Modifying Lists

In PowerPoint lists make it easy for an audience to read what you're presenting. Learn about PowerPoint list level and other functions.

Introduction

Introduction

To create effective PowerPoint presentations, it's important to make your slides easy for the audience to read. One of the most common ways of doing this is to format the text as a bulleted or numbered list. In this lesson, you will learn how to modify existing bullets, change the bullet style, switch to a numbered list, remove bullets and numbers, and select symbols as bullets.

Modifying lists

Video: Modifying Lists in PowerPoint 2010

Launch video!Watch the video (2:54).

By default, when you type text into a placeholder, a bullet will be placed at the beginning of each paragraph. This is called a bulleted list. If you want, you can modify a list by choosing a different bullet style or by switching to a numbered list.

Optional: You can download this example for extra practice.

To modify the bullet style:

  1. Select all text in an existing list.
  2. On the Home tab, click the Bullets drop-down arrow. A menu of bullet options will appear.
    Clicking the Bullets drop-down arrowClicking the Bullets drop-down arrow
  3. Hover over each menu option to display a live preview of the bullet on the slide.
    Selecting a new bullet typeSelecting a new bullet type
  4. Select the desired bullet option.

To modify a numbered list:

  1. Select all text in an existing list.
  2. On the Home tab, click the Numbering drop-down arrow. A menu of numbering options will appear.
    Clicking the Numbering drop-down arrowClicking the Numbering drop-down arrow
  3. Hover over each menu option to display a live preview of the list on the slide.
    Selecting a new numbering typeSelecting a new numbering type
  4. Select the desired numbering option.

To change the starting number:

By default, numbered lists count from the number one. However, sometimes you may want to start counting from a different number, like if the list is a continuation from a previous slide.

  1. Select an existing numbered list.
  2. On the Home tab, click the Bullets drop-down arrow.
  3. From the drop-down menu, select Bullets and Numbering. A dialog box will appear.
    The Bullets and Numbering optionThe Bullets and Numbering option
  4. In the Start At field, enter the desired starting number.
    Entering a new starting numberEntering a new starting number
  5. The list will update the numbering to begin with the new number.
    The updated listThe updated list

Modifying the list's appearance

Whether you're using a bulleted or numbered list, you may want to change the appearance by adjusting the size and color of the bullets or numbers. This can make your list stand out better, and it can also help it match the appearance of your presentation.

To modify the size and color:

  1. Select an existing bulleted list.
  2. On the Home tab, click the Bullets drop-down arrow.
  3. From the drop-down menu, select Bullets and Numbering. A dialog box will appear.
  4. Set the bullet size using the Size field.
    Changing the bullet sizeChanging the bullet size
  5. Click the Color drop-down box, and select a color.
    Changing the bullet colorChanging the bullet color
  6. Click OK. The list will update to show the new size and color.
    The updated bulletsThe updated bullets

Customizing bullets

To use a picture as a bullet:

  1. Select an existing bulleted list.
  2. On the Home tab, click the Bullets drop-down arrow.
  3. From the drop-down menu, select Bullets and Numbering. A dialog box will appear.
  4. Click Picture on the Bulleted tab. The Picture Bullet dialog box will appear.
    Clicking the Picture commandClicking the Picture command
  5. Select the desired picture, and click OK.
    Selecting a pictureSelecting a picture
  6. The list will update to show the new bullets.
    The updated bulletsThe updated bullets

You can also click Import to use one of your own pictures as a bullet.

To use a symbol as a bullet:

  1. Select an existing bulleted list.
  2. On the Home tab, click the Bullets drop-down arrow.
  3. From the drop-down menu, select Bullets and Numbering. A dialog box will appear.
  4. Click Customize on the Bulleted tab. The Symbol dialog box will appear.
    Clicking the Customize commandClicking the Customize command
  5. Click the Font drop-down box, and select a font. The Wingdings and Symbol fonts are good choices because they have a large number of useful symbols.
  6. Select the desired symbol.
    Selecting a symbolSelecting a symbol
  7. Click OK. The symbol will now appear as the selected bullet option in the Bullets and Numbering dialog box.
  8. Click OK again to apply the symbol to the list in the document.
    The updated bulletsThe updated bullets

Challenge!

  1. Open an existing PowerPoint presentation. If you want, you can use this example.
  2. Change a bulleted list to a numbered list. If you are using the example, use the list on slide 4.
  3. Change the color of the numbered list.
  4. Change another list to a different bullet style. If you are using the example, use the list on slide 3.
  5. Change the bullet color.
  6. Change the bullet to a symbol.