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I noticed that when I use enumerated list environment it produces an extra indentation to the document. So that if I'm using \usepackage[margin=3cm]{geometry} and then the enumerated list, the left margin is further indented than the right one, and the text is not centerally symmetric. Is there a simple way to fix this, other than define a new list environment for non-indented numbers? (possible, but I rather use a something simple. geometry package options would be preferable)

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Welcome to tex.sx! Normally, lists are "indented" only relative to the left margin because the label (here, a number) needs some space. It is certainly possible to change the settings for lists, but you have to specify exactly how the lists should look like (e.g., "labels should be positioned in the left margin, raggedleft, with 1em space between label and text"). –  lockstep Sep 15 '11 at 22:35
    
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1 Answer 1

To get enumerated and itemized lists that have the same amounts of left-hand and right-hand indentation, I'd recommend using the enumitem package -- which provides many extensions to and improvements over LaTeX's list environments -- and its leftmargin and rightmargin options. The following MWE illustrates this.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[margin=3cm]{geometry} % per the example in your code
\usepackage{lipsum} % for filler text
\usepackage{enumitem}
\begin{document}
\lipsum[1] % filler text
\begin{enumerate}[leftmargin=2cm,rightmargin=2cm]
\item \lipsum[2]
\end{enumerate}
\lipsum[3]
\begin{itemize}[leftmargin=1cm,rightmargin=1cm]
\item \lipsum[4]
\end{itemize}
\end{document}

Added material after receiving a comment from the OP. I'm afraid I'm not quite sure about the meaning of the question

But how do I make the indentations of the \item the same as the original text?

The new MWE below provides various option settings for shaping the itemized (or, equivalently, enumerated) list items. Hopefully, of these these settings meets your needs.

\documentclass{article}
% some short filler text, ca. 3 lines long
\newcommand{\shortfiller}{Nam dui ligula, fringilla a, euismod sodales, sollicitudin vel, wisi. Morbi auctor lorem non justo. Nam lacus libero, pretium at, obortis vitae, ultricies et, tellus. Donec aliquet, tortor sed accumsan bibendum, erat ligula aliquet magna.}
\usepackage{fancyvrb}
\usepackage[margin=3cm]{geometry}
\usepackage{enumitem}
\begin{document} 
\DefineShortVerb{\|}
\emph{``Normal'' text paragraph.} \shortfiller
\begin{enumerate}[leftmargin=2cm, rightmargin=2cm]
\item \emph{Settings:} |[leftmargin=2cm, rightmargin=2cm]|. 
\shortfiller
\end{enumerate}

\emph{``Normal'' text paragraph.} \shortfiller
\begin{enumerate}[resume, wide=2cm, leftmargin=2cm, rightmargin=2cm]
\item \emph{Settings:} |[wide=2cm, leftmargin=2cm,  rightmargin=2cm]|.
\shortfiller
\end{enumerate}

\emph{``Normal'' text paragraph.} \shortfiller
\begin{enumerate}[resume, wide=\parindent, leftmargin=\parindent, rightmargin=\parindent]
\item \emph{Settings:} |[wide=\parindent, leftmargin=\parindent, rightmargin=\parindent]|.  
\shortfiller
\end{enumerate}

\emph{``Normal'' text paragraph.} \shortfiller
\begin{enumerate}[resume, wide=\parindent]
\item \emph{Setting in this and the following item:} |[wide=\parindent]|. 
\shortfiller 
\item \shortfiller
\end{enumerate}

\emph{``Normal'' text paragraph.} \shortfiller
\end{document}

Suppose the final setting of the list items is what you're looking for. If you want this setting to apply uniformly to all enumerated and itemized lists, you should insert the command

\Setlist{wide=\parindent}

in your document's preamble, following the \usepackage{enumitem} instruction.

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Thanks. It does work in providing symmetric indentation with respect to left and right margins. But how do I make the indentations of the \item the same as the original text? For example, in the following text the first "regular" enumerate has it's \item indented with respect to the the text, and the "enhanced" one with leftmargin and rightmargin has it's text aligned with the first lipsum text, not it's number aligned. –  PineApple Sep 16 '11 at 3:50
    
\documentclass{article} \usepackage[margin=3cm]{geometry} % per the example in your code \usepackage{lipsum} % for filler text \usepackage{enumitem} \begin{document} \lipsum[1] % filler text \begin{enumerate} \item \lipsum[3] \end{enumerate} \begin{enumerate}[leftmargin=0cm,rightmargin=0cm] \item \lipsum[3] \end{enumerate} \end{document} –  PineApple Sep 16 '11 at 3:50
    
I'm afraid I'm not quite sure what you're looking for. In the answer above, I've added some more examples to illustrate various outcomes. Hopefully, one of these is what you're looking for. Happy TeXing! –  Mico Sep 16 '11 at 9:50
    
Ok thanks! The option [wide=\parindent, leftmargin=\parindent, rightmargin=\parindent] does what I wanted –  PineApple Sep 16 '11 at 14:28
    
I'm glad it finally worked! By the way, if you were to check-mark my answer, I certainly wouldn't complain. :-) –  Mico Sep 16 '11 at 18:28

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