I want to know if it is possible to adjust the spacing of only the first hierarchy in a hierarchy list in Pages (something like:

1. Item One
   a. Subitem
   b. Subitem

2. Item Two
   a. Subitem

3. Item Three
   a. Subitem
   b. Subitem

Currently if I change the setting in the spacing part and update the "body" style, every single bullet would be spaced out as each bullet is considered a paragraph. The only way is to manually add spacing before every first-level list item.

Note: Referring to this question: Pages multilevel bullet spacing, I created a list style but there is no "update" button when changing the spacing, only update button available in the body text style.

Note: Pages version 11.2 on macOS Monterey.

enter image description here

  • The obvious is do this change but then on heading 2 put the spacing back to the current state
    – mmmmmm
    Oct 21, 2021 at 14:06

1 Answer 1


Welcome to Ask Different!

Yes, that is possible. All you need to do is create a new paragraph style (instead of a List Style) in the Format -> (Text) Style sidebar and apply that style whenever you create a first-level list item. Here is how you can do it based on the example in the picture below:

After creating a "first-level" item and changing its "List Style" to Numbered, set its "Before Paragraph" spacing to, for example, 6 points. An "Update" option will appear right next to the "Body" paragraph style on the sidebar. Instead of clicking on the Update, click on the Body paragraph style which will give you the list of existing paragraph styles. Then click on the "+" sign in the paragraph styles menu to create a new paragraph style and name it "First-level". In addition to spacing, you can now make other changes to the "First-level" paragraph style and these changes will automatically apply to any paragraph this style has already been applied to.

The directions above and the example below is from Pages v8.1 but I reckon the settings are quite similar to those in the version you have. You can find more on creating paragraph styles in this Apple support document on Pages.

enter image description here

  • Thanks, I think that is what I would do. Although I am assuming that I would have to manually change the paragraph style for every single first-level bullet point? (Sorry I am new to the site, should I comment like this for something like this?)
    – Thomas Li
    Oct 22, 2021 at 8:41
  • No problem. Your comment is quite alright. Yes, you need to apply the new style manually to every existing first-level bullet point or those you are to create. If there are too many first-level bullets already or if you are planning to create many more, you can assign a keyboard shortcut ((only to be applicable in the document it is defined within) to the style as described in this Apple support page. Pls don't forget to accept my answer if it has answered your question indeed!
    – Alper
    Oct 22, 2021 at 9:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .