I have been using Combi Numerals for a while to produce infographics and map overlays. The font is great, but now i'm starting to dislike the shapes used for their actual numbers, so looking for an alternative to this, hopefully using a cleaner base font for the numbers inside the bullets. Willing to buy a good one, so it doesn't have to be free.

Also found another one called Bullet Numbers that seems to use multiple fonts for the numbers, but i still don't think its what i need. Their choice of fonts is (subjectively) poor. Adding irrelevant detail for the purpose.

Or maybe some semi-automated way to produce these via Anchored objects/Character styles in InDesign?

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2 Answers 2


I was dealing with exactly this problem a couple of months ago, and at the time, I was not able to find any other way to make this work via InDesign. And when I checked my go-to InDesign resource, InDesign Secrets, they referred me to Combi Numerals. I don't have the budget to purchase a font, so I finally reworked my piece to eliminate the numbers inside of circles. So, I would be surprised if someone could suggest a solution that you can implement within InDesign itself.

And, I agree with you about Bullet Numbers.

What about trying to design your own numbered font? There are a bunch of on-line font editors that you could try. Start with an existing font that you have that includes numbers that you like, and then use the font editing program to add circles around those numbers. It seems like it should be a fairly simple way to dip your toes into font editing, you know (famous last words, I know).

A quick Google search took me to these resources for finding on-line font generation programs--this article includes 9 options: http://mashable.com/2011/11/17/free-font-creation-tools/#oVlllyAbbSqF and this one is more recent and lists 14 different options: https://superdevresources.com/create-your-own-font/.

I also came across a few suggestions for using starting with Illustrator files and using them as a basis for a new font. This question talks about a few options (although it is fairly old, so I don't know how current the information is), and I found this tutorial on Design.Tuts.


Actually, i just did spend some time exploring this and i was right. This can be set up relatively easy as InDesign objects:

  • create the bullet shape and format as needed
  • create a 'Paragraph Style' for the numbering and format as needed
  • type a number inside the bullet shape using that 'Paragraph Style'
  • create an 'Object Style' which combines the shape and text formatting. This comes with the extra advantage that you can then define 'Anchored Object Options' so you can align the bullet properly when used inline inside a text box.

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  • Would you be willing to share the settings for your object style? Like I said, I played with this a bit a while back and couldn't seem to get anything to work well for me.
    – magerber
    Apr 13, 2017 at 15:16
  • we.tl/PJF4AE0pTN - link only lasts for 7 days, so whoever needs this should grab it by then. You probably need to replace the fonts when opening this (ID CS6).
    – Lucian
    Apr 13, 2017 at 15:42
  • Create bullet shape and format, can you elaborate on those steps? Mar 26, 2018 at 15:18
  • Would it be possible for you to share this again? I'm having trouble following the steps...
    – Anders
    Oct 24, 2019 at 12:27

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