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I am putting together a very large business manual which incorporates numbered headings, steps to follow, diagrams, etc.

When using the bullet points, they align perfectly as I work through the processes. However when I include a diagram, or something different from the "norm" of text, the alignment changes.

I would like all the bullet points to be aligned in the whole document regardless of where they appear in the document. Is there a way to save the settings so that the bullets always appear in the same position?

Currently I am having to reset the indents by dragging the tabs on the ruler. This will be a large document, so I don't want to manually adjust the numbered bullets every time.

Help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much.

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Firstly, I'm guessing that the problem is to do with the sections that the non-normal text are in. As you switch from one section, containing normal text, to an abnormal section for your diagram, the margins etc. change.

Whether this is the problem or not, it should be possible to solve this with suitable styles in a style sheet.

If you've never used style sheets, I would highly recommend learning about them, they really allow you to be very flexible and consistent in your styling.

For instance, if you normally have a 1 inch margin and a 1 inch indent on your bullet points, but when you insert a diagram, that section has a 1.5 inch margin, then you might end up having to manually drag the bullet indent to 0.5 inch.

If however you set up a "Normal bullet" style, and then base another style called "Unindented bullet" on it (replacing the 1.4inch ident with a 1inch indent) then you just need to switch bullet paragraphs to the unindented style if you add them to the diagram sections. If you move the bullet lists back into normal text, you just need to re-style it as a "Normal bullet".

Plus, by basing the "Unindented bullet" on the "Normal bullet", any changes other than indent position, which are applied to the "Normal bullet" will be carried through to the "Unindented bullet" style. So, if you started with bullet points in Times Roman 12pt, but decide you want them all in Arial 10pt, you only have to change one style to change that style and all other styles based on it.

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Thanks for your assistance. – FrustratedwithWord May 25 '10 at 6:04
Hi Frustrated... Glad to be of help. To show your appreciation for answers which are useful though, it is a good idea to click the 'This answer is useful' button next to an answer (it's the up arrow above the answer score at the top left of the answer). Similarly if you think one answer fully answers your question, it's a good idea to click on the tick so that people can see that the question is answered and not try another solution. – Mark Booth May 25 '10 at 23:24

When I find images are affecting text alignment I usually change th text-wrapping options of the image(s) (right-click image-->Text Wrapping), pick 'In Front of Text', and then position it where I want it. From there I create text whitespace (blank lines for example) to get the text out from behind the picture.

Since the picture is no longer in-line with the text it shouldn't have any affect on the formatting.


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Thanks for your assistance. – FrustratedwithWord May 25 '10 at 6:03
@techie007 - and then every time you add or delete text you need to manually reposition every picture from that point to the end of the document. Your suggestion is a really bad approach to the issue. – Dave Becker May 10 '12 at 14:37
@DaveBecker When you find a "really good" solution, there's always the "Add Answer" button. ;) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 May 11 '12 at 4:14
@DaveBecker I use this approach often (with page/section breaks) and find it very convenient. "from that point to the end of the document" is certainly not necessarily correct - often I have no requirement for ANY further repositioning of pictures. – pnuts Jan 1 '13 at 2:21

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