3 Replies Latest reply on Dec 8, 2014 3:01 AM by Colin Flashman

    Multi-level list that is out of the ordinary

    Colin Flashman Adobe Community Professional

      I am familiar with the numbering feature of InDesign but do not use it that often in my day-to-day work. Recently, I had to apply formatting to a school workbook that had questions that were multi-level. I had noticed that the client had set all of the numbered questions by hand and had in fact skipped numbers every so often (e.g. Q6, then Q8 - no Q7). My instinct was to use the numbering feature of InDesign to replace the hand-set numbers so that the numbers would be correct not only in number, but indent position.


      In all of the below examples, the number is separated by a TAB to a specific tab position, in case the example isn't clear.


      The feature was working fine to begin with as the questions were set out as so:


      1.  Question....

           a)     sub question a,

           b)     sub question b,

           c)     sub question c

                   i)     sub-sub question

                   ii)     sub-sub question

      2.  Question...


      Unfortunately, things soon went off piste when a question was numbered as the following example:


      1.     a)     i)     sub-sub question

                     ii)     sub-sub question

              b)     i)     sub-sub question

                     ii)     sub-sub question

      2.     a)     i)     sub-sub question

                     ii)     sub-sub question


      I knew that the existing styles would not be able to make the first line, so a unique style would have to be created for these specific instances. I duplicated the first style and tried to change its number in the numbering style portion of the bullets and numbering dialog portion of the paragraph style dialog box to:




      and received the following error message:


      Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 11.27.15 am.png


      I know I can replace the tabs with spaces, but I think that is sloppy and a workaround rather than a solution. Put simply, there was no way that I could find to achieve this sort of numbering automatically, and instead opted to keep the client's hand-set numbers and instead used a paragraph style that had the appropriate tab stops in place, and used "indent to here" where appropriate.


      My question - has anyone else had luck with that sort of numbering?