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How to Insert Bullets in Word

You can format a list of items or lines of text in a document as a bulleted or numbered list.

Pressing Enter or adding a new item to a list will automatically be preceded by a bullet or a sequential number.

How to Insert Bullets in Word

Adding a bulleted or numbered list can help you organize your thoughts and make your document easy to read and more appealing.

Whether creating a list for a school project, a business report, or just for personal use, learning to insert bullets in Word is a helpful skill. And I’ll show you how in this step-by-step guide.

You can always create custom bullets in Word if you don’t want to add default bullet points in your document.

This way you can give your documents a personal touch and make them stand out.

Note: The instructions apply to Word 365, 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, and Word for Mac.

RELATED: How to Create Custom Bullets in Word

Create a list on a blank page

To start a bulleted list, type an asterisk (*) and a space before the text. Or, navigate to Home and click the Bullets icon.

To insert a numbered list, type 1, a period (1.), and a space before some text. Or, navigate to Home and click the Numbering icon. Word will create a numbered list for you.

Each line of text becomes a numbered or bulleted item.

Press Enter once to insert the next bullet, or press the Enter key twice to end the bullets list or numbering list.

Create a list from the text

Follow the steps to add a numbered or bulleted list to your Word document.

Numbered List in Word

Each line of text in a numbered list is automatically numbered in sequence. It helps create a list of steps that must be completed in numeric order.

Steps to add bullets to text to make a numbered list in Word:

1. Select the text you want to turn into a numbered list.

  • You can also drag the cursor across the text to select it.

2. Select the Numbering button.

The selected text turns into a numbered list starting from number 1.

To remove the numbered list formatting, click the Numbering button again.

Hit Enter twice to end the numbered list.

Bulleted List in Word

When the order of items in a list is irrelevant such as when listing shopping items to buy, use bulleted lists.

Steps to add bullets to text to make a bulleted list in Word:

1. Select the text you want to turn into a bulleted list.

  • You can also drag the cursor across the text to highlight it.

2. Select the Bullets button.

The selected text is turned into a bulleted list.

Clicking the Bullets button again turns off the list formatting.

Press Enter twice to end the bulleted list.

Multilevel List in Word

In Microsoft Word, you can add a Multilevel list with a numbered and bulleted list. It allows you to create an outline of topics and subtopics.

To create a multilevel list like the one shown in the picture, follow the steps.

  1. Place your cursor next to the list item you want to demote.
  2. In the Paragraph group, select the Increase Indent icon.

That is how you indent a list item. The bullet or number may vary depending on the list type.

To create more levels, press the Enter key once.

To create a sub-item, hit Enter followed by Tab.

To move a list item to a higher level, click Decrease Indent.

Press Enter until the Multilevel list ends.


  1. Select the Multilevel List button, as shown in the picture.
  2. Choose your list style in the drop-down List Library.
  3. Once the list starts, enter each of the desired list items.

Press Enter followed by Tab to add a sub-item or another level to the list. By pressing Enter again, you can add another level to the list.

Format the List Style in Word

While both bulleted and numbered lists have a default style, you can change the style for your list.

Steps for changing the list style in Word:

  1. Select the list you want to format.
  2. You could also change the style of a single list item by selecting it.
  3. Click either the Bullets or the Numbering button drop-down arrow.
  4. Select the “Define New Bullet” option to change the Bullets style or “Define New Number Format” to change the Numbering style.
  5. Depending on the list style, you can change the bullet symbol or use a different numbering style, such as Capital Roman Numbers.
  6. Choose a new list style you want to use.

Word will update the list style you selected.

Tip: You can also change the color or font size of bullets or numbers.

Customize Numbering in a Numbered List

Numbered lists number each list item in the sequence they appear, but you can change this if necessary. Here’s how.

1. Right-click a list number you want to change.

2. Select the Set Numbering Value option in the context menu.

3. Make your adjustments.

  • Start new list: This is the default setting and begins your list at number “1.”
  • Continue from previous list: Begin numbering where the previous numbered list left off. You can skip numbers if you select the Advance value option.
  • Set Value to: You can manually enter a number other than “1” to begin your list. Use the arrows to change the number value.

4. When you’ve finished, select OK.

The numbering of the list is updated.

Restart the Numbering List at 1

  1. To begin a new list, right-click the number you want to use.
  2. Select “Restart at 1” from the context menu.

Your new or previously changed numbering list will start at “1“.

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