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Changing Bullet Styles in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Explore Learn how to change the bullet styles of selected text in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.


Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2011
OS: Mac OS X

October 17th 2012
October 17th 2012

In spite of the repeated cries about how bullets can cause "death by PowerPoint", bulleted paragraphs are still being used in PowerPoint. We won't go into whether or not you should use bulleted paragraphs in your slides -- suffice to say that too much of anything cannot be good! However most PowerPoint 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 the appearance of your bullets can make a difference. We show how you can change the bullet styles for your text placeholders (or text boxes) in PowerPoint 2011:

  1. Open any presentation and navigate to the slide that has bulleted paragraph, such as the sample slide you see in Figure 1.

    Slide with bulleted paragraph
    Figure 1: Slide with bulleted paragraph

  2. Select the text you want to alter the bullet style for. If you want this change to happen for the entire text container, you can just click on the edge of the placeholder to select it. Then access the Home tab of the Ribbon -- within the Paragraph group, click the arrow beside the Bulleted List button (highlighted in red within Figure 2).

    The Bulleted List button in the Home tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 2: The Bulleted List button in the Home tab of the Ribbon

  3. This brings up the Bullets gallery, as shown in Figure 3. The bullet style highlighted in yellow is the current bullet style of your selected text.

    Bullets gallery
    Figure 3: Bullets gallery

  4. Now, click on the bullet style of your choice (see Figure 4) to apply it to your selected text.

    New bullet style being selected for the text
    Figure 4: New bullet style being selected for the text

    Notice the Define New Bullet option in Figure 4? We cover this option in our Customize the Bullet Size and Color tutorial.

  5. Figure 5 shows the changed bullet style of the selected text (compare Figures 1 and 5).

    Changed bullet style
    Figure 5: Changed bullet style

Tip: Using fewer bullets with meaningful and short 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 2010 for Windows


Office 2008 for Mac All-in-One For Dummies Office 2011 for Mac All-in-One For Dummies

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