Add bullets in a single line of text

Applies to
Microsoft Office Word 2003
Microsoft Word 2002 and 2000

Sometimes all you need is a standard bulleted list: your meeting minutes, your grocery list, your to-do list, or points in a presentation. Other times, you want a horizontal list, or bullet characters within a line of text. For example, maybe you want bullet characters that separate your name, address, and phone number on a business card or a letterhead. Or, you want to add bullets to items in the cells of a table row. How can you do this in Word? You have a few different ways to tackle this task.

Examples using bullets inline with text

 Note    If you’re using Word 2007, see Change the indent between a list bullet or number and text.

The way bullets behave

First, a little information about how the Bullets Button image button works. The Bullets button adds a bullet character to the beginning of a paragraph to create a list item.

You cannot use this button to insert a bullet character in any horizontal location in a line of text, because the bullet formatting in Word is applied to the entire paragraph. You can use the Bullets button to apply bullets horizontally across cells in a table row. More about that later in this article.

To insert a bullet character (or other character) anywhere you want within a line of text, you can type the character code for the bullet character you want (such as ALT+0149 for the standard bullet character), choose the character that you want from the Symbol dialog box, or even insert a picture to use as a bullet character.

Use the character code

You can easily insert a bullet character between your name, address, and phone number in a single line on your business stationery, something like the following:

Nate Sun Solid circle 123 1st St., Buffalo, NY 98052 Solid circle (206) 555-0153

In most of the common Microsoft Windows® fonts, you can add a bullet character by typing the character code.

ShowIn Word 2003 or 2002

To add the bullet character by using the Unicode (hexadecimal) (Unicode: A character encoding standard developed by the Unicode Consortium. By using more than one byte to represent each character, Unicode enables almost all of the written languages in the world to be represented by using a single character set.) character code (2022), do the following:

  1. Click where you want to add the symbol.
  2. Type 2022 (on the number keys on the top row of the keyboard).
  3. Hold down the ALT key and press X.

ShowIn Word 2000

To add the bullet character by using the character code, do the following:

  1. Click where you want to add the symbol.
  2. Make sure NUM LOCK is on.
  3. Hold down the ALT key and type 0149 on the numeric keypad (not on the number keys on the top row of the keyboard).
  4. Release the ALT key.

You can use the Symbol dialog box to find the character code for a character. By knowing the character code, you can later insert the character that you want without opening the Symbol dialog box. However, when you type the character code, the character that is inserted depends on the font that you are using in your document. For example, if you are typing in Times New Roman, but the character you want to insert is available only in the Symbol font, you need to format that character with the Symbol font to get the character you want.

 Note   If the character that you want is not available in the font that you are using for the text in your document, it may be easier to use the Symbol dialog box to insert the character.

ShowIn Word 2003 and 2002

  1. On the Insert menu, click Symbol, and then click the Symbols tab.
  2. In the Font box, click the font that has the character you want.
  3. Click the character that you want in the dialog box.
  4. Make sure that Unicode (hex) is selected in the from box, and note the character code in the Character code box.

ShowIn Word 2000

  1. On the Insert menu, click Symbol, and then click the Symbols tab.
  2. In the Font box, click the font that has the character you want.
  3. Click the character that you want in the dialog box.
  4. Note the characters that are displayed in the status bar.

 Note   The character code has four characters; you need to add one or two zeros (0) to the character code that is displayed in the status bar when you add the bullet character to your document.

If you want to change the formatting or spacing of your bullet characters, see the Change bullet character formatting or spacing section in this article.

Use the Symbol dialog box

If you don't want the standard bullet character, you can use the Symbol dialog box to add a different symbol or special character, something like the following:

Nate Sun Double-headed arrow image 123 1st St., Buffalo, NY 98052 Double-headed arrow image (206) 555-0153

To add a bullet character by using the Symbol dialog box, do the following:

  1. Click where you want to add the bullet character.
  2. On the Insert menu, click Symbol, and then click the Symbols tab.
  3. Double-click the character that you want to insert.

You can continue to type in your document while the Symbol dialog box is open. Move the dialog box out of the way if necessary so that you can see the text that you are working with, and then click where you want to begin to type.

  1. To add a space following the bullet character character in your document, click in the document to the right of the character you inserted, and then press SPACEBAR.
  2. Type the text that you want to appear to the right of the bullet character, or click where you want to add the next bullet character.

 Note   If the font that you select in the Symbol dialog box differs from the font that you are using for the text, you may need to change the font after you add the bullet (and before you type your text), so that your text appears in the font that you want. Also, if you change the font for the entire line of bullets and text, the character that you inserted as the bullet may change.

  1. Repeat steps 3-5 as needed for each bullet character that you want.

If you want to change the formatting or spacing of your bullet characters, see the Change bullet character formatting or spacing section in this article.

Use clip art or a picture

You can also use a piece of clip art or a picture as a bullet character. This process is similar to inserting a symbol or other character — with a few additional considerations for size, alignment with your text, and line spacing. Using the name, address, and phone example, maybe you want something more like the following:

Nate Sun Mailbox icon 123 1st St., Buffalo, NY 98052 Attachment icon (206) 555-0153

To use a picture as a bullet character, do the following:

  1. Click where you want to add the picture, such as between two words in a line of text.
  2. Insert the picture that you want to use.

You can use any of the commands on the Picture submenu (Insert menu), or you can paste a picture from another file or a Web page.

  1. Click the picture to select it.
  2. On the Format menu, click Picture, and then click the Layout tab.
  3. Under Wrapping style, click In line with text, and then click OK.
  4. With the picture selected, position the mouse pointer over one of the sizing handles (sizing handle: One of the small circles or squares that appears at the corners and sides of a selected object. You drag these handles to change the size of the object.).
  5. Drag the sizing handle until the picture is the shape and size that you want.

Dragging the picture handle to resize the picture

If you want to change the bullet character spacing, see the Change the horizontal position of a bullet character section in this article.

Bullets in a table

In a table, you can use the Bullets button to add a bullet to each cell in a table row. Using a table makes it easy to line up your text, and it allows you to add all the bullets at one time, rather than individually.

Names, addresses, and phone numbers in a table with bullets

To insert a table, do the following:

  1. Click where you want to insert your text.
  2. On the Table menu, point to Insert, and then click Table.
  3. In the Insert Table dialog box, enter the number of columns and rows that you want in your table, and then click OK.
  4. If you want your table to be displayed or printed without a border, do the following:
    1. Click anywhere in the table, and then click Borders and Shading on the Format menu.
    2. Click the Borders tab.
    3. Under Setting, click None.
    4. In the Apply to list, click Table, and then click OK.
  5. If table gridlines are not showing, click Show Gridlines on the Table menu.

 Note   You may find it easier to work with table gridlines showing.

  1. Type the text that you want in each cell.
  2. On the Table menu, point to Select, and then click Table.
  3. On the Formatting toolbar, click Bullets.

ShowTip

If you don't want to apply a bullet to every cell in your table, you can select any individual cell and click Bullets on the Formatting toolbar to remove the bullet from that cell.

Change bullet character formatting or spacing

You can change the size, color, and horizontal position of a bullet character.

 Note   If you use the Bullets button to add bullets inside a table, be sure to select the bullets and then use the Bullets and Numbering dialog box (Format menu) when you change the bullet character formatting or spacing.

Change the size and color of a bullet character

  1. Select the bullet character that you want to change.
  2. To change the size of the bullet character, type or click a point size in the Font Size box Button image on the Formatting toolbar.
  3. To change the color of the bullet character, click the arrow next to Font Color Button image on the Formatting toolbar, and then click the color that you want.

Change the horizontal position of a bullet character

You can change the horizontal position of a bullet character by adding space before and after the bullet character.

Change character spacing

If you are working with only a few lines of text that don't need to be aligned with each other, you can use character spacing to change the spacing between your bullet character and your text:

Nate Sun  Solid circle  123 1st St., Buffalo, NY 98052   Solid circle  (206) 555-0153

or between all characters in a line of text:

N  a  t  e   S  u n Solid circle  1  2  3   1  s t . ,   B u f f a l o ,  N Y   9  8  0  5  2Solid circle  (  2  0  6  )  5 5 5 - 0 1 5 3

  1. Do one of the following:
    • To change the horizontal spacing between the bullet character and your text, select the space before the bullet character, the bullet character, and the space after the bullet character.

 Note    To do this by using the mouse, you may need to clear the When selecting, automatically select entire word check box (Tools menu, Options command, Edit tab).

  • To change the horizontal spacing between all the characters in a line of text, select the entire line of text.
  1. On the Format menu, click Font, and then click the Character Spacing tab.
  2. To expand or condense space evenly between all the selected characters, click Expanded or Condensed in the Spacing box, and then specify how much space you want in the By box.

 Note   When you click Expanded or Condensed, the spacing between all selected letters increases or decreases by the same amount.

Add tabs

If you want to align information in multiple lines of text, add tabs between your text and bullets:

Nate SunTab character Double-headed arrow Tab character 123 1st St., Buffalo, NY 98052 Tab character Double-headed arrow Tab character (206) 555-0153
Wendy Richardson Tab character Double-headed arrow Tab character 34567 Maple St., Seattle, WA 00392Tab character Double-headed arrow Tab character (704) 555-0188

For more information about working with tabs in Word, click a link under See Also.

 
 
Applies to:
Word 2003