WORD: Creating a bullet point list in Word

This page gives basic instuctions on how to create a bullet point list in Microsoft Word.  There are more advanced bulleted lists but these are not covered here.

What is a bullet point list?

Quite simply it is a list of items where it is formatted with a bullet – like this:-

  • Item one
  • Item two
  • Blah blah

The above is a correctly formatted bulleted list.  Whatever you do – DO NOT – EVER – try and create it manually by putting in a few “spaces” then a * then a few more spaces.  It really doesn’t work even though it may look correct!  A proper list will ensure multi-line items wrap around correctly and look professional and neat.

How to get a bulleted list

(This section is correct for Word 2007, but you should be able to do it similar for other programs)

KEY TIP:  It is MUCH easier to start a bulleted list first , then type the contents, then finish off.  Its a bit tougher to type the contents then convert to a list afterwards.

In Word:-

  •  As per (1) Make sure you are looking at the “HOME” ribbon
  • As per (2) click the “bullet list” icon

 Once you do this, a bullet will appear in your document where your cursor is.

  • Type your contents for the first bullet, and when finished press ENTER.  You will then automatcially create a new bullet
  • Type the contents of the second bullet, and when finished press ENTER.   And repeat until you have finished the list
  • After you have created your last bullet and press ENTER, you will automatically create a new bullet.  Simply press ENTER for a second time (so this bullet is empty) and it will then vanish and close the bulleted list for you.

Advanced Tips

Once you are happy creating simple lists, then be aware you can do the following:-

  • If you click the “down arrow” next to the bullet icon (2) above, you can change the style of the list and start getting clever
    • If you want sub-bullets like this line, then when you are about to create a new bullet you can use the INDENT IN/OUT icons to move the buttons in and out
      • Like this one indented again
  • You can use the mouse/cursor keys to move around the list and make changes and delete/insert lines.  If you delete a line and the list “splits” simply go to the “gap” and press BACKSPACE and the list will join up again (e.g. you are deleting the blank)
  • If you highlight existing text then press the “bullet list” icon then the formatting may be all weird.  You will need to be clever with the “BACKSPACE” and “ENTER” keys to sort it out. It is possible so have a play.