MS Word Styles Revisited: Using Bullets Instead of Numbers

MS OfficeI received a comment to one of my Word Style posts that I want to elevate here and address. The commenter asked:

How do I set bullets? I have tinkered with this for a long time and can’t get it right. For some reason, Word just randomly changes my settings.

If you followed along with primer on creating a numbered paragraph style, you are already 90% of the way there. Follow those steps (except you should change the name of your style to something like Bullets) until you get to step 8 “Select the Numbered Tab.” There, instead of selecting the Numbered Tab:

  1. Select the Bulleted Tab
  2. Choose the bullet style you want
  3. Click customize. You can also change the bullet style here if you wish.
  4. In the top Bullet position Indent At, select your location for a bullet. For example, .5″
  5. In the Text Position section, select the location where you want the text to start after the bullet (Tab Space After) and the location where you want subsequent lines in the same bullet point to start (“Indent at”). I typically set both of these to the same position. In this case, .75″, which gives me a .25″ space between the bullet and the text.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click OK.

You now have a bullet point style that you can apply.

If you find this stuff interesting and want to understand how it is that Word’s numbering works, I can recommend to you the Word MVP site. You can view his info on his website. Additionally, he has a 25 page PDF that explains how Word Numbering works. I found this article absolutely invaluable in understanding Word and its styles.