Pages for Mac: Format lists in a Pages document

Format lists in a Pages document

Pages detects when you’re creating a list if you begin a sentence with a dash or with a number or letter followed by a period. You can also select text, then format it as a simple list or one with a complex hierarchy. Tiered lists, such as those used in legal documents, use nested numbers or letters (for example, 3., 3.1., 3.1.1.).

Examples of bulleted, ordered, and hierarchical lists.

You can change the number or letter style, change the indentation, and create your own text and image bullets to customize a list. If you create a list whose formatting you want to use again in the same document, you can save it as a new list style.

Format a list

  1. Select the text you want to format.

  2. In the Format  sidebar, click the Style button near the top.

    If the text is in a text box, table, or shape, first click the Text tab at the top of the sidebar, then click the Style button.

  3. Click the pop-up menu next to Bullets & Lists, then choose a list style.

  4. Click the disclosure triangle next to Bullets & Lists, then use the controls shown below to format the list.

    Controls for changing the number style and spacing of a list.

    When you choose Text Bullets, Image Bullets, or Numbers from the pop-up menu below the disclosure triangle, you see more controls that apply to the type of list you chose.

If you want to save these settings to use for other lists in the document, save them as your own list style. See “Create a hierarchical list style” below to learn how.

For more information about creating a list automatically as you type, see Create a list automatically.

Reorder list items

You can drag items in a list to a different level in the hierarchy or to a different indentation level. (You can’t drag list items if change tracking is turned on.)

  1. Select the list item you want to move by clicking its bullet, number, or letter.

  2. Drag the item up or down in the list, or drag it to the left or right, until you see a blue triangle where you want to place the item.

Change the number or letter sequence

You can use numbers or letters in various formats to designate levels of hierarchy in an ordered list.

  1. Select the list items with the numbering or lettering you want to change.

  2. In the Format  sidebar, click the Style button near the top.

    If the list is in a text box, table, or shape, first click the Text tab at the top of the sidebar, then click the Style button.

  3. Click the disclosure triangle next to Bullets & Lists, then click the pop-up menu below Bullets & Lists and choose Numbers.

  4. Click the pop-up menu above Tiered Numbers and choose a number or letter sequence.

    Controls for changing the number style and spacing of a list.

To use nested numbers or letters (for example, 3., 3.1., 3.1.1.), select the Tiered Numbers checkbox.

Customize bullets

You can use a variety of text and image bullets to add a custom look to a list. Any text characters, emoji, and images can act as bullets.

  1. Select the list items with the bullets you want to change.

  2. In the Format  sidebar, click the Style button near the top.

    If the list is in a text box, table, or shape, first click the Text tab at the top of the sidebar, then click the Style button.

  3. Click the disclosure triangle next to Bullets & Lists, then click the pop-up menu below Bullets & Lists and choose a bullet style (text bullets, image bullets, or numbers).

  4. Do one of the following:

    • For text bullets: Click the Bullet pop-up menu and choose a bullet style (scroll to see all of them).

      To use your own text or character for the bullet, double-click in the Bullet field, then type your own text or character. To use a special character, choose Edit > Emoji & Symbols (from the Edit menu at the top of your screen), choose a character, then press Return.

      The Bullets & Lists section of the Format sidebar. The Bullet field shows a flower emoji.
    • For image bullets: Click the Bullet pop-up menu, choose Image Bullets, click the Current Image button, then choose an image bullet style.

      To use your own image, click Custom Image, then choose the image file on your computer.

      The Image Bullets pop-up menu.

Use the other controls in the Bullets & Lists section to change the size of the bullets and adjust the amount of space between text and bullets.

Adjust the spacing and appearance of bullets, numbers, and letters

You can change the spacing, size, color, and alignment of bullets, numbers, and letters.

  1. Select the list items with the bullets, numbers, or letters you want to change.

  2. In the Format  sidebar, click the Style button near the top.

    If the list is in a text box, table, or shape, first click the Text tab at the top of the sidebar, then click the Style button.

  3. Click the disclosure triangle next to Bullets & Lists, then do any of the following:

    The Bullets & Lists section with callouts to the controls for bullet and text indent, bullet color, bullet size, and alignment.
    • Indent: Type a number or click the arrows next to the Indent fields to set the distance from the left margin to the bullet and from the bullet text to the bullet, respectively.

    • Change bullet color: Choose a color from the color well (for preset colors that coordinate with the template) or the color wheel (for any color).

