Lists In Word - The Basics

Creating a basic list in Word is pretty easy. If you are ready to start typing a list, first of all click either the Bullets button (for a bulleted list) or the Numbering button (for a numbered list), in the Paragraph group on the Home tab.

What you now type will be the first item in the list. To create the next item in the list, simply press the Return key and start typing again. If you are creating a bulleted list, the next item will be bulleted, whereas if you are creating a numbered list, the next item will use the next sequential number.

You can also easily start another level in your list by pressing the tab key before you start typing the current item. By default, this new level will be indented. If you do this in a numbered list, by default the numbering system will change. For example, if the current level items are numbered 1, 2, 3 etc, then the next level might be numbered a, b, c etc.

Finishing the list takes two presses of the enter key.

If you like doing everything via the keyboard, you don’t need to go anywhere near the ribbon: you can start off a bulleted list by typing a ‘*’ followed by pressing the space bar. The list will then behave as if you’d created it using the Bullets button in the ribbon. Alternatively, if you want a numbered list, you can type a ‘1.’ (don’t forget the period!) and press the space bar. Again, the list numbering will behave as if you’d created it with the Numbering button in the ribbon.

If you’ve already typed in a list of items but haven’t yet made it into a bulleted list or a numbered list, you can add bullets or numbers to the items at any point. All you have to do is select the items and then click one of the Bullets or Numbering buttons in the ribbon.

Inserting an item into an existing list is pretty straightforward, too. Place the cursor at the end of an item in the list and press Return. Hey presto: a new empty item in the list. You can do this to the last entry in the list, too, to add more items.

This is basic list handling in Word. But it can get much hairier than that! Stay tuned for a more advanced tutorial on lists in Word.