Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Changing the Bullet Type.

Changing the Bullet Type

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 27, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Word allows you to easily create bulleted lists in your documents. As a default, Word uses a small dot as the bullet. You can change the bullet to any character you desire. You can change the bullets by following these steps:

  1. Make sure the Home tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  2. Locate the Bullets tool within the Paragraph group. Click the down-arrow at the right of the Bullets tool. Word displays a palette of options.
  3. Select a bullet style from those shown in the Bullet Library portion of the palette.
  4. If you don't like any of the styles shown, click Define New Bullet. Word displays the Define New Bullet dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Define New Bullet dialog box.

  6. Click the Symbol button. Word displays the Symbol dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  7. Figure 2. The Symbol dialog box.

  8. Select a symbol to use as a bullet from among those shown.
  9. You can select a different set of symbols by selecting a different typeface in the Font drop-down list.
  10. When you have selected a symbol, click on OK. Word displays the Define New Bullet dialog box again.
  11. Click on OK to close the dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5937) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing the Bullet Type.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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