2

It seems that the standard way of doing point lists is to respect the right margin and indent the left margin. I wonder if there are any good reasons except for tradition for not indenting the right side as well. I can think of at least two reasons for why I would want to do it:

  • I like symmetry
  • When having figures that take up the entire margin space placed freely inside a long point list, for example on the top of a page the effect will be something like this:
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Figure 1: bla bla

        x Point one which makes 
          the figure misplaced
        x Point two which makes
          the figure misplaced

In other words the figure looks like it is placed too far to the left when in fact it is placed as the margin and it is the point list that is unevenly indented....

2

Most print is optimised to have a certain amount of characters per line that reads well. Together with font size and leading, line length makes reading the text as easy as possible.

When indenting both sides of a bullet list, you clip the line length quite a bit. There's two margins, and you need some space for the bullet character to sit in. This may adversely influence legibility.

Another reason could be aesthetics: adding an extra margin to the right is a new element in the layout, a new 'line' where earlier there was none. So I guess not indenting on the right side is a way of being minimalist.

0

If you're changing the style of the indentation from page to page, it will look messy and i would recommend not changing it for the sake of one page looking a bit off.

Rather try to move things around to avoid these unsightly indentations, put the figure somehwere else etc.

And adding a margin on the right just seems like a waste, surely the lines would become short to the point of being illegible? That's if i understand your question correctly

0

You need to take into account that the bullet is sat at the left indent, not the text, so you end up with the text unequally aligned with respect to equal left and right indents.

To level it out, you need to draw the bullet back towards the margin so that either the left-hand edge of the text, or the mid-point between that edge and the bullet, is sat at the same distance from the left margin as the right indent is from the right margin. The choice between those two points is down to what your eye prefers.

Alternatively, you can bring the right indent further in for the same reason, but then you run the risk of presenting your text in too narrow a column.

  • Another approach is the really-old school approach of putting the bullets in the margin and having the bullet-texts left aligned as normal text. That probably hasn't been in fashion for a really long time though :) – jonalv Aug 17 '14 at 15:46

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