Paragraph style for figure numbers

Recently I wrote a post on changing the full stop in a numbered list in InDesign CC (this post can be viewed here). This got me thinking about another huge time saver that works in a similar way. Creating a paragraph style for figure numbers. I have seen it plenty of times especially when working on bids especially and each image or ‘figure’ has to be labelled accordingly then one figure is removed and all the numbering needs to be updated and I think – why are we doing this manually? If a numbered list is created so instead of it saying ‘1. XXXXXXXXXX’ the paragraph style automatically enters ‘Figure 1 XXXXXXXXXX’ this would save time with manual editing.

So I’m going to explain how to:

Creating a paragraph style for figure numbers – Video guide

Creating a paragraph style for figure numbers – Written guide

As with my previous post for the purpose of this guide I have already set up a standard paragraph style for a numbered list and applied it to some text.

STEP 1
In paragraph styles select ‘Bullets and Numbering’ from the left hand bar.

Paragraph styles

STEP 2
With ‘Numbers’ selected under ‘List Type’, you can choose your format. This same process will work regardless of the ‘Format’ you choose. For this guide I have selected ‘1, 2, 3, 4…’ but you can select whatever format you like. Now it is the ‘Number’ section below ‘Format’ you will need to alter.

Numbered lists

STEP 3
So if you want to change your numbered list from something that looks like this ‘1. XXXXXXX’ to say something like this ‘Figure 1. XXXXXX’ you simply add the word ‘Figure’ before the ‘^#.^t‘ in the ‘Number’ section. You can add any word, number or symbol you like here. So you can create a minus numbered list like this ‘-1. XXXXXX’. You may also want to add a space after the word or symbol you can do this too. So in this case I have added the word ‘Figure’ followed by a space.

Numbered List

STEP 3
Once you have made your selection click ‘OK’ in the bottom right and your numbered list will update or you will see it once you apply it to your text as below. And if you want to change the full stop following the number to a space or another symbol you can follow my guide here.

Figure Numbers

Written by Donna Hocking, graphic designer and creative artworker. If you are a designer / agency in need of support or a business looking for someone to create your print & web materials get in touch I’d love to hear from you. You can also read more about what services I provide here.