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Use Dingbats and Other Characters as Bullets in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to use dingbats and other characters as bullets in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

OS: Windows 7 and higher






PowerPoint provides you with umpteen options to change the appearance of your bullet points. You can change bullet styles, format the bullet size and its color, and use pictures as bullets. In addition, you can use a character from any font, including dingbats as a bullet. So what are dingbats? Dingbats are fonts which contain decorative symbols rather than alphabets and numbers. Wingdings is a good example of a dingbats font since it is installed by default on all computers.

Tip: Do you want to use a dingbat bullet in all slides? The instructions on this page are for working with individual slides in Normal view. To apply these changes to all slides, follow the same steps within the Slide Master view.

To use dingbats or other font characters as bullets, follow these steps in PowerPoint 2016:

  1. Open any presentation or create a new one. Then navigate to the slide where you want to add picture bullets. Select the bulleted text as explained below:
  2. If you want to make changes to just one bullet in the text placeholder (or text box), select that individual line.
  3. If you want to make these changes to all the bullets in the text placeholder (or text box), you can select the entire placeholder by clicking on the edge of the placeholder (see Figure 1).

    Entire placeholder with bulleted text selected
    Figure 1: Entire placeholder with bulleted text selected
  4. Access the Home tab of the Ribbon and click the down-arrow beside the Bullets button (highlighted in blue within Figure 2). This brings up the Bullets drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 2. Within this drop-down gallery, choose the Bullets and Numbering option (highlighted in red within Figure 2).

    Bullets drop-down gallery
    Figure 2: Bullets drop-down gallery
  5. This will open the Bullets and Numbering dialog box, as shown in Figure 3. Make sure that the Bulleted tab of this dialog box is selected. Click the Customize button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3.

    Bullets and Numbering dialog box
    Figure 3: Bullets and Numbering dialog box
  6. This brings up the Symbol dialog box, as shown in Figure 4.

    Symbol dialog box
    Figure 4: Symbol dialog box
  7. Locate the Font list (highlighted in red within Figure 4, above). Click the down-arrow to bring up the font list, scroll down till you get the Wingdings font, as you can see highlighted in red within Figure 5. You can also choose any other font you like. Click the required font to select.

    Font drop-down list
    Figure 5: Font drop-down list
  8. This opens all the content symbols of the selected font. You can preview each and every symbol of this font, as displayed in a small thumbnail view (see Figure 6). Use the scroll bar to the right of the symbols to preview more symbols.

    Symbols preview
    Figure 6: Symbols preview
  9. Click the desired symbol to select it. The symbol we selected can be seen highlighted in red within Figure 6, above. Now, click the OK button to get back to the Bullets and Numbering dialog box.
  10. Here you see a preview of the selected symbol, highlighted in red within Figure 7.

    Selected symbol’s preview
    Figure 7: Selected symbol’s preview
  11. Notice that the Reset button is now active (highlighted in blue in Figure 7, above) because the last bullet preset is now changed (compare the last bullet thumbnail preview in Figures 3 and 7). Click the Reset button only if you want to restore the default bullet presets again (this is to cancel any changes you made so far).
  12. Click the OK button to apply the symbol as a bullet to your selected text placeholder. Figure 8 shows the customized bullet symbol changed (compare Figures 1 and 8).

    Bullets now use dingbats
    Figure 8: Bullets now use dingbats

See Also:

Use Dingbats and Other Characters in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Use Dingbats and Other Characters in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Use Dingbats and Other Characters in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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