2 Interesting Ways to Create Bulleted Lists (PowerPoint 2013)

Generally, when preparing a presentation slide, most of us would use the default bullet style in PowerPoint (yes, that boring, black dot).  In fact, I’ve seen the same bullet style being used in almost all of the projects I’ve worked on for the past nine years. The only minor deviation from the rather traditional style, is the use of other bullet types, i.e. the ones you can easily select from the bullet library.

In my quest to make the presentation slide a little more interesting, I thought of giving these traditional bullets a spin. Let’s take a look at the following methods:

Method 1: Have fun with icons!

With endless types of creative icons available in the gargantuan world of the internet, you’ll never run out of choices! Look for icons with a certain degree of relevancy to the topic that is being discussed. For example, if you are presenting a checklist of things to do before performing a system upgrade, you can use a ‘checked/ticked’ or ‘marked sheet/notepad’ icons in place of normal bullets, something like this:



Option 1

The simplest way to do this, is to look for the suitable icons in the internet universe, save it into your desktop, then insert as picture into your slide and resize accordingly.

Option 2

Do you know you can actually define a picture bullet to be used in place of the black rounded bullet? With this method, you can easily create an automated bulleted list when you hit the Enter button (as opposed to Option 1 where you have to copy and paste the icon for every new line of bullet):

1.  Click the content placeholder.


2.  On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click the arrow next to the Bullets button and select Bullets and Numbering.


3.  In the Bullets and Numbering dialog box, click Picture.


4.  In the Insert Pictures screen, under From a file, click Browse.


5.  Look for the saved icons in your desktop, select the icon and then click Insert.


6.  You have successfully created a bulleted list with the chosen icon. But wait…the icons appear smaller than expected. Let’s adjust the size in the next step!


7.  Repeat Step 2. In the Bullets and Numbering dialog box, adjust the Size accordingly. The maximum permitted value is 400. Click OK when done.


8.  Ta daaa!! You have successfully resized the picture bullets. If you want to create a fifth bullet item, simply hit the Enter button at the end of the fourth bullet item to begin.


Method 2: Get creative (and smart) with SmartArt!

If you are hard-pressed for time and want something quick and fancy, use SmartArt! This easy-to-use feature comes with many different graphic layouts you can choose from the gallery. You can also apply different styles to the graphic layout and easily switch from one layout to another.

To use SmartArt

1.  On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click SmartArt.


2.  By default, the category All is displayed. You can narrow down the list by selecting a particular category on the left pane. Then, select the type of graphic layout (in this example, I’ve chosen Vertical Box List) and click OK.


3.  The selected layout is inserted into the slide.


4.  Adjust the positioning and sizing of the layout, then enter the points accordingly and voila! You have effortlessly created a nice bulleted list!


If you’re not too happy with the default design, you can tweak it a little bit with other available design!

To apply new design…

1.  Click the SmartArt graphic layout.


2.  Under SmartArt tools, on the Design tab, select any type of design that you want to apply from the SmartArt Styles group. In this example, click Change Colors and select the second option under Accent 4.


3.  Now you have a better color shade that matches the style of the heading “2 Objectives”.


You can also change the design layout to a completely different one!

To switch to a new layout…

1.  Click the SmartArt graphic layout. Under SmartArt tools, on the Design tab, select any type of layout that you want to change from the Layouts group. In this example, I’ve selected Horizontal Bullet List.


2.  The existing graphic layout is instantly transformed into a new layout type.


Have fun exploring these eye-refreshing ways of creating bulleted lists! Do you know of other fancy methods? Comment below!

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