I've created a vector image in Illustrator. I would like to import it into InDesign and use it as bullets.

I googled it but they just mention pasting it on to the clipboard and they don't explain how to do that.

  • What they probably mean is the pasteboard, the area outside of your actual page. Just paste and move the object out of your page.
    – Vincent
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 5:10
  • I've reworded the question title so it is clear what you're actually trying to do. Commented May 8, 2014 at 8:04

2 Answers 2


You can't actually use them as bullets in the usual sense unless you create a single-glyph font, which you can do using IndyFont (helpful video and trial download).

If you don't want to buy IndyFont (although I highly recommend it), you can still add a vector from Illustrator to your bullet paragraphs.

  • Paste the graphic into InDesign.

  • Cut to the clipboard.

  • Select the Type tool and click inside the frame where you want to add the graphic.

  • Paste.

Your graphic comes in as an inline object and acts much like a glyph, but it's probably in the wrong place.

enter image description here

  • Right click and choose Anchored Object > Options...

  • Change the Position to "Custom" and select the reference point you want to use (I used the right center, see below).

  • Change "X Relative To:" to "Anchor Marker" and adjust the X Offset to whatever you need. (Turn on Preview if it's not already on, so you can see what you're doing.)

  • Leave the "Y Relative To:" option at "Line" and adjust the Y Offset.

Custom position

  • As a last step, check "Prevent Manual Positioning" (Important: the next bits won't work unless you do this) and click OK.

  • Open the Story Editor (Ctl/Cmd-Y). Notice the little anchor icon ahead of the text? Select it and copy to the clipboard, then you can close the Story Editor.

Story editor

  • Click at the beginning of each paragraph to which you want to add the shape, and paste. It will come in with all of your settings intact.

Pasted objects


You can Edit > Copy your object from Illustrator, and then Edit > Paste it directly into a text frame. The object can then be formatted using many of the same properties as normal text, such as color and spacing. However you'll need to manually re-size it using either the Selection Tool or Free Transform Tool.

This won't act as an actual bullet though, with true list/paragraph formatting. It's just an easy solution for using custom symbols within text - which will usually get the job done just fine.

However, if you need a more advanced solution for a larger publication, this link has more information on converting a custom symbol into an actual font character:


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