InQuestion: Ask Sandee
Figure 12: The parentheses around the font name indicates that
the font for the bullet comes automatically from the text in the first
character of the paragraph.
the variable isn’t defined yet (such as a running styled bold. For some fonts this can cause the bullet to
header based on a paragraph style that has not yet appear larger than the others in the series (Figure 10).
been applied), the variable displays the variable
information within angle brackets (Figure 9). Figure 10: When local formatting for bold is applied to the first word
It’s when these variables change that the
in a bulleted list, the bullet may appear different from the other
display may not change at the same time.
bullets in the series.
Zoom in and out or go in and out of Preview
and you should see the variable change.
Figure 9: A text variable may rely on text that doesn’t exist. For
instance, here the Running Header variable has been inserted, but
there isn’t any text in its reference. That’s why there are brackets
around the variable. When you insert text that the variable can
reference, the variable display changes.
The fix is simple for InDesign CS3; just apply the
bold as a Character Style, not as unassigned local
styling (Figure 11).
However, using a character style doesn’t solve the
problem in InDesign CS2—you’ll have to change
the font for the bulleted list. Open the Bullets and
Unbolding Automatic Bullets Numbering dialog box. The Font Family is listed in Use the pop-up menu to change the font to
parentheses (Figure 12), which indicates that the the paragraph’s desired font, then change the
I use the Automatic Bullets feature to apply bullet will automatically be set in text in the paragraph. Font Style to Regular to prevent the bullet from
bullets to a series of paragraphs. Some of the changing to the bold appearance. The downside
bullets appear bigger than others in the series. The
Figure 11: When a bold character style is applied to the first word in
is that if you later change the font to a different
problem seems to appear when the first word in the a bulleted list, the bullet doesn’t appear different because it uses the font family, the bullet is still styled for the previous
paragraph is bold, then the bullet is also bold, which
underlying style for the first word, not the character style.
font—it continues to use the typeface specified
makes it bigger. How can I keep the bullets regular in the Bullets and Numbering dialog box.
and still have the first word in the line bold?
Sandee Cohen is the only third-party author to have written
When the first word of a bulleted list is locally
educational materials for all five versions of InDesign. Her
styled as bold, the bullet in front of the list is also latest book is the InDesign CS3 Visual QuickStart Guide.
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