Using Font Awesome for custom bullet images

I’ve used the icons available in the free Font Awesome font to create cool custom bullet icons for a couple of years now. It’s easy to download, and even the free version has over 1,400 high-quality icons to choose from.

Setting up FontAwesome

There are a number of ways to use this great resource, but you can download the desktop version of FontAwesome (referred to as FA for the remainder of this post) by visiting their download site.

Of course, once downloaded, you’ll need to install the font for use in your operating system. After installation, FA fonts will appear in the font menus for your applications.

Prepping a FrameMaker paragraph for an FA autonumber

The first thing you need to use an FA character to create cool bullets in FrameMaker is a character style that specifies the Font Awesome font family. It’s important to note that older versions of FA were in a single font family, but sometime recently they split that font into three separate families (Regular, Solid, and Brands) so you need your character style to specify the correct font in order to render correctly.

Specifying the autonumber

Within the Autonumber properties in the Paragraph Designer, specify the character style you defined above so that the FA font is used for formatting the autonumber of your paragraph. Then select and copy a character from the Font Awesome gallery (

Paste the character into the Autonumber field in the Paragraph Designer. The character will display as a bullet in the autonumber field. Finish by selecting Update All in the Paragraph Designer. If you did everything correctly, you should now have the icon you copied from the FA website as the bullet character in your document.

What if it didn’t work?!

Watch this quick video for some extra tips.

Where to go from here…

If you’d like to move beyond just putting in cool bullet characters, my Template Design workshop also shows you how to use MIF (Maker Interchange Format) to drop down the icon so that it helps to further set off a caution statement. That workshop also include a digital copy of my reference book, Working with Content,and the template I used for the book, complete with the WNCs shown above.

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