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Use Dingbats and Other Characters as Bullets in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to use dingbats and other characters as bullets in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. Dingbat fonts have a treasure trove of symbols.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X





There are several options in PowerPoint to change the appearance of your bullet points. You can change the 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. Dingbats are fonts which contain decorative symbols rather than alphabets and numbers. Wingdings is a good example of a dingbats font. It is installed by default on all Mac OS computers that have Microsoft Office applications such as PowerPoint installed.

To use dingbats or other font characters as bullets in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Open your presentation and navigate to the slide where you want to add character bullets. Select the bulleted paragraph following one of these two ways:
  2. a. If you want to make changes to just one bullet in the text placeholder (or text box), select that individual line.
  3. b. 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).
  4. Placeholder with bulleted paragraph selected
    Figure 1: Slide with bulleted paragraph selected
  5. Access the Home tab of the Ribbon. Within the Paragraph group, click the arrow beside the Bulleted List button (highlighted in blue within Figure 2). This brings up the Bulleted List gallery, as shown in Figure 2. Within this gallery, choose the Define New Bullet option (highlighted in red within Figure 2).
  6. Bullets gallery
    Figure 2: Bulleted List gallery
  7. This will open the Format Text dialog box with Bullets and Numbering option selected within the sidebar, as shown in Figure 3. Make sure that the Bullets tab of this dialog box is selected. In this tab, you can find a box within the Custom bullet section (highlighted in blue within Figure 3). Type any character in this box and you can see on the slide that the selected text bullets get changed to match the typed character. Look at Figure 3. You can see that we have typed the character 'X' in the box. You can also see the bullets within the selected bulleted paragraph (highlighted in green within Figure 3) on the slide changed to 'X'.
  8. Bullet editing options within the Format Text dialog box
    Figure 3: Bullet editing options within the Format Text dialog box
  9. If you want to change the bullets to some other special character, click the button displaying up and down arrows (highlighted in red within Figure 3) within the Custom bullet section. This opens the Custom bullet list as show in Figure 4. Select the Character option in this list.
  10. Character option within the Custom bullet list
    Figure 4: Character option within the Custom bullet list
  11. This brings up the Characters dialog box, as shown in Figure 5.
  12. Characters dialog box
    Figure 5: Characters dialog box
  13. Let us explore what Characters dialog box includes (as marked in Figure 5):
  14. A. View

  15. View drop-down list includes different views for the character. Figure 6 shows various views available.
  16. View list
    Figure 6: View list
  17. B. Categories

  18. You can choose from different categories available. Use the scroll bar to view more categories. In Figure 5 above, you can see the Math category selected.
  19. C. Characters

  20. Displays the characters included in the selected category. You have to select a character here. In Figure 5 above, you can see the Characters of the Math category.
  21. D. Character info

  22. This section provides you with more info on the selected character. Click the arrow to open the info in drop-down mode.
  23. E. Font Variation

  24. Provides you with variations of the selected character in various fonts. Again, click the arrow to view the variations in drop-down mode.
  25. F. Search box

  26. In this box you can type in the name of the special character you are looking for, like arrows, hearts, etc. to instantly open the related category.
  27. In Figure 7 you can see White Right Pointing Index character selected, which is included in the Miscellaneous category. Notice the Character Info and Font Variations for the selected character.
  28. Character selected within the Characters dialog box
    Figure 7: Character selected within the Characters dialog box
  29. After selecting the required character, click the Insert button (highlighted in red within Figure 7) in the Characters dialog box. Then, you can see a preview of the selected character in the Format Text dialog box, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 8.
  30. Symbols preview
    Figure 8: Symbols preview
  31. Click the OK button to apply the character as a bullet to your selected bulleted paragraph. Figure 9 shows the bullets of the selected place holder changed to White Right Pointing Index (compare Figures 1 and 9).
  32. Bullets changed to White Right Pointing Index
    Figure 9: Bullets changed to White Right Pointing Index
Tip: Do you want the special character bullets to appear in all slides? You can quickly make that customization by working within Slide Master.

See Also:

Use Dingbats and Other Characters as Bullets in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Use Dingbats and Other Characters as Bullets in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Use Dingbats and Other Characters as Bullets in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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