Word can automatically apply simple bullets and numbering to lists in your documents as you type. You can also type a list, select it, and then apply bullets or numbering. You can also change the appearance of the bullets and numbers that you use.
Applying Bullets or Numbering
One way to apply bullets or numbering to a list is to apply them as you type. You can start a bulleted list in Word by typing an asterisk (*) at the beginning of the first item in your list, and then pressing the “Spacebar” key. When you press the “Spacebar” on your keyboard, the asterisk will turn into a bullet point. You can then type the first line of your list. When you press the “Enter” key to move to the next line, it will continue the bulleted list. To discontinue the bulleting, press “Enter” again when finished with the list.
You can also begin a numbered list as you type by typing an Arabic or Roman numeral followed by either a period, dash, or parenthesis, followed by the “Spacebar” key. As with the bulleting, when you press the “Spacebar” key, the list will automatically be converted into a numbered list. When you press the “Enter” key to move to the next line, the numbering will continue. As with the automatic bulleting, you can press the “Enter” key on your keyboard again to finish the numbered list.
Another common way to apply bullets or numbering is to start by typing your list, first. Then click and drag over the line items in the list in order to select the text that you want to set as a bulleted or numbered list. Next, click the “Home” tab in the Ribbon and look in the “Paragraph” group. Here you can click either the “Bullets” or “Numbering” button to apply the last bullet or numbering style used. You can also click the drop-down arrows next to either button, and then select the desired format of bullets or numbering to apply from the drop-down menu of choices.
Formatting Bullets or Numbering
You can change the appearance of bullets and numbers that you apply. Word allows you to create your own custom library of bullets and numbering. Custom bullets and numbering you create will then appear within the drop-down menus of their respective buttons. That way, you can create them once and then reuse them as often as needed.
To create a custom bullet, click the drop-down button next to the “Bullets” button in the “Paragraph” group on the “Home” tab of the Ribbon. Then click the “Define New Bullet…” command from the drop-down menu in order to open the “Define New Bullet” dialog box. This dialog box allows you to define the appearance of your new bullet.
At the top of the dialog box, in the “Bullet character” section are three buttons that allow you to choose the icon that will be used for your bullet: “Symbol…,” “Picture…,” and “Font….” If you want to create a bullet based on an available symbol, then click the “Symbol…” button in order to open the “Symbol” dialog box. This dialog box will default to displaying the content of the “Symbol” font. However, note that you can use the “Font:” drop-down to choose another font, if desired. For example, the “Webdings” or “Wingdings” fonts also have many fun and useful bullet characters that you can use. Once you have the font selected, click on the symbol within the font that you wish to use as the bullet icon. Then click the “OK” button to return to the “Define New Bullet” dialog box. If you wanted to use a picture for the bullet, versus using a font character, then you would click the “Picture…” button in order to open the “Picture Bullet” dialog box. Here you can scroll through the listing of available bullets until you find the one that you like. Then click on it to select it, and click the “OK” button to return to the “Define New Bullet” dialog box.
If you elected to use a symbol for your bullet icon, then you will be able to click the “Font…” button to open the “Font” dialog box. This dialog box allows you to modify the appearance of the selected font symbol. When you have finished modifying the bullet’s appearance, click the “OK” button to return to the “Define New Bullet” dialog box. The final step is then to choose an alignment for the selected bullet character from the “Alignment:” drop-down. Review the appearance of the bullet in the “Preview” section, and then click the “OK” button to finish defining the new bullet.
You can also create your own numbering, if desired. The process is very similar to the one used to define new bullets. Simply click the drop-down arrow next to the “Numbering” button in the “Paragraph” group on the “Home” tab of the Ribbon. Then select the “Define New Number Format…” command from the drop-down menu in order to open the “Define New Number Format” dialog box.
First, select the general style of numbering to use from the “Number style:” drop-down. Then click the “Font…” button to open the “Font” dialog box. As with symbol bullets, you use the dialog box to select a font to use, and set other formatting features that you want the numbering to possess. Once you have done that, click the “OK” button to return to the “Define New Number Format” dialog box.
You can add additional characters that follow your selected numbering format in the “Number format:” text box. For example, you could replace the default period with a hyphen, if desired. Then choose the alignment that you want to apply to the numbering from the “Alignment:” drop-down. You should see how your numbering will appear in the window in the “Preview” section. When you have the numbering set as you would like it to appear, just click the “OK” button to finish creating your own custom numbering.