When & How to Use Lists

There are three basic kinds of lists you can create in HTML:

Unordered Lists

An unordered list like the one above should be used with items whose order does not matter -- a list of parallel choices, for example:

Contribute users: if you don't like bullets, make them invisible:

  1. Select all the list items with your mouse.
  2. Right-click on the selected items, then select Style > nobull.

Dreamweaver users: if you don't like bullets, select the entire <ul> using the tag selector, right-click and select Set Class > nobulletlist.

Ordered Lists

Ordered lists are useful when you want to give a list of steps or instructions, or when you need to refer to items in the list elsewhere in the document by number or letter:

  1. Go to the corner.
  2. Turn right.
  3. Walk fifty feet.
  4. Buy a soda from the vending machine, and wait.

In Contribute, you can set the style an ordered list uses by selecting the list with your mouse, then right-clicking and selecting List > Properties. Set the style to arabic or roman numerals, large or small letters, as you prefer.

Definition Lists

When you have a series of annotated items (links to bibliographical resources, for example), you may want to use a definition list format, like this one:

Literature Resource Center
Provides one search access to Contemporary Authors, Contemporary Literary Criticism Select, the Dictionary of Literary Biography, and Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature.
MLA International Bibliography
Indexes 4000 journals and series in literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore, 1963-

Create Lists

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Last Updated: 04-Jun-2010