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 May 8 '14 at 5:10
  • I've reworded the question title so it is clear what you're actually trying to do. – Alan Gilbertson May 8 '14 at 8:04

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

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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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