How to Create Bulleted or Numbered Lists in Word 2010

If you want to create Word 2010 documents that contain lists of items, usually more than two, you have several ways to draw attention to those lists, including taking advantage of the Word bullets and line numbering features.

Making a bulleted list

In typesetting, a bullet is merely a graphical element, such as a ball or a dot, used to highlight items in a list. The word bullet comes from the French word boulette and has nothing to do with those things that come flinging from a firearm.

To apply bullets to your text, highlight the paragraphs you want to shoot and choose the Bullets command button, found in the Home tab's Paragraph group. Instantly, your text is not only formatted with bullets but is also indented and made all neat and tidy.

You can choose a different bullet style by clicking the menu button next to the Bullets command. Choose your new bullet graphic from the list that appears or use the Define New Bullet command to dream up your own bullet style.

Numbering a list in Word 2010

When a list contains items that are in a certain order or that need to be referenced elsewhere, you can apply numbers or letters or another type of sequential marking. To make it happen, select the paragraphs as a block and click the Numbering command button from the Paragraph group on the Home tab.

When you click the button, each paragraph is numbered. You can use the Numbering command button’s menu to choose another sequential format, such as letters or Roman numerals, or choose a specific numbering style. Or, when none of the predefined formats in the menu pleases you, choose Define New Number Format to create your own numbered list.

Creating a multilevel numbered list

The Multilevel List button, found in the Paragraph group on the Home tab, is used to number a multileveled list, consisting of sublevels and indents.

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You can create a multilevel list from scratch, or you can apply the format to a selected block of text. The secret is to use the Tab key and Shift+Tab key combo at the start of the paragraph to shuffle the paragraphs higher and lower in the multilevel list hierarchy:

  • Press the Tab key at the start of a paragraph to indent that paragraph to a deeper level in the multilevel list format.

  • Press the Shift+Tab key combination at the start of a paragraph to unindent a paragraph to a higher level in the multilevel list format.

  • Press the Enter key twice to end the list.

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