How to Insert Bullets in Word

When you have a list of items to include in a document, you can format it as either a bulleted list or a numbered list. Adding a new item to a list will automatically insert a bullet, or a sequential number, in front of the item.

Numbered List

A numbered list will automatically number each line of the list in sequence. This is helpful for a list of steps that must be done in order.

  1. Select the text you want to use to make a numbered list.
  2. Click the Numbering button.
    Numbered List

The selected items are turned into a numbered list.

You can remove the list formatting by clicking the Numbering button again.

Bulleted List

Use bulleted lists when the order of items in a list doesn’t matter, such as listing items you need to buy.

  1. Select the text you want to use to make a numbered list.
  2. Click the Bullets button.
    Bulleted List

The selected items are formatted as a bulleted list.

Like with a numbered list, clicking the Bullets button again will turn off the list formatting.

Multilevel List

Both numbered and bulleted lists can have multiple levels, letting you put together an outline of topics and subtopics. Any list can be turned into a multilevel list by demoting list items.

  1. Select the list item you want to demote.
  2. Click the Increase Indent button.
    Multilevel List

The list item is indented, and depending on the list style, the bullet or number may change.

You can indent a list item multiple times to create additional levels.

To promote a list item back to a higher level, just click the Decrease Indent button.

Change the List Style

While both bulleted and numbered lists have a default style, you can change the bullet style or numbering style for your lists.

  1. Select the list you want to change.
  2. You could also select just a single list item to change only that list item’s style.

  3. Click the Bullets button list arrow or the Numbering button list arrow.
  4. Depending on which style of list you’re using, you can choose a new symbol for the bullets or a different numbering style, such as roman numerals.

  5. Select a new list style.
    Change the List Style

The list style is updated.

Custom Numbering

Numbered lists automatically number each list item in order, but you can change it if you need to.

  1. Right-click a list number.
  2. Select Set Numbering Value.
    Custom Numbering
  3. Make your adjustments.
    • Start new list: This is the default, and it starts your list at “1.”
    • Continue from previous list: Start numbering where the numbered list prior to it left off. If you check Advance value, you can skip numbers.
    • Set value to: Allows you to manually enter a number other than “1” to start your list.
  4. Click OK when you're done.
    Custom Numbering

The list numbering is updated.

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