I've come across this quite a few times now. Whilst working on a long document with several areas with bullet points, it's obviously more efficient to style the bullet points using Paragraph Styles. However since I can't predict how much space each bullet point will have or how long each bullet point is then I often come across this problem: enter image description here

As you can see the second line aligns itself to the bullet point rather than the content of the bullet point. I've tried to use first line indent, left indent, tab position but this does everything but what I'm trying to achieve. See the following screenshots

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There seems to be no obvious option here to achieve what I'm aiming for. Have I overlooked something?

2 Answers 2


First set Left Indent to where you'd like the text to start from and then set First Line Indent minus that amount.

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Even though Illustrator and Photoshop don't have a bullet point/list feature like the one in Indesign, this same method can be used to make one in those applications as well. You just gotta manually place the bullet . Then you can adjust the Left indent and First line indent using the Paragraph panel or Paragraph styles > Indent and spacing

  • This is the right answer. Also you would want to make a paragraph style for this which is a child of the regular text with only this modification.
    – tim human
    Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 7:41
  • Correctomundo! I had overlooked the fact that you can have negative values in these options. Seems so obvious now. Thanks @Joonas Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 9:36
  • I used to do it this way. There's actually an easier way. Instead of using negative indent, set the bullet position alignment to Right then apply a left indent. No need for negative indent and having to go back and forth balancing the two numbers until it's perfect. I often look for a first line that starts with a character that has a stem such as B, H, or L and put that capital on the second line to ensure those two line up then delete it from the second line once the style has been set up. Commented Mar 27 at 16:10

Insert your cursor after the bullet in the line that wraps and press Cmd/Ctrl + \ (the backslash key), the default keyboard shortcut for "Indent to Here". This will align all subsequent lines of text in that same paragraph on the position of the Indent-to-Here code.

It's a case by case solution but sometimes easier than writing an indent rule.

  • 2
    Command | works a treat - thank you! Then if you've created a paragraph style, you can right click on the style and redefine it so for future use the change will be permanent.
    – user74950
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 1:30

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