Bulleted lists are simple ways to add points in smaller spacer. In most cases, listed items can work better than the lengthy text content. For example, you can easily explain the step by step instructions using lists in Word documents and PowerPoint presentations. In this article, we will explain different ways to create bulleted lists in Microsoft Word using different methods.
Default Option to Create Lists in Word
By default, Word allows to create three types of listed content. You can use the relevant icons available in the ribbon under “Paragraph” section of “Home” menu.
- Bullets – this is unordered list which uses bullets for list style.
- Numbering – this is ordered list which uses numbers in different formats.
- Multilevel List – it helps to arrange content in multiple level using both bullets and numbers as list styles.
When you insert a list, Word will start the line with a list style depending on the type you choose and continue each new line within the list. You can press enter key twice to break the list and move the cursor back to left margin and start a new paragraph.
Shortcuts to Insert Lists in Word
Word by default uses AutoFormat feature and convert some symbols to list. This is the most simple and quick way to insert bulleted and numbered lists.
Automatic Bulleted Lists with Hyphen
Type hyphen and press space key to automatically create a bulleted list.
You will see a small AutoFormat icon in the font and click on it.
- Undo Automatic Bullets – click this option to revert the bulleted list and the typed content will be considered as a paragraph.
- Stop Automatically Creating Bulleted Lists – this will stop converting hyphens and other symbols to lists.
- Control AutoFormat Options – click this to open AutoFormat settings in Word. Under “AutoFormat As You Type” tab check “Apply as you type” section. From here you can enable or disable “Automatic bulleted lists” and “Automatic numbered lists” options. These settings will be applied in the future for current and all new documents.
Using * to Create Bulleted List
Instead of hyphen, you can also use asterisk * symbol to create a bulleted list in Word. Simply type * and press space, AutoFormat feature in Word will automatically start a new bulleted list for you.
Using 1 to Create a Numbered List
For creating a numbered list, simply press 1 and press space key. Word will start the numbered list starting with list style as 1. You can customize the list by clicking on the small arrow next to “Numbered” list icon from the ribbon.
Note: You can always press “Control + Z” keys to revert the AutoFormat and continue typing the symbol or number as a paragraph.
Customizing Bulleted Lists in Word
Whether you insert a bulleted list using hyphen, asterisk or insert from the menu icon, there are options to customize the list style and indent.
Click on any of the listed line item and then click the small arrow on the list icon from the ribbon. From the dropdown, you can choose different bullet style as you like to use for your list.
You can use “Change List Level” to increase the indent level of any single item in the list. Alternatively, you can use “Increase Indent” icon to move the listed items away from the previous items. Or “Decrease Indent” icon to move the item in left direction. When you change the intent of multiple items within a bulleted list, each level will use different icon for the list style to form a “Multilevel Lists”. You can click on the small arrow next to “Multilevel List” icon and change the list style for all the listed levels at once. Remember, you can only change one level of list style icon from “Bulleted” or “Numbered” option.
Creating New Bullet Style
You do not need to stick with the default bullet styles available in Word for your lists. It is possible to use custom pictures, symbols or even emoji as your bullet list style. Click on the small arrow icon showing next to “Bullets” icon and select “Define New Bullet” option.
You have the following customization options:
Using Symbol as Bullet
Click on the “Symbols…” button to pen the in-built “Symbol” utility in Office apps. This utility will open with “Symbols” font by default showing only limited symbols. However, change the font to Arial or any other standard font and you can see an additional option called “Subset” next to “Font” selection. This “Subset” dropdown will show you the complete list of Unicode symbols from where you can filter the categories. For example, select “Arrows” as subset and choose a right arrow symbol. Click on “OK” button to see the preview in “Define New Bullet” dialog.
Press “OK” button on the dialog to close it and start using the arrow as your bullet style.
Using Emoji as Bullet in Word
It will be fun to use emoji as your bullet list style. For example, below is how the thinking face emoji as a bullet list style in Word.
Actually, you can search and use the smiling face emoji from the “Symbol” utility as explained above. However, those emoticons will look in black and white and it is always a fun to see the colorful emoji symbols. Fortunately, Word has an option for that as well. Click on the “Pictures” button in “Define New Bullet” dialog. This will open the following “Insert Pictures” box allowing you to select custom picture from a local file or from your OneDrive storage.
If you do not have any emoji symbol file, the best way is to use “Bing Image Search” option. Type “emoji” in the search box and press enter key to find the list of emoji pictures as a search result from Bing. Select your favorite emoji picture and click “Insert” button.
Now, you can see the emoji as a bullet in the preview and click “OK” button to close the dialog and start creating your emoji bulleted list.
As you can see, Word will automatically resize the image and use as your bullet.
Customizing Size of Bullets
When you use the default bullets or symbols, it is possible to adjust the size of your bullets. Click on “Font…” button in the “Define New Bullet” dialog to open the font settings. From here you can change the font size to adjust the size of your bullet icon.
You can also change the default alignment of all bulleted lists to left, right or center as per your need.