you, so plan on adjusting them to fit your layout.

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