      You can’t change the color of image bullets, but you can choose a different image from the Current Image pop-up menu (not shown above).

    • Adjust bullet size: Type a percentage in the Size field, or click the up and down arrows.

    • Move bullets above or below the center line of the text: Click the up or down arrows in the Align field.

If you want to be able to apply these changes to other lists in your document, you can create a list style, or update the list style you’re already using. Only formatting changes made in the Bullets & Lists section are included in the list style.

Create a hierarchical list style

You can create a list style for any kind of hierarchical list, from a simple one that includes just two levels of hierarchy, to a complex one that uses many styles of numbers and letters to define multiple levels.

After you format a level of hierarchy, you update (redefine) the list style to incorporate that level. For example, if your list has five levels of hierarchy, you need to update your starting style five times to fully define the style. The process results in a single style that automatically formats a list with the same number of levels you defined. You can then use that style for other lists in your document.

  1. Click where you want to start your list.

  2. In the Format  sidebar, click the Style button near the top.

    If the text is in a text box, table, or shape, first click the Text tab at the top of the sidebar, then click the Style button.

  3. Click the pop-up menu to the right of Bullets & Lists, then click the New Style button at the top of the List Styles pop-up menu.

    The List Styles pop-up menu with an Add button in the top-right corner and a placeholder style name with its text selected.
  4. Type a name for the new style in the List Styles pop-up menu, then press Return.

  5. Type the first item in your list.

  6. Use the controls in the Bullets & Lists section to choose a number or bullet style for this hierarchy level.

    An asterisk appears next to the style name in the pop-up menu to indicate that you made a change to the style.

  7. Click the pop-up menu next to Bullets & Lists, then click the Update button.

    Clicking Update changes the format of any existing list items at the same level of hierarchy.

    The List Styles pop-up menu with an Update button next to the name of the new style.
  8. Press Return to go to the next line, then press Tab to indent it.

  9. Use the Bullets & Lists controls again to set a number or bullet style, adjust spacing, and make any other format changes.

  10. Click the pop-up menu next to Bullets & Lists, then click the Update button.

  11. Continue formatting each level of hierarchy, clicking the Update button before moving to the next level.

Only formatting changes that you make in the Bullets & Lists section are included in the list style. Changes you make using the controls in the Font section (font, font color, and character styles) aren’t included.

If you have a list style you use frequently, you can create a keyboard shortcut to apply it.

Update or revert a list style

Changing the appearance of a list—by changing the bullet or number style or the spacing of indents, for example—results in style overrides, which are indicated by an asterisk next to the list style name.

If you want to keep the overrides without updating the style, do nothing. The text retains your changes, and an asterisk appears next to the list style name whenever you select or edit the list.

You can also update the list style with your changes, or use the overrides to create a new list style. If you don’t want to keep the overrides, you can revert back to the original list style.

  1. Select the list items with your formatting changes.

  2. In the Format  sidebar, click the Style button near the top.

    If the list is in a text box, table, or shape, first click the Text tab at the top of the sidebar, then click the Style button.

  3. Click the pop-up menu to the right of Bullets & Lists, then do any of the following:

    • Remove the overrides and revert to the original list style: Click the style name (it has a gray checkmark next to it). The override is cleared, the text reverts to the original style, and the checkmark changes to black.

    • Update the style to use the overrides: Click the Update button (if there is one), or move the pointer over the style name, click the arrow that appears, then choose Redefine from Selection.

      List Styles pop-up menu with an asterisk indicating an override and callouts to the New Style button, and a submenu of options for managing styles.

Note: List styles include only the formatting you set using the controls in the Bullets & Lists section of the sidebar. Any formatting you make using the controls in the Font section (font, font color, and character styles) aren’t included in the list style.

Rename or delete a list style

  1. Select any text in a list that uses the style you want to rename or delete.

  2. In the Format  sidebar, click the Style button near the top.

    If the list is in a text box, table, or shape, first click the Text tab at the top of the sidebar, then click the Style button.

  3. Click the pop-up menu to the right of Bullets & Lists.

  4. Move the pointer over the style name (it has a checkmark next to it), then click the arrow that appears and choose an option:

    • Delete Style: If you try to delete a style that’s being used in the document, you see an alert and can choose a replacement style.

    • Rename Style: Enter a new name.

Published Date: Jul 23, 2019
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