Bullet/List Punctuation


PerfectIt checks the ending of each item in bulleted and numbered lists to see how it is punctuated. PerfectIt suggests there may be a possible issue if one item in a list is punctuated differently from the others. For example, if the first item in a bulleted list has no punctuation, but the other items have a full stop at the end, PerfectIt will suggest there may be an issue.


Style guides suggest there are a number of ways in which lists can be punctuated. Amongst the punctuation variations are:

  • Lines that end in semi-colons, commas, full stops or indeed, no punctuation;

  • Use of one punctuation form until the penultimate entry, then use of ‘and’;

  • Question marks as appropriate;

  • A final item may have a full stop when others do not.

Style guides often suggest one rule for lists with short items (less than one sentence) and another rule for long items (one sentence or more). PerfectIt suggests there may be a possible issue only if it appears that punctuation is inconsistent with the rest of the list.

Special Cases

There are some instances in which PerfectIt will find issues in a list but will exclude certain items from the list of suggestions. This will occur where:

  • An item in a list ends in a URL or cross-reference;

  • The final item in the list is correct no matter which style is chosen (for example, if items in a list end with a mixture of full stops and semi-colons and the last entry in the list has a full stop then the last entry is correct either way).

Customizing the Check image0

You can set preferences for long (multiple sentences), short (one phrase or sentence), and very short (no more than three words) list items in the Settings tab of the style sheet editor, or you can customize the check as you work.