How to Create a Style for Unique Bullet Lists

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How to Create a Style for Unique Bullet Lists

Post by weiphotoarts » 2017-06-20 14:35:44

How to Create Unique Bulleted Lists

I’ve tried 3 times going through the Nisus Writer Pro documentation, but I haven’t found my solution to what I want to do with a new bullet style.
I want to create a bullet style (and subsequent bullet-style indents) that use different bullets and sizes than are in the standard Nisus Bullet List or in the List Palette. There are examples of the types of bullets in the documentation, of different sizes than the standard Bullet List, so I know it can be done automatically.
For example, I would like to create these bullets as a style (these examples aren’t created from styles, but from brute force). Both the bullets are different, yet use my normal style of Cambria 12 pt:
◆ Bullet 1
▸ Bullet 2
How can I create such a style? Or, better yet, how can I use the List Palette to enlarge the number and sizes of the offered bullets?

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Re: How to Create a Style for Unique Bullet Lists

Post by martin » 2017-06-21 12:41:41

Creating and customizing list styles in the way you described is definitely possible in Nisus Writer. You can customize the list bullet character for each list level/indent, and optionally any formatting for them (eg: text color, size, etc).

The lists provided by the Lists palette are whatever List Styles are in the active document. That is, list styles are saved and stored on a per-document basis, just like other kinds of styles. So if you create a new list style that you'd like to use in multiple documents, you should add it to your New File template, or save it to your Style Library so you can easily import it into other documents.

Here's one way to create a new bullet list:

1. Switch to your document's stylesheet using the menu View > Style Sheet.
2. On the left side, below the list of all styles, click the button with a plus icon.
add.png (27.3 KiB) Viewed 2409 times
3. A popup menu will show all the kinds of styles you can add; choose "List Style".
4. A dialog will appear asking you for some initial list style settings. Give the new list style a name and choose a list type, eg: bullet list.
sheet.png (26.77 KiB) Viewed 2409 times
5. Your new list style will automatically be selected in the list of all styles.
6. If you look to the right hand side, you will see a preview of the list and all its levels. Select the first level so you can customize it:
preview.png (37.97 KiB) Viewed 2409 times
7. You can now use the Lists palette to customize the selected list level's bullet character. We provide a list of several common characters, but you can type any character you like. You can also use standard formatting actions to modify the bullet's attributes, eg: use the Character palette to change the bullet's font or size, use the Color panel to change the text color, etc. Here's an example showing list bullets with custom character, font, size and indents:
bullets.png (15.21 KiB) Viewed 2409 times
8. Once you're done with the first list level, select level two and customize it. Repeat this process for as many list levels as you'd like to use.

I hope that helps and is clear enough. Please let us know if you have any questions.

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Re: How to Create a Style for Unique Bullet Lists

Post by weiphotoarts » 2017-06-22 17:38:07


Thank you kindly for your clear, detailed instructions. I was able to follow them, and now I am well over 50% there. I’m able to change the bullet size, making it larger or smaller, and then saving it.

My last question regards the bullet itself. There are 13 bullet types in the List Palette under Bullet Styles. I’m trying to inset a bullet that’s not in that list of 13. For example the Wingdings (filled diamond), when you press “t”. I tried to make the font Wingdings, but that did not change the circle filled bullet at all. It did make all the characters in the text of the bullet Wingdings, which is not what I wanted.

So to cut to the chase, can you provide an example with a bullet that is not in the 13 dropdown list in the List Palette. You can use Wingdings or any of the characters under Nisus Writer Pro’s Special Characters under Misc.

Thanks a bunch!


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Re: How to Create a Style for Unique Bullet Lists

Post by Vanceone » 2017-06-23 04:55:06

So here's the thing: the bullet field does not allow you to insert things directly (the special characters menu from the Insert Menu is greyed out, for instance) but you can paste a character or two into the bullet field.

So to insert whatever you want (I used the "filled diamond" from the Misc section of the special characters menu) I just took a blank, new document, inserted that symbol and then copied it.

In my document where I was using the bullet style, I went to the styles palette, selected the bullet style I wanted to change, selected level 1 (or whatever level you want of that style), then selected the bullet character and pasted, replacing what was there. That inserted my filled diamond. I then clicked into the offset box, (out of the bullet itself) and Nisus registered the change. Going to my document, I see that my bulleted list has been updated to use filled diamonds.

For Wingdings or zapf Dingbats, you have to type your letter into the bullet box. Say it's the letter "R". Then, select the "R" and change the font to Dingbats or whatever (I have a snowflake font, so I used that). The bullet box will still show the letter "R", but in the preview section you can see that it changes to the symbol of the font, in my case a snowflake. You may have to click in the Offest box to register the change (actually, just removing keyboard focus from the Bullet box is all that is required; the easiest way is to click in the offset box).

Make sure you select your letter, and also, make sure you are editing only the bullet style itself; I noticed that when I went to edit my bullet style, it had both the "Normal" style as well as the bullet style selected. Thus, changing the font affected both styles. You want to make sure you are only editing the bullet style.

I hope this helps!

So yes, it is possible but a bit finicky. I hope that helped!

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Re: How to Create a Style for Unique Bullet Lists

Post by weiphotoarts » 2017-06-23 13:27:07

Hi Vanceone,

Your solution was clear, precise, useful, and it worked! As you mentioned, it was a bit “finicky,” but with your instructions followed closely, I was able to add two more bullet lists to my Nisus New File document.

Thanks to you, to Martin, and the rest of the Forum members who have helped me in the past for some non-obvious solutions.

Is there a way to capture such information in an intermediate (or advanced)) TIPs section. I would continue Martin’s section, and add more pictures to yours—so the next person looking for such information can find it easily.


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Re: How to Create a Style for Unique Bullet Lists

Post by weiphotoarts » 2017-06-23 13:41:21

I forgot to state that I did not use Wingdings, because of the awkwardness of changing fonts that Vinceone carefully documented.

But for my use, Nisus' menu bar Edit/Special Characters/Misc led me to more than enough icons. If that's not enough, making sure you have your "regular" font, you can always go to the menu item Edit/Special Characters/Show Character Catalog... and get even more icons.

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