Usually, most folks are quite happy with how PowerPoint positions your bullets within a paragraph, or even where the paragraph that follows the bullet character is placed. Yet, you need not just accept the defaults, especially if you like that extra bit of control! You essentially control these nuances with the three Indent Markers on the Horizontal Ruler. These Indent Markers decide how your bulleted and numbered lists are positioned within PowerPoint's text placeholders:
- The First Line Indent Marker influences the position of bullet characters (or numbers in a numbered list).
- The Hanging Indent Marker tweaks the positioning of the paragraph following the bullet character. We explore this Marker within this tutorial.
- The Left Indent Marker links both the First Line Indent Marker and Hanging Indent Marker.
Among the three Indent Markers you see on the Ruler, the Hanging Indent Marker, highlighted in red within Figure 1 is used to tweak the position of the paragraph following the bullet character.
Figure 1: Bulleted paragraphs selected
Follow these steps to learn more in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac:
- Select the bulleted paragraphs for which you want to alter the spacing-after-the-bullet. In Figure 1 above you can see 3rd level bulleted paragraphs selected. For this example, we are selecting 3rd level bullets so that you can explore the effect of moving Hanging Indent Marker for the selected paragraphs towards both the sides (leftwards and rightwards). If we had selected a first level paragraph, we could have only moved it rightwards.
Note: If you want to change the position of a particular bulleted paragraph, select only that individual bulleted paragraph. If you want the change to effect all bulleted paragraphs in the placeholder (or text box), select all the paragraphs.
- With your selection still active, you can reposition the paragraphs in any of the following ways using the Hanging Indent Marker:
- If you want to move the selected paragraphs rightwards (farther away from the bullet), click on the Hanging Indent Marker and drag it rightwards along the Horizontal Ruler as shown in Figure 2. It is quite possible that by mistake you select the Left Indent Marker that sits below the Ruler rather than selecting the Hanging Indent Marker, which sits on the Ruler. Make sure you click and drag the latter.
Figure 2: Hanging Indent Marker being dragged rightwards
Tip: Pressing the ⌘ key while you drag the indent markers will give you more control over the placement.
- Stop dragging when you are in the new position where you want to place the selected paragraphs. In Figure 3 you can see that the selected paragraphs is moved rightwards. Compare Figures 3 and 2 to see the increased space between the round bullet characters and the paragraphs.
Figure 3: Paragraphs repositioned without effecting the bullet character's position
- We next dragged the Hanging Indent Marker leftwards so that it is placed right below the First Indent Marker (see Figure 4).
Figure 4: Hanging Indent Marker positioned below the First Indent Marker
- You can continue dragging the Hanging Indent Marker leftwards beyond the position of the First Line Indent Marker, as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5: Hanging Indent Marker being dragged beyond First Indent Marker
- This actually causes the bullet character (or number) to move leftwards, rather than the paragraphs. Notice the position of the selected paragraphs in Figure 6, below. Even after moving the Hanging Indent Marker leftwards beyond the First Line Indent Marker, the actual position of the paragraphs has not changed (compare Figures 5 and 6).
Figure 6: Bullet characters got repositioned instead of paragraphs