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13.12: Modifying Lists

  • Page ID
    46589
  • Learning Outcomes

    • Modify a list

    Now that you have a list, it might need to be modified to fit your communication goal better. Here are a few options enhancing a list in a PowerPoint presentation.

    Adjusting Spacing

    Lists need a bit of space to breath to make it easier for an audience to read. To add space between the points, you can walk through each line and add another line by pressing the Enter key, but a faster way is to use the line spacing button in the paragraph group on the Home tab.

    Highlight the list, select the line spacing button, roll the cursor over the spacing parameters until you find what works best with your text, and select it.

    Alternatively, select the Line Spacing Options on the bottom line of the line spacing dropdown menu and a dialog box appears where a more granular level of spacing options is offered.

    PowerPoint screenshot highlighting spacing button drop-down menu, 2.0 spacing highlighted, as well as Line Spacing Options selection highlighted.

    Creating Sub-Points

    Indenting list sub-points can highlight additional details. This is done by either pressing the Tab key or using the Indent button in the Home tab, Paragraph group.

    PowerPoint screenshot highlighting slide with bullet list and a sub-point typed into it.

    Modifying Sub-Point Style

    Occasionally changing the style of a sub-point adds further emphasis to it to make it more memorable. To change the style, highlight the sub-points, right click the mouse and select the bullet or number list options in the pop-up menu.

    PowerPoint screenshot highlighting right mouse click menu, bullets menu open and highlighted.
    PowerPoint screenshot highlighting slide with bullet list and a sub-points typed in and the bullet point changed to arrows for the sub-points.

    Modifying Style of List

    To change a bullet list to a numbers list or change the style of any list follow these steps.

    • Highlight the entire list and on the Home tab, Paragraph group, select the bullet or numbers list.
    • Hover the cursor over the various choices and each style will appear in the highlighted list.
    • Once you decide, click on the choice and the list will automatically be updated with the new type or style.
    PowerPoint screenshot highlighting Home tab, slide with squares used for bullet point list.
    PowerPoint screenshot highlighting Home tab, slide with lettering (a,b,c,d) used for list.

    Modifying a List to use Symbols

    • Highlight the entire list and on the Home tab, Paragraph group, select the bullet or numbers list.
    • At the bottom of the drop-down menu, select the Bullets and Numbering option.
    • On the bottom right of the dialog box, click the Customize button and a Symbol window will open with a selection of various symbols to choose. Decide which one you’d like, select it and click OK.
    • It will be added into the options for the list menu which can now be selected for the list.
    PowerPoint screenshot highlighting symbols window to use for a list.

    Modifying List to Use a Picture or Icons

    • Highlight the entire list, go to the Home tab, Paragraph group, select the bullet or numbers list.
    • At the bottom of the drop-down menu, select the Bullets and Numbering option.
    • On the bottom right of the dialog box, click the Picture button and Insert Pictures window will open with three choices from which to choose; From a File, Online Pictures, From Icons.
      PowerPoint screenshot highlighting insert pictures window to use for a choosing a file, online pictures or icons to use in a list.
    • Decide which one you’d like to do. For this example, we’ll enter an icon so click on the Icon option. A new window opens with a large variety of icons from which to choose.
      PowerPoint screenshot highlighting icon options window to use in a list.
    • Select an icon to use and click the Insert button.
    • The icon now replaces the bullet list with the chosen icon.

    Modifying Colors of Bullets

    There may be occasions when you wish to change the color of just the bullets or numbers in a list. Follow these steps to do so:

    • Highlight the entire list, click the Home tab, Paragraph group, select the bullet or numbers list.
    • At the bottom of the drop-down menu, select the Bullets and Numbering option.
    • On the bottom left in the dialog box, click the dropdown menu for the Color button and select the color you wish to use.
    • Once the color is selected, click OK. The bullets or numbers will change reflecting your selected color in the slide.
    PowerPoint screenshot highlighting Bullets and Numbering window to use for a choosing a color to change the bullet points into in a slide list.

    Tips

    The purpose of most PowerPoints is to get your points across as succinctly and clearly as possible. Here are a few key things to keep in mind when creating lists:

    • Use a max of four to five points because more tends to be overwhelming to an audience.
    • Changing fonts, colors, or styles in a list makes it difficult to read or look at for too long.
    • Too many words can start audiences on the road to numbness. Keep it simple.
    • Colors that are high contrast, clash or overwhelm each other are best avoided.
    • Font size is very important. If your font is too small, and only you can read it, you lose audience attention.

    Now that you know a few ways to create PowerPoint lists in PowerPoint. Start experimenting to see what works best for your presentations.

    CC licensed content, Original
    • Modifying Lists. Authored by: Sherri Pendleton. Provided by: Lumen Learning. License: CC BY: Attribution