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Adding bullet points to text in Adobe Illustrator

Posted in Articles, Tutorials on November 6th, 2015 | No Comments

Bullet List in Illustrator

In Illustrator adding bullet points to text is a bit tricky. In Indesign you can find Bullet List Option in the Control Bar. So it’s easy to add bullets in the paragraph. But in Illustrator, we have to add bullets manually by using Tab Settings. So let’s learn how to use Tab Settings to add properly formatted bullets in Illustrator.

Bullet List in Illustrator

Select the Type Tool and create a text area. Paste few paragraphs of Lorem Ipsum text.

Bullet List in Illustrator

Now place the cursor at the beginning of the first paragraph.

Bullet List in Illustrator

Go to Type > Glyphs and choose any one symbol to make a bullet point. In my case I choose a circular dot.

Bullet List in Illustrator

You can also get more symbols featured in the default Wingdings and Webdings fonts.

Bullet List in Illustrator

Hit Tab button to insert Tab character after the bullet point.

Bullet List in Illustrator

Repeat the above process to the rest of the paragraphs.

Bullet List in Illustrator

Then select the entire text box and go to Window > Type > Tabs to open the Tabs Panel. Set a LEFT TAB to 15 pt.

Bullet List in Illustrator

Go to Window > Type > Paragraph to open a Paragraph Panel. Set LEFT INDENT to 15 pt and FIRST LINE INDENT to -15 pt. To maintain some gaping between paragraphs set SPACE BEFORE PARAGRAPH to 5 pt. And here is how you will get Bullet List Paragraph in the Illustrator.
Tab settings value that I have mentioned above may change depending up on the font size you’re working with. But keep these values in proportion.

Bullet List in Illustrator

As I have already mentioned that Indesign has a function for this particular purpose, we can also have this functionality right here in Illustrator as a paragraph style and avoid repeating the steps aforementioned.

Bullet List in Illustrator

For that, go to Window > Type > Paragraph Styles to open the Paragraph Style Panel. Choose the New Paragraph Style in the fly-out menu with the Bullet List paragraph selected. It will automatically create a New Paragraph Style with the settings applied in the selected Bullet List Paragraph. Name it BULLETS and click Ok. Now it will appear in the Paragraph Style Panel.

Bullet List in Illustrator

You can apply this BULLETS paragraph style to the other paragraphs in the current document containing bullet and tab characters.

Bullet List in Illustrator

Remember you have to insert bullet and tab character by yourself every single time. Without them, applying only the style will result like the image above.

Bullet List in Illustrator

To use this style in other paragraphs in other documents, we have to save a blank document containing this BULLETS style first. For that, delete all the paragraphs from the current document. Don’t worry, although you delete all the paragraphs in which BULLETS Paragraph Style has been applied, it won’t be deleted from the Paragraph Style Panel. Save the document in the specific folder and name it BULLET LIST.

Bullet List in Illustrator

Create a new document and open a Paragraph Style Panel. You will not find our BULLETS style here. We have to load it first. For that, choose Load Paragraph Styles… in the fly-out menu of Paragraph Style Panel.

Bullet List in Illustrator

Locate the file named BULLET LIST that we have saved earlier.

Bullet List in Illustrator

And once it’s loaded, you can find BULLETS style in the panel. Now you can use it in any paragraph containing bullet and tab characters.
That’s all!
Hope this is helpful to you. If you like it then do share this with your friends. Cheers!

Written by Ashok Shrestha
Ashok Shrestha is an up and coming graphic designer for both print and web. He is knowledgeable in Adobe C.S. 3/ C.S. 4, Joomla and Wordpress. He likes to experiment with various techniques in both print and web.

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