Working with bulleted lists in detail


Microsoft Word makes it easy for you to create bulleted lists, so you can organise your text and format your documents. You can create a wide range of lists including unordered lists using bullets, ordered lists using numbers and even multilevel lists.

All of the list functions can be found in the Paragraph section of your task bar, as shown below.


Bulleted lists Autocorrect

Before we explain how to create bulleted lists in detail, it’s worth mentioning that Word will automatically start a list if it detects that you are trying to create one. For example, if you type ‘1.’ it will assume that you are creating a list, so when you press Enter, it will automatically indent the line and create ‘2.’

Whilst this can be pretty handy if you were in fact trying to create a list, other people find it annoying. If you are one of the other people, you can turn it off by going to Word > Preferences > Autocorrect > AutoFormat or if you are in windows File > Options > Proofing > Autocorrect > AutoFormat then unchecking where it says ‘Automatic Bulleted Lists.’

Creating a simple bulleted list

  • Select the text you want to turn into a bulleted list
  • Click on the Bulleted List icon in the taskbar (shown below)
  • Choose a different bullet scheme from the Bullet Library (optional)


 Create a numbered list

  • Highlight the text you want to turn into a numbered list
  • Click on the Numbered List icon in your task bar
  • Choose a new numbering scheme from the Numbering Library (optional)


Numbered Lists don’t have to be numbered. They’re actually more of ordered lists as you can order them by any scheme you like e.g. A, B, C, D or I, II, III, IV etc.

Multilevel lists

Sometimes you will find that a simple bulleted list or numbered list just won’t do the job. If you’ve got a lot of information that needs bullet pointing, you may find it more useful to create a multilevel list. 


  • Highlight the text you want to turn into a multilevel list
  • Click on the Multilevel List button in your taskbar (pictured above)
  • Create new levels in your list by placing your cursor at the start of a new line and using ‘Tab’ or ‘Shift+Tab’
  • Press once to create your second level and again to create a third

 Here’s an example of what a multilevel list looks like…

  • List item1
    • List item 2
      • List item 3

As you can see, each level has a different bullet point, helping you to distinguish between the different pieces of information.

Defining your own Multilevel Bulleted List

If the options in the Multilevel List Library don’t meet your needs, you can always define your own by clicking on ‘Define New Multilevel List.’

This will bring up the following dialogue box, where you will be able to customise your bulleted list options, making them more suitable for your document.


Unless you are creating a complex manual or index page, you’re more than likely to use bulleted and numbered lists than multilevel lists; however it’s still good to know the option is there, should you need it.

Word offers a great amount of flexibility in working with bulleted lists, so whatever type of document you need to create; it will be easy to get it looking neat and user-friendly.

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