Questions about formatted lists

Subject: Questions about formatted lists
From: "Van Boening, Tammy" <tammy -dot- vanboening -at- fiserv -dot- com>
To: <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 08:20:08 -0600


Have a question about formatting of numbered lists and bulleted lists in
regards to level of indentation. I have scoured the web and reference
books trying to find an explicitly stated standard for this approach and
I haven't found one, but from a visual inspection of many, many
published user guides by big vendors (like MS and Adobe) and reference
guides by independent authors, I have noticed this approach (which is
the one I have always used and been edited to in my years of writing):

For a numbered or bulleted list that is the first level, the indentation
is left-aligned with the body text/introductory paragraph that the list
falls under: like this;

* Bullet Lev1
* Bullet Lev1


1.) ListStepFirst
2.) List StepContinued

That is, the First indent is 0.00, the tab is set to something that puts
a nice space between the bullet or the number, and the left indent is
set to the same value as the tab.

Subsequent sublists are aligned with either the bullet or the number
directly beneath the first letter of the preceding list - For example,
Let's say that the BulletLev1 list is set to First Indent of 0.0, the
tab is set to 0.2 and the Left Margin is set to 0.2 as a result, Then
BulletLev2 would be set to a First indent of 0.2, the tab would be set
to 0.4, and the left margin is set to 0.4.

I have some fellow authors, however, who want to start indenting right
off the bat with the first level lists - for example, BulletLev1 would
be set to would be set to a First indent of 0.2, the tab would be set to
0.4, and the left margin is set to 0.4, etc. You get the picture.

It just looks really funky to me, gives you a truckload of whitespace in
procedural steps and moves everything way over to the right as a result
(especially for the lower level tags) - you get the visual.

Any and all input is appreciated and if anybody can direct me to any
styles/standards documented anywhere about this, that would be most



Tammy L. Van Boening
Senior Technical Writer
Fiserv Insurance Solutions
Property and Casualty Division
tammy -dot- vanboening -at- fiserv -dot- com
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