Custom and Nested Bulleted Lists in PowerPoint

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  • 0:01 Bulleted Lists
  • 0:44 How to Add Bullets to a List
  • 1:41 Nested Bullets
  • 2:51 How to Access Other Symbols
  • 4:11 How to Create a Custom Bullet
  • 5:02 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen Sorensen

Karen has a Bachelors in Communications. She has 25 years of experience in Information Systems, Adult Learning and Virtual Training.

Have you wanted to change the standard round and square bullets that PowerPoint uses by default? Want something a bit more customized? This lesson will demonstrate how to add bullets and customize the bullet symbols.

Bulleted Lists

Most of the PowerPoint templates come with the standard round or square bullets. However, did you know that PowerPoint has many other bullets to choose from and that you can customize bullets with your own image?

Bullets come in two forms - symbols and numbers. Symbols are used to list key points or ideas, and numbers are used when you need a sequential list. This lesson will show you how to add bullets to an existing list and what other symbols are available, besides the round and square, and how to create a custom bullet using an image of your choice.

How to Add Bullets to a List

When creating slides for your presentation, your goal should always be to present the most information in the simplest way, and bullets give you a way to separate the information into key points.

So, let's start by taking a look at how to add bullets to a list.

  1. We'll start by clicking on the text box placeholder where the bullets will be added.
  2. And then, go to the Home ribbon menu.
  3. And under the Paragraph grouping of commands, click on the Bullets command. It's the icon in the upper, left-hand corner of the grouping.
  4. Now, by default, PowerPoint will add a solid, circle bullet to each line of the text.

The same steps apply to adding numbers to a sequential list. However, instead of clicking on the Bullets command in step three, you will click on the Numbering command. It's the icon to the right of the Bullets command.

Nested Bullets

PowerPoint lets you create nested bullets. These are bulleted lists inside another bulleted or numbered list. For example, let's say you are creating a list of different automobile makers, such as Dodge, Chevy, GMC, and Ford. You also want to list the different truck options under each manufacturer. This would require a second set of bullets 'nested' into your list of automobile makers.

To do this, you will need to use the Increase List Level command, located on the Home menu, in the Paragraph grouping of commands. To add your nested list, just follow these steps.

  1. First, add your list of trucks, under the manufacturer, such as Ram 1500 and Ram 2500 under Dodge.
  2. Then, highlight your list of trucks.
  3. And then, finally, click on the Increase List Level command. This will move your list of trucks over one level to the right.

You now have created a nested list.

How to Access Other Symbols

Want a bullet other than the default circles and boxes? Well, this topic will give you the steps to changing the color, size, or style of the bullets or numbers on your slide.

  1. And we'll start by going to the Home ribbon menu.
  2. And clicking on the text box placeholder that has the bullets that you want to change.
  3. Next, click on the pick-list icon to the right of the bullets command.
  4. The options box will give you more bullets to choose from, such as star bullets, check-mark bullets, and arrow bullets. But there are even more choices. Click on the Bullets and Numbering option at the bottom of the options box to see additional symbols.

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