Formating Lists in MS word


Word 2

Sometimes after you have finished a list in your document you decide that you would like to change the font characteristics of a bullet or number in your list. But wait, you do not want to change the text in your list! Can you accomplish this? Of course you can!

Follow the steps below to learn how:

  1. First and foremost, you must have the Show/Hide feature enabled. For the uninformed, this simply means that you need to have non-printable characters showing. If it is not, simply click the key combination of Shift + CTRL + * (asterisk),
  2. Select just the Pilcrow (paragraph mark) for the item in your list whose number or bullet you would like to change.
  3. You can now add, remove or change the font characteristics such as font size, color, etc. to your liking.

Any formatting that you apply to the pilcrow as specified above, is applied to the bullet or numbered list items only. The text in your list will remain the same. When you add a new bulleted or numbered item to the list in your document, it will have the same characteristics as the previous item when you hit the enter key.

In case you are wondering, you can also change or add formatting to the text in your bulleted or numbered list items.

Follow the steps below to learn how:


  1. Again, the Show/Hide feature must be enabled.
  2. Select any portion of text in your list item you would like to change, as long as the Pilcrow is excluded along with at least one other character.
  3. Apply any font formatting you would like to that selection.
  4. Select the rest of the text except for the Pilcrow and