But I’m being asked to make all the numbered lists use the circled-type numbers, known as “circled digits” such as with the UTF "CIRCLED DIGIT ONE”
I am not aware of a font in Google Docs that allows you to do this although there are ~1500 available so maybe one exists. If you are willing to use MS Word there is a font available that will do what you want.
Circled Number Lists in Google Docs
- you should use a font as opposed to a symbol or Unicode in order to maintain the ordering
- the font used needs to have circled numbers in place of regular numbers (or letters)
- the font needs to be one of the fonts already included/supported by Google Docs
I am not aware of a Google Docs font that fits the bill however if you turn up a name of one that might work, you can compare it to the list of ~1500 fonts available in Docs. The free Extensis Fonts Add-On can make font name searching in Google Docs easier.
Circled Number Lists in MS Word
Microsoft Word 365 has more built-in functionality around list styles and can additionally leverage fonts installed on your PC which Google Docs does not do.
I found an OpenType (
.otf) Windows font called Numberpile that is made up of circled numbers. The font is free and released under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 license that allows you unfettered use even for commercial work.
MS Word: Approach 1
This approach leverages OpenType standard ligatures which enables creating circled numbers with this font by surrounding the number in parentheses. For example, typing
(1) (2) (3) will map to
- While the
(#) custom format can be defined, the font cannot be applied as part of that as it seems that within the Define Format tool it is unable to interpret
(#) as anything but 3 separate characters
- Fortunately, it is not a lot of work to apply the font formatting when you insert the first
(#) formatted bullet.
- Word will then remember the font for subsequent lists
MS Word: Approach 2
This 2nd approach uses the mappings in the 'Numberpile Guide' included in the downloaded font package (also shown at the bottom). For example,
A B C D maps to
- when using this approach, the custom Number Format you define in Word should be set to start by default at
A maps to
- so would be mapped from B C D
Document Sharing: Doc / Word
If you are sharing the document with Google Doc and MS Word users, remember that they are unlikely to have the Numberpile font installed.
- Depending on the approach used, they will see
(1) (2) (3) or
B C D instead of
- Given that, it is best to use approach 1 as
(#) will allow lists to start at
(1) instead of
Document Sharing: PDF
If distributing the document via PDF, the circled numbers will always display correctly, regardless of the approach used.
Define a Number Format
Approach 1 - PDF (Font not Required)
Approach 1 - MS Word (Font not Installed)
Approach 2 - PDF (Font not Required)
Approach 2 - MS Word (Font not Installed)
Character Mapping Guide