Create a bulleted or numbered list

You can quickly add bullets or numbers to existing lines of text, or Word can automatically create lists as you type.

By default, if you start a paragraph with an asterisk or a number 1., Word recognizes that you are trying to start a bulleted or numbered list. If you don't want your text turned into a list, you can click the AutoCorrect Options button Button image that appears.

In this article

Lists: One level or many levels

Create a one-level bulleted or numbered list

Move an entire list to the left or the right

Turn a one-level list into a multilevel list

Choose a multilevel list style from the gallery

Create a new multilevel list style to add to the gallery

Advance the numbering manually in a list

Lists: One level or many levels

Make a list with just one level, or make a multilevel list to show lists within a list.

When you create a bulleted or numbered list, you can do any of the following:

  • Use the convenient Bullet and Numbering libraries    Use the default bullet and numbering formats for lists, customize the lists, or select other formats from the Bullet and Numbering libraries.

    Word 2010 Bullet Library

  • Format bullets or numbers    Format bullets or numbers differently from the text in a list. For example, click a number and change the number color for the entire list, without making changes to the text in the list.

    list with different font colors for numbers and text

  • Use pictures or symbols     Create a picture bulleted list to add visual interest to a document or a Web page.

    Example of a picture bulleted list

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Create a one-level bulleted or numbered list

Word can automatically create bulleted and numbered lists as you type, or you can quickly add bullets or numbers to existing lines of text.

Type a bulleted or numbered list

  1. Type * (asterisk) to start a bulleted list or 1. to start a numbered list, and then press SPACEBAR or the TAB key.

  2. Type any text that you want.

  3. Press ENTER to add the next list item.

    Word automatically inserts the next bullet or number.

  4. To finish the list, press ENTER twice, or press BACKSPACE to delete the last bullet or number in the list.

If bullets and numbering do not begin automatically

  1. Click the File tab and then click Options.

    (In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button Microsoft Office Button , and then click Word Options.

  2. Click Proofing.

  3. Click AutoCorrect Options, and then click the AutoFormat As You Type tab.

  4. Under Apply as you type, select the Automatic bulleted lists check box and the Automatic numbered lists check box.

Add bullets or numbering to a list

  1. Select the items that you want to add bullets or numbering to.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click Bullets or Numbering.

Word 2010 Bullets button and Numbering button

1 Bullets

2 Numbering

Note: You can find different bullet styles and numbering formats by clicking the arrow next to Bullets or Numbering on the Home tab, in the Paragraph group.

Add space between items in a list

You can increase the space between the lines in all of your lists by clearing a check box.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the More arrow next to the Styles gallery, and then right-click the List Paragraph style.

    Word 2010 more styles button

  2. Click Modify.

  3. In the Modify Style dialog box, click Format, and then click Paragraph.

  4. Clear the Don't add space between paragraphs of the same style check box.

For more information, see Change line spacing between bullets in a list.

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Move an entire list to the left or the right

  1. Click a bullet or number in the list to highlight the list.

  2. Drag the list to a new location.

    The entire list moves as you drag. The numbering levels do not change.

    Click list item to highlight list and drag to new location

Turn a one-level list into a multilevel list

You can turn an existing list into a multilevel list by changing the hierarchical level of items in the list.

  1. Click any item that you want to move to a different level.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click the arrow next to Bullets or Numbering, click Change List Level, and then click the level that you want.

    Word 2010 change list level

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Choose a multilevel list style from the gallery

You can apply a gallery style to any multilevel list.

  1. Click an item in the list.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click the arrow next to Multilevel List.

    Word 2010 multi-level list styles

  3. Click the multilevel list style that you want.

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Create a new multilevel list style to add to the gallery

If the multilevel list styles in the gallery aren't what you are looking for, you can create and define a new multilevel list style. You can use your new list style each time you begin a new multilevel list in a document. The new list style is added automatically to the gallery of list styles.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click the arrow next to Multilevel List.

    Word 2010 multi-level list styles

  2. Click Define New Multilevel List.

    Beginning with level 1, enter your number format, font, and position choices. Continue to define each level that you want to use in your multilevel list.

    Note: When you define a multilevel list style, you can mix numbers and bullets in the same list. For example, in the Number style for this level box, you can scroll down and click a bullet style for a particular level.

  3. Click OK.

    The multilevel list style that you defined is automatically set as the current multilevel list style.

Note: To move a multilevel item to a different numbering level, select the item, click the arrow next to Bullets or Numbering in the Paragraph group on the Home tab, point to Change List Level, and then click the list level to which you want to move the list item.

Defining new styles

What is the difference between the Define New Multilevel List and Define New List Style commands? The Define New Multilevel List command is convenient for creating and saving a list style that you won't ever change or that you will use in a single document. You can use the Define New List Style command to change the style design you created. If you use the Define New List Style command to define a new list style and then you make changes to the style, every instance of that list style is updated in the document.

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Advance the numbering manually in a list

Certain numbered lists — for example, legal lists — require the ability to change a number manually and for Word to correctly change the numbers that follow. You can use the Set Numbering Value option to change a number manually while Word renumbers the list that follows.

  1. Right-click the number in the list that you want to change.

  2. Click Set Numbering Value and then do one of the following:

    • Click Start new list and change the value of the selected number in the Set value to box.

    • Click Continue from previous list, select the Advance value (skip numbers) check box, and then change the value of the selected number in the Set value to box that corresponds to the level of the number that you selected.

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See also

Change line spacing between bullets in a list

Change bullet indents

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