Lists

In MS Word bulleted lists can help arrange Word documents so they are clearer. In Word numbered lists can do the same thing.

Introduction

Video: Lists

Launch "Lists" video!Watch the video (3:52).

Bulleted and numbered lists can be used in your documents to outline, arrange, and emphasize text. In this lesson, you will learn how to modify existing bullets, insert new bulleted and numbered lists, select symbols as bullets, and format multilevel lists.

Optional: Download our practice document.

To create a bulleted list:

  1. Select the text you want to format as a list.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting text to format
  2. On the Home tab, click the drop-down arrow next to the Bullets command. A menu of bullet styles will appear.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Clicking the Bullets drop-down arrow
  3. Move the mouse over the various bullet styles. A live preview of the bullet style will appear in the document. Select the bullet style you want to use.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting a bullet style
  4. The text will be formatted as a bulleted list.


    Screenshot of Word 2013A bulleted list

Options for working with lists

To create a numbered list:

When you need to organize text into a numbered list, Word offers several numbering options. You can format your list with numbers, letters, or Roman numerals.

  1. Select the text you want to format as a list.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting text to format
  2. On the Home tab, click the drop-down arrow next to the Numbering command. A menu of numbering styles will appear.


    Screenshot of Word 2013The number command
  3. Move the mouse over the various numbering styles. A live preview of the numbering style will appear in the document. Select the numbering style you want to use.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Viewing the live preview
  4. The text will format as a numbered list.


    Screenshot of Word 2013The formatted list

To restart a numbered list:

If you want to restart the numbering of a list, Word has a Restart at 1 option. It can be applied to numeric and alphabetical lists.

  1. Right-click the list item you want to restart the numbering for, then select Restart at 1 from the menu that appears.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Restarting a list
  2. The list numbering will restart.


    Screenshot of Word 2013The restarted list

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. Word allows you to format bullets in a variety of ways. You can use symbols and different colors, or even upload a picture as a bullet.

To use a symbol as a bullet:

  1. Select an existing list you want to format.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting an existing list
  2. On the Home tab, click the drop-down arrow next to the Bullets command. Select Define New Bullet... from the drop-down menu.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Defining a new bullet
  3. The Define New Bullet dialog box will appear. Click the Symbol... button.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Clicking the Symbol button
  4. The Symbol dialog box will appear.
  5. Click the Font drop-down box and select a font. The Wingdings and Symbol fonts are good choices because they have many useful symbols.
  6. Select the desired symbol, then click OK.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting a symbol
  7. The symbol will appear in the Preview section of the Define New Bullet dialog box. Click OK.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Preview of the new symbol
  8. The symbol will appear in the list.


    Screenshot of Word 2013The formatted list

To change the bullet color:

  1. Select an existing list you want to format.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting a list to format
  2. On the Home tab, click the drop-down arrow next to the Bullets command. Select Define New Bullet... from the drop-down menu.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting Define New Bullet...
  3. The Define New Bullet dialog box will appear. Click the Font button.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Clicking the Font button
  4. The Font dialog box will appear. Click the Font Color drop-down box. A menu of font colors will appear.
  5. Select the desired color, then click OK.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Changing the bullet color
  6. The bullet color will appear in the Preview section of the Define New Bullet dialog box. Click OK.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Clicking OK
  7. The bullet color will change in the list.


    Screenshot of Word 2013The new bullet color

To use a picture as a bullet:

  1. Select an existing list you want to format.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting a list to format
  2. On the Home tab, click the drop-down arrow next to the Bullets command. Select Define New Bullet... from the drop-down menu.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Defining a new bullet
  3. The Define New Bullet dialog box will appear. Click the Picture button.
    Screenshot of Word 2013Clicking the Picture button
  4. The Insert Pictures dialog box will appear. From here, you can locate an image file stored on your computer or in your OneDrive (previously called SkyDrive), or you can use the search fields to search for an image online.
  5. In our example, we'll click Browse to locate a picture stored on our computer.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Clicking Browse From a file
  6. The Insert Picture dialog box will appear. Locate and select the desired image file, then click Insert.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Inserting a picture
  7. The image will appear in the Preview section of the Define New Bullet dialog box. Click OK.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Preview of the picture
  8. The image will appear in the list.


    Screenshot of Word 2013The formatted list

Not all pictures work well as bullets. Generally, it's best to use a simple graphic that has a white (or transparent) background. This ensures the bullet will have a recognizable shape.

Multilevel lists

Multilevel lists allow you to create an outline with multiple levels. Any bulleted or numbered list can be turned into a multilevel list by using the Tab key.

Screenshot of Word 2013A multilevel list

To create a multilevel list:

  1. Place the insertion point at the beginning of the line you want to move.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Placing the insertion point
  2. Press the Tab key to increase the indent level of the line. The line will move to the right.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Increasing the indent level

To increase or decrease an indent level:

You can make adjustments to the organization of a multilevel list by increasing or decreasing the indent levels. There are several ways to change the indent level:

When formatting a multilevel list, Word will use the default bullet style. To change the style of a multilevel list, select the list, then click the Multilevel list command on the Home tab.

Screenshot of Word 2013Formatting a multilevel list

Challenge!

  1. Open an existing Word 2013 document. If you want, you can use our practice document.
  2. Insert a new bulleted list into the document. If you're using the example, add Fundraising, Chair's Report, and Other business to the bottom of the list.
  3. Create a new numbered list.
  4. Restart the numbering of the list so it begins with a number of your choice.
  5. Use a symbol as a bullet. If you're using the example, change the open circles into a different symbol.
  6. Modify the color of a bullet. If you're using the example, change the color of the green diamond bullets.
  7. Change the style of the list. If you're using the example, change the bulleted list into a numbered list.
  8. Use the Tab key to change the levels of some of the lines. If you're using the example, increase the level of the two bullets under the list item International Arborists Association.