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Change Bullet Styles in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to change the bullet styles of selected text in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. Experimenting with bullet styles may allow you to choose from uncommon and custom styles.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher






Bulleted lists are almost the mainstay of PowerPoint slides these days, inspite of the repeated cries about how bullets can cause "death by PowerPoint". Well, too much of anything cannot be good, and so it is with bullets! However most PowerPoints slide layouts are already set up with placeholders for bulleted lists (or paragraphs) - so that when you start typing into a text placeholder, your text is automatically bulleted. Sometimes making some changes to how your bullets appear visually can make a difference -- so we show you how you can change the bullet styles for your text placeholders (or text boxes) in PowerPoint 2010:

  1. Launch PowerPoint and open any presentation. Navigate to a slide that has bulleted text, such as the sample slide you see in Figure 1.
  2. Slide with bulleted text
    Figure 1: Slide with bulleted text
  3. Select the entire text within the large text placeholder. Then access the Home tab of the Ribbon -- within the Paragraph group, click the arrow beside the Bullets button (highlighted in red in Figure 2).
  4. The Bullets option in the Home tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 2: The Bullets option in the Home tab of the Ribbon
  5. This brings up the Bullets gallery, as shown in Figure 3. The highlighted bullet style is the current bullet style applied to your selected text.
  6. Bullets gallery
    Figure 3: Bullets gallery
  7. Notice the Bullets and Numbering option in Figure 3? We cover this option in our Customize the Bullet Size and Color tutorial.
  8. Now hover the cursor over any of the bullet style previews in this gallery -- as you move over different previews, the selected text shows you a Live Preview of the bullet style applied -- click on the preview to apply the style to your selected text (see Figure 4).
  9. Live preview of bullet styles
    Figure 4: Live preview of bullet styles
  10. Figure 5 shows the bullet style of the selected text has changed (compare Figures 1 and 5).
  11. Bullet style changed
    Figure 5: Bullet style changed

Tip: Using fewer bullets with meaningful, direct text can help -- also look carefully at how you have organized the text? Have you inserted your key points (message) in a way so that the audiences can actually comprehend it all?


See Also:

Change Bullet Styles in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Change Bullet Styles in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Change Bullet Styles in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

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