I'd like to get some output that looks like this:

Lorem ipsum blah blah blah blah blah blah blah....

  • Recommendation: Put the thingamajigger in the doodlewhatsit. (RANDOM-248)
  • Recommendation: Doodlewhatsit inserts into the thingamajobber. (RANDOM-249)
  • Recommendation: Poodlejobbin needs to be fixed. (POODLE-3)

On the last page of the document or section, i'd like a summarized list of these items (with references).

Is there any way to do this automatically in InDesign with lists and numbering (paragraph styles), or do I have to insert these items manually (and generate a list of them manually, for summary purposes?) I don't mind setting the styles and lists manually for each item.


I should provide a better example....

You can think of this in the context of something like JIRA numbers. I want the "number" to be the list with a custom format, and i'll manually select the list. so instead of:

    1. foo

I want

  • Random recommendation (RANDOM-1)

And at the end of the document I want a summary of random recommendations (which I can achieve with a TOC and Paragraph Styles).

However, I can't ever get the numbering on the right hand side, where the "numbering" is a custom format (RANDOM-X).

I think cross references may be my only option. I'd love to hear if anyone else has ideas. You can think of this document as a "release notes" document, with something like JIRA issues, except the issue numbers come from tags within indesign and paragraph styles rather than some external system. The idea is that the consumer of the document receives a summarized list of requirements/recommendations at the end of each section, and the "numbering" of these is controlled from within InDesign rather than an external source.

  • What do you mean by "summary" in this context? Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 17:42
  • A table of contents or list of recommendations.
    – Arima
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 23:03

1 Answer 1


If you mean like this...

enter image description here

...that's what right-aligned tabs are for. Right-align the list text (really!), then insert a tab before the brackets/parenthesis on each line.

Right-aligned tabs can be confusing because it's so different to what right-alignment is normally used for. This earlier question shows how to get what people often expect tabs while right-aligned to do.

Set the numbered list with Layout > Bullets and Numbered Lists > Apply Numbers

EDIT - just saw the last bit about repeating this as a summary on the last page. That's more tricky, I'd recommend opening a second question about that, going into a bit more detail on what you want to be copied over and how. Auto-generation is a whole complex issue in itself separate to creating and formatting lists.

To get you started though, depending on exactly what you want, features you might find useful include InDesign's features for Table of Contents (a powerful feature sometimes used for auto-generated lists that aren't contents pages), Indexing (likewise, it's flexible and not always used for indexes) and Cross-Referencing.

  • It sounds like indexing is what the OP wants.
    – horatio
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 18:05
  • To be more specific, what i'm really looking for is custom, automatically numbered lists, e.g. a list for RANDOM, a list for POODLE, etc, and then a summary of all the requirements at the end of the document. Summary in this case is more an enumerated list of where the requirements are, so indexing covers some of it, but ideally i'd also like to include some context of what the requirement said.
    – Arima
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 23:04
  • Yeah, I don't think InDesign is going to be able to automate that. You'll be able to get a start on it with indexing, but it sounds like your needs are too specific and custom for automation. (Unless @AlanGilbertson knows some crazy GREP voodoo that would do it for you. You can ask him. :) ) Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 0:42

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