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

Learn how to use dingbats and other characters as bullets in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. Dingbat fonts have a treasure trove of symbols.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher






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:
  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. Slide with bulleted text
    Figure 1: Slide with bulleted text
  5. 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).
  6. Bullets gallery
    Figure 3: Bullets gallery
  7. 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).
  8. Bullet options within the Bullets and Numbering dialog box
    Figure 4: Bullet options within the Bullets and Numbering dialog box
  9. This brings up the Symbol dialog box, as shown in Figure 5.
  10. Symbol dialog box
    Figure 5: Symbol dialog box
  11. 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.
  12. Wingdings
    Figure 6: Wingdings
  13. 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.
  14. Symbols preview
    Figure 7: Symbols preview
  15. 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.
  16. Here you see a preview of the selected symbol, highlighted in red in Figure 8.
  17. Selected symbols preview
    Figure 8: Selected symbols preview
  18. 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).
  19. 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).
  20. Bullets changed to a customized 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.

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 2011 for Mac

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