Creating Lists and Procedures

There are a number of list types available in Paligo. The most common ones are available directly from the toolbar, and these are:

  • itemizedlist (commonly called "bullet list")

  • orderedlist (or "numbered list")

  • procedure (for tasks/instructions)

  • checklist (a specialized itemizedlist for checklists, to-do lists, and the like, with special interactive features).

To get the full benefit of Paligo, you should try to follow the principles of structured authoring, and use the proper type of list depending on the content you are creating. This is often called semantic structure.


It is highly recommended that you use the procedure element for all instructions/tasks to utilize this proper semantic structure, not a regular orderedlist.

There are also a number of specialized lists, here are just some examples:

  • Variablelist: a list of terms and definitions.

  • Calloutlist: For use with code elements, to place callout "bugs" and link to the corresponding description in the list. See here for more information about how to use this type of list: Callouts.

    This can be useful for code examples as it is also interactively linked. Clicking a callout highlights the callout bug in the code:

  • Qandaset: This is a "Q & A" list. I.e a list of questions and answers, useful for quizzes, FAQs, etc.

  • Simplelist: a list type with many options for creating lists of different kinds, using attributes to decide how it works. See more here: Simplelist.

Procedure. To create a list or procedure
  1. Create a list of the type you need, for example a procedure if you are writing an instruction.


    You can of course use the Element context menu where you have all elements. But you also have convenient toolbar icons for the most common lists:


    You can also use shortcut keys:


    Create itemizedlist (bullet list)


    Create orderedlist (numbered list)


    Create procedure

  2. Simply hit Enter to add new steps/list items.

  3. To add images and other content in lists:

    If you need to include any auxiliary information in a step or listitem, such as an image (mediaobject or figure), a separate paragraph (para), a table, etc, use the arrow keys or mouse to move out of the para in the step or list item. Add the new element after the para element.

    Check out this video as an example of how to add an image (the same principle applies if you want to add a table or anything else):


    Adding an image to a procedure step

Procedure. Modify or convert lists

Paligo makes it very easy to work with lists and procedures using the toolbar icons and keyboard shortcuts.

If you have created a list, but decide that you created the wrong type, you want to indent or outdent lists, split or merge them, or if you have started creating a set of paragraphs, and then decide you want a list instead, it's easy to fix:

  1. To convert one list type to another:

    1. simply place the cursor in the list. Either inside a para element, or directly at the top of the list (so that the list is the current element in the Structure Menu:

    2. Click the toolbar icon for the type of list you want to convert to, or use the keyboard shortcut for the list type (same as above).

      You will see a dialog to confirm if you want to convert the list.

  2. To create a list from a set of paragraphs:

    1. Place the cursor in the first para element.

    2. Click the toolbar icon for the list you want to create from the set of paragraphs.

      The cursor will automatically jump to the next para element if there is one, allowing you to just keep clicking until you have created a list of them all.

      You can also use the list keyboard shortcuts as described above instead.

  3. To indent list items or steps:

    1. Place the cursor in the list item you want to indent (except the first one, since there would otherwise not be anything to indent the items under).

    2. Click the Indent toolbar icon indent.png (or use the shortcut keys AltT)

    3. Repeat for any items you want to indent.

  4. To outdent a sub list:

    1. Place the cursor at the top element of the nested list.

    2. Click the Outdent toolbar icon outdent.png (or use the shortcut keys AltShiftT)

  5. To move a list item up or down:

    1. Either use the Move commands in the Structure menu, or 

    2. place the cursor in the list item element (not in the para, but in the actual list item), and use the keyboard shortcuts (AltShift to move down, AltShift to move the list item up.

  6. To split a list:

    1. Place the cursor between two list items or steps.

    2. Click the Split toolbar icon split.png.

  7. To merge two lists:

    1. Place the cursor at the top of the first list.

    2. Click the Merge toolbar icon merge.png

  8. To undo a list, simply select the list element (put the cursor at the root element of the list, so that the Element structure menu shows it at the end), and then click the same type of list in the toolbar. This unwraps the content of the list.


The checklist type can also be created directly from the toolbar. This list has some special features for checking off items. See this video for how it works in HTML5 Help Center and Zendesk output:



The only HTML output that supports checklists is the HTML5 Help Center. Checklists are not supported by the other types of HTML output.

A checklist would usually be on the first level only, but it's possible to have nested checklists too. And a checklist item can contain any other content just like a regular list, such as images, other lists, tables, etc.

When you publish to PDF, there is no interactivity like in HTML5 Help Center and Zendesk output, but instead the checklists comes out with check boxes. These can be empty, if your intention if for the end user to print it out and fill it in, or it can be pre-checked, if you just want to indicate a checklist symbolically.


To have pre-checked check boxes in PDF output, add the value "checked" to the role attribute on the checklist. Use a semicolon as separator.


  • You need to make sure all checklists (the itemizedlist root element) has an xml:id attribute for the features to work properly. You can set all lists to always get ids in the Editor settings.

  • This feature uses JavaScript that, in some browsers like Safari, will only run if published on a web server. So if you test it locally, you may need to try another browser first. But once published, it will work on all modern browsers.

Using keyboard shortcuts for quick list editing

Check out this video with some tips for quickly and conveniently working with lists in Paligo, using shortcuts, splitting and merging lists, and indenting lists to sub lists.