Indesign CS5 outline template

Recently, I began looking for an alternative means of writing a formal outline with something other than Microsoft Word. To my surprise I couldn’t find a good tutorial for InDesign CS5 using the search “Indesign CS5 outline template.” Most of the results lead to tutorials or documents relating to outlines as a stroke on a character. Since that was not what I was looking for I decided to add my own tutorial and findings in hope that it will benefit some other new comer to CS5. So here is a VERY simple paragraph style group containing separate paragraph styles using multiple numbering levels.

Click Here to download the outline template
**note: to obtain the styles in your own document, download the zip, extract the file, open your existing .indd file using Indesign CS5,  open your paragraph styles panel with F11 and go into the panel menu and  select load paragraph style. Find the file that you extracted from this page and click open. Next deselect the [basic paragraph] style to avoid the conflict and click OK. Now you can just highlight the lines you want to convert and select the level to which they belong. You can also edit the paragraph styles by double clicking them in the paragraph styles panel.

Here is how I obtained the above results in InDesign CS5:

  • It is best to start with five lines of dummy text in a new document.
  • Highlight the first line and under the menu go to type>bulleted and numbered lists>define lists.
  • click New Lists, Name the list “Outline” and uncheck boxes(2) and click OK and OK again to get out of dialog.
  • Open paragraph styles panel (F11) and in the panel menu (top right icon) select create new paragraph style.
  • In the left menu of that dialog go to the Bullets and Numbering tab and set the following:
  1. Style Name = Outline Level 1
  2. List type = Numbers
  3. List = Outline
  4. Level = 1
  5. Format = I, II, III, IV
  • Click OK
  • Highlight second line and do the following:
  • Create new paragraph style same as above except…
  • Under the “General” tab name the style “Outline Level 2” and click on the “Based On:” drop down and select “Outline Level 1”
  • Under the “Bullets and Numbering” tab increase Level to “2” and chose the Format: (A, B, C, D…) It should populate the “Mode:” to “Continue from Previous…” and check the “Restart Numbers” check box.
  • Adjust position (check the preview box in lower left to see live changes)
  • Click OK

Continue to do the last four bullets for each additional line (changing the format of course.)

Once you are complete, you can just add a new line and click on the level from the paragraph styles panel to put it in the right level of the outline.

Hope this helps.