How to Create Bulleted or Numbered Lists in Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator released an update (version 26.4) that allows for lists to be created from text within Illustrator using the paragraph section or the control panel. Now users can create either bulleted lists or numbered lists directly from Adobe Illustrator.

How to Work with Illustrator Documents in Adobe Photoshop

Creating a list within Illustrator is a simple three step process.

Step One: Select Text or Beginning of the List

First, begin by either selecting the text that you want to make a list (if the text is already present) or place the cursor where the list needs to begin (if the text is not yet in the document).

Step Two: Create the List

Once a selection is made do any number of the following options to create the list:

  • Click the bulleted list button or the numbered list button in the upper toolbar known as the Control panel (Windows > Control if not available).
  • Click the more options icon in the Paragraph section of the Properties panel and click the Bulleted List button or the Numbered List button.
  • Select the text and right-click, then choose Bulleted and Numbered Lists and apply either numbers or bullets.
  • Use the type context menu to click and apply lists. 

Illustrator also has an auto-detect list feature which triggers from the use of usual numbering sequences such as 1. or a.

Step Three: Continuing the List/Adding More Items

If typing the list out it may be necessary to continue the list. In order to do this, simply move the cursor to the end of the list and press Enter or Return. This action should result in a new line item being created with a corresponding bullet or number beside it.

Helpful Tip: Customize Bullets

Custom bullets can be created by using the following keyboard commands: 

  • * <space>
  • # <space>
  • > <space>
  • + <space>

Formatting Lists

For more detailed formatting options, such as creating multi-level lists or formatting indents, open the Bullets and Numbering window.

Setting Alignment and Indenting Lists

At the bottom row of the window will be three options that allow designers to choose the alignment of the list, as well as the first line indent and the indent of the entire list.

Formatting Multi-Level Lists

Creating a multilevel, ranked, or outline list can be done through the use of this window or through keyboard shortcuts such as tab or shift + tab to move to the next or previous levels.

Adobe Illustrator allows for up to 9 levels to be created in any list.


Being able to add bulleted and numbered lists within Adobe Illustrator is a very welcome feature. The idea that this wasn’t natively included seems like an oversight on some level at this point as typographic choices sometimes dictate the use of a list in some form and Illustrator is not only “the vector art program” anymore. Implementation does seem to be solid and fully featured, which is greatly appreciated. Also implemented in version 26.4 are History States, Expand Objects as Wireframes, Export 3D Objects with Colors, and Render Map Artwork as Vector. More information on these features is coming soon.

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