How to add a bullet point in Word

If you want to make a list of items in Word, then you want to use bullets. Bullet points give a summarized overview. This article shows you how to add a bullet point in Microsoft Word. There are several symbols that you can choose from to make a bulleted list. You will learn how to insert a bullet point in Word, and we will show you the options to enable and disable automatic bullets.

How to add a bullet point in Microsoft Word

First, we will show you how to add a bullet to your Word document. Follow the steps below.

  • Open your Word document
  • Put your mouse cursor at the place where you would like to add a bullet point
    • Or select the text that should be in bullets
  • Then go to the Home tab
  • In the Paragraph section > Click on the bullets icon in the ribbon

Now you should see a bullet in your Word document, like the picture below.

How to add a bullet in Microsoft word.

Change bullet to another symbol

There is also an option to change the look of your bullet points. It is almost the way you want to insert a bullet point. Look at the steps below.

  • Put your mouse cursor at the place where you would like to add a bullet point
    • Or select the text that should be in bullets
    • Or select the text with bullets that you want to change
  • Go to the Home tab
  • In the Paragraph section > Click on the arrow pointing down next to the bullets icon
  • Now you will see a menu > Click on the bullet you like in the Bullet Library

The bullet point appears on your Word document or changes into a new bullet.

How to change bullet points to symbol

Define new bullet point

If you don’t want to use any drop-down menu bullets, you can find another symbol.

Follow the steps below to change the bullet into a symbol. Home > Paragraph section > Click on the arrow next to the bullets icon to show the drop-down menu.

  • In the Bullets icon menu > Go down and click on Define New Bullet
Define new bullet. Turn on automatic bullets in Word.
  • The Define New Bullet box appears > Click on Symbol
how to define a new bullet in microsoft word. new symbol
  • The Symbol box appears on top of it > Choose a symbol and click OK
Heart symbol for define new bullet window
  • You will be re-directed to the Define New Bullet box > Click OK
  • The new symbol appears on your Word document
turn on automatic bullets in Word

Keyboard shortcut to add a bullet point

There is also a shortcut to add a bullet point. Once you use the shortcut, a bullet point will appear in your Word document. It is the fastest way to insert a bullet point in Word.

  • Press CTRL + Shift + L

There is also another shortcut for adding a bullet point in Word. The only difference is that you will see a drop-down menu of bullets. Then you can click on the bullet or other type of symbol you would like to use.

  • Press Alt + H + U

Remember that you don’t have to use capital letters for the shortcuts. You can also add the Bullets icon in the Quick Access Toolbar. Read How to customize the Quick Access Toolbar Word 2016 to see how to add it.

Use right-click Mini Toolbar to insert bullet point

The right-click Mini Toolbar provides quick access to a few commands. The mini toolbar pops up every time you right-click or select a text in a Word document. For example, in the Mini Toolbar, you can click on the Bullets icon to insert a bullet point in Word. It gives you the same options as in the ribbon, as you can see in the below picture.

use right-click mini toolbar to insert bullet point

If you can’t see the Mini Toolbar, then you should check your Word Options settings.

  • Open your Word document
  • Go to File > Options

Or right-click anywhere in your ribbon > Click on Customize the Ribbon

Now the Word Options box opens up.

  1. On the left > Click on General
  2. Under User Interface options > Click on the check box in front of Show Mini Toolbar on selection
  3. Then click OK

Now you should see the Mini Toolbar above the context menu whenever you right-click on your document or select a text.

How to show mini toolbar on selection in Word Options.

Enable automatic bullets in Word

Whenever you write a 1. or symbol (*)(-) followed by a space bar, Word immediately recognizes that you want to start a numbered list. If that is not the case, then you have not enabled automatic bullets in your Word document.

Follow the steps below to turn on automatic bullets:

  • Go to File > Options
  • The Word Options box appears > Click on Proofing in the left pane

auto correct options to enable automatic bullets in Word
  • Click on AutoCorrect Options on the right
  • A new box opens called Autocorrect > Go to Apply as you type
  • Tick on Automatic bulleted list
  • Tick on Automatic numbered list
  • Select OK
  • Close the Word Options box

turn on automatic bullets in Microsoft Word. automatic numbered lists and automatic bulleted lists

Disable automatic bullets in Word

If you want to stop the automatic bullets in Word, you can change it in Word Options. But there are other ways to turn off your automatic bullets or numbering, which is not available in the Microsoft article.

Whenever you use a number or symbol and click the space bar, you will automatically see an icon with a flash of lightning. For example, if you click on the AutoCorrect Options icon, it shows you three options. We will explain the three different options below.

Autocorrect Options icon. Undo Automatic numbering
  1. Select Undo Automatic Numbering/Bullets if you want to remove the numbering/bullets once.
  2. Select Stop Automatically Creating Numbered/Bulleted Lists to disable the automatic numbering/bullets for the entire document.
  3. If you select Control AutoFormat Options, you will directly go to the AutoCorrect box. Here you can make the same changes as shown before.
    • Tick off Automatic bulleted lists
    • Tick off Automatic numbered lists
Turn off automatic numbered lists and automatic bulleted lists

Conclusion

You have learned to add a bullet point in Microsoft Word by using the options in the ribbon, the Mini Toolbar, or a keyboard shortcut. It is easy to make a bulleted list with different symbols. You also learned other options to enable and disable automatic bullets.

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