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This is well in the realm of "it doesn't really matter" or "whatever looks best", I know, but I was curious as to whether or not there was a generally accepted convention about this (or a well-supported opinion).

Should the right padding/margin of a list more or less mirror what you do on the left side (first two bullet points below)? Or should it go all the way to the normal margin (second two bullet points)?

Illustration of question

I only ask because I was working with a document today where the bullet point ended up sticking out further than the paragraphs above and below due to now they were ragged, but I'm working with limited vertical space and don't want to take another line on this particular list item.

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2 Answers

Other than aesthetics, I would take two factors into consideration:

1) How much do you need to set off the bullets? Are they just sub-thoughts of the ongoing text, or are they more like pull quotes which really need to be separated?

2) Do you have additional levels of hierarchy? If each level of bullets has a right indent, your margins are going to get ridiculous very quickly.

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I went through two books to see how it's done in the "real world" and from my observations it appears that the lists indeed have also padding on the right side. So perhaps it's a practice worth following.

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