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Use Dingbats and Other Characters as Bullets in PowerPoint 2010

Learn how to use dingbats and other characters as bullets in PowerPoint 2010.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010
OS: Windows 8 / 7 / Vista / XP

PowerPoint 2010 provides you with umpteen options 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 since it is installed by default on all computers.

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

  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:

    1. If you want to make changes to just one bullet in the text placeholder (or text box), select that individual line.

    2. 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).

      Slide with bulleted text
      Figure 1: Slide with bulleted text
  2. Access the Home tab of the Ribbon -- within the Paragraph group, click the arrow beside the Bullets button (highlighted in blue in Figure 3). This brings up the Bullets gallery, as shown in Figure 3. Within this gallery, choose the Bullets and Numbering option (highlighted in red in Figure 3).

    Bullets gallery
    Figure 3: Bullets gallery

  3. This will open the Bullets and Numbering dialog box, as shown in Figure 4. Make sure that the Bulleted tab of this dialog box is selected. Click the Customize button (highlighted in red in Figure 4 below).

    Bullet options within the Bullets and Numbering dialog box
    Figure 4: Bullet options within the Bullets and Numbering dialog box

  4. This brings up the Symbol dialog box, as shown in Figure 5.

    Symbol dialog box
    Figure 5: Symbol dialog box

  5. Locate the Font list - highlighted in red in Figure 5 above. Click the downward arrow to bring up the font list, scroll down till you get the Wingdings font, as you can see highlighted in red in Figure 6. Select the font.

    Figure 6: Wingdings

  6. This opens all the content symbols of the selected Wingdings font - you can preview each and every symbol of this font, as displayed in a small thumbnail view (see Figure 7). Use the scroll bar to the right of the symbols to preview more symbols.

    Symbols preview
    Figure 7: Symbols preview

  7. Click the desired symbol to select it -- a selected symbol can be seen highlighted in red in Figure 7 above. Click OK to get back to the Bullets and Numbering dialog box.

  8. Here you see a preview of the selected symbol, highlighted in red in Figure 8.

    Selected symbols preview
    Figure 8: Selected symbols preview

  9. Notice that the Reset button is now active (highlighted in blue in Figure 8 above) because the last bullet preset is now changed (compare the last bullet thumbnail preview in Figures 4 and 8). Click the Reset button only to restore the default bullet presets again (this is to cancel any changes you made so far).

  10. Click the OK button to apply the symbol as a bullet to your selected text placeholder. Figure 9 shows the customized bullet symbol changed (compare Figures 1 and 9).

    Bullets changed to symbol
    Figure 9: Bullets changed to a customized symbol

Tip: Do you want the picture bullet to change in all slides? You can quickly make that customization by working within Slide Master view. We cover the Slide Master in a subsequent tutorial.

See Also:

Use Dingbats and Other Characters as Bullets in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Using Characters as Bullets in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac


PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-Book.

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-book


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