Change the color and style of a bulleted or numbered list

Want to change the color, style, or size of the bullets or numbers in your PowerPoint presentation? Or change the number you want to start from? You’re in the right place.

  1. To change one bullet or number, place the cursor at the start of the line that you want to change. To change multiple bullets or numbers, select the text in all of the bullets or numbers that you want to change.

  2. Click Home, click the arrow on either the Bullets or Numbering button, and then click Bullets and Numbering.

    Bullets and numbers buttons

    Tip   To quickly change the style of a bulleted or numbered list, just click the style you want in the list that appears when you click the arrow next to Bullets or Numbering.

  3. In the Bullets and Numbering dialog box, on either the Bulleted tab or the Numbered tab (depending on what kind of list you’re working with), pick the style changes that you want to make, such as:

    • Bullet or number style.

    • Color.

    • Size (to resize a bullet or number so it’s a specific size in relation to your text, click Size, and enter a percentage).

    • Starting number (on the Numbered tab, enter the number you want in the Start at box).

    • Pictures (to use a picture as a bullet, on the Bulleted tab, click Picture, and scroll to find a picture).

    • Symbols (to temporarily add a character from the symbol list to the Bulleted tab, on the Bulleted tab, click Customize, click a symbol, and click OK. You can apply the symbol to your slides from the style lists).

    • SmartArt graphics (to convert an existing bulleted or numbered list to a SmartArt graphic, click Home > Convert to SmartArt).


    • To change the format of just one or some of the bullet or number styles in a list, such as the color or size, place the cursor at the start of the line that you want to change before opening the Bullets and Numbering dialog box. Your changes will apply only to the selected lines.

    • To adjust the alignment of items in a list, see Adjust the indent in a bulleted or numbered list on the ruler.

Apply custom styles to multiple slides

The best way to apply custom list styles to all slides in your presentation is to modify the slide master. Any list customizations you make to the slide master will be saved and applied to all your slides. You can also edit or create one or more slide layouts that include your customized list styles, and add these layouts to your presentation wherever you want to use your list styles.


There are a few things you can't do with lists in PowerPoint that you can in other Office programs, such as Word. For example, PowerPoint does not support:

  • Decimal numbered lists (1.1, 1.2, etc.).

  • Defining new number formats (you must choose from the default set of styles offered on the Numbered tab in the Bullets and Numbering dialog box).

  • Applying bold, italic, or underline formatting to bullets or numbers (any formatting will be applied to the entire selected line or list).

  • Nested lists (you can press Tab or click Increase Indent Increase Indent button to create the same effect, but a new indented bullet or number style is not set automatically by PowerPoint).

See Also

Applies To: PowerPoint 2013, PowerPoint 2016

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