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

Video: Lists

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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. By default, when you type text into a placeholder, a bullet is placed at the beginning of each paragraph—automatically creating 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: Download our practice presentation.

To modify the bullet style:

  1. Select an existing list you want to format.
  2. On the Home tab, click the Bullets drop-down arrow.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking the Bullets drop-down arrow
  3. Select the desired bullet style from the menu that appears.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Selecting a bullet style
  4. The bullet style will appear in the list.

To modify a numbered list:

  1. Select an existing list you want to format.
  2. On the Home tab, click the Numbering drop-down arrow.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking the Numbering drop-down arrow
  3. Select the desired numbering option from the menu that appears.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Selecting a numbering option
  4. The numbering option will appear in the list.

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 Numbering drop-down arrow.
  3. Select Bullets and Numbering from the menu that appears.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Selecting Bullets and Numbering
  4. A dialog box will appear. In the Start At field, enter the desired starting number.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Entering a new starting number
  5. The list numbering will change.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013The updated list

Modifying the list's appearance

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


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking the Bullets drop-down arrow
  3. Select Bullets and Numbering from the menu that appears.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Selecting Bullets and Numbering
  4. A dialog box will appear. In the Size field, set the bullet size.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Changing the bullet size
  5. Click the Color drop-down box and select a color.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Changing the bullet color
  6. Click OK. The list will update to show the new bullet size and color.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013The updated bullets

Customizing bullets

Customizing the look of the bullets in your list can help you emphasize certain list items or personalize the design of your list. A common way to customize bullets is to use symbols.

To use a symbol as a bullet:

  1. Select an existing bulleted list.
  2. On the Home tab, click the Bullets drop-down arrow.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking the Bullets drop-down arrow
  3. Select Bullets and Numbering from the menu that appears.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Selecting Bullets and Numbering
  4. A dialog box will appear. On the Bulleted tab, click Customize.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking Customize
  5. The Symbol dialog box will appear.
  6. Click the Font drop-down box and select a font. The Wingdings and Symbol fonts are good choices because they have a lot of useful symbols.
  7. Select the desired symbol.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Selecting a symbol
  8. Click OK. The symbol will now appear as the selected bullet option in the Bullets and Numbering dialog box.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Applying the symbol
  9. Click OK again to apply the symbol to the list in the document.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013The updated bullets

To change the distance between the bullets and the text, you can move the First Line Indent marker on the ruler. For more information, visit our Indents and Line Spacing lesson.

Screenshot of PowerPointChanging the position of the bullets

Challenge!

  1. Open an existing PowerPoint presentation. If you want, you can use our practice presentation.
  2. Change a bulleted list to a numbered list. If you're 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're using the example, change the bullets on slide 3 to a different style.
  5. Change the bullet color.
  6. Change the bullets of a list to a symbol. If you're using the example, change the bullets on slide 2 to a symbol.