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Adobe Illustrator: Bullet lists
by Barb Binder, Adobe Certified Instructor on Illustrator
This came in from a recent Adobe Illustrator student:
Hey, Barb. I’m laying out a 2-page flyer in Illustrator and I can’t find bullets. Can’t I set up a bulleted list in Illustrator?
As of Illustrator CC 2015, there is no bullets feature (like we have in InDesign), but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a bullet list… you just have to set up yourself. Here’s how:
- Using the Type tool, drag out an area text box.
- Add and format the list.
- Add the bullet and a tab in front of each list item:
- To get the basic round bullet on a Mac, tap Opt+8. To get the basic round bullet on Windows, tap Alt+7 on the numeric keypad. For more fun bullets, see the note at the bottom of this post.
- Add a tab after the bullet.
- To make it more visual, consider displaying hidden characters so that you can see the tab character between the bullet and the text with Type > Display Hidden Characters.
- Set up a hanging indent:
- Select the list and open the Paragraph panel with Window > Type > Paragraph.
- Enter a left indent and a negative 1st line indent. (I am measuring in points, but you can use your favorite unit of measure. I used 20 pts for the left indent and -20 pts for the 1st line indent.)
- With the list still selected, open the Tabs panel with Window > Type > Tabs.
- Select the left-align tab, and then enter the same value that you used for your left indent. Again, for me it’s 20 pts. (Notice that I am using the same value for the left indent, negative 1st line indent and left-aligned tab: 20, -20, 20.)
- When you are done, you can hide the hidden characters and adjust the width of the area frame, while maintaining the hanging indent.
NOTE: If you are looking for more fun bullet characters, choose Type > Glyphs. Locate an ornamental font and let the games begin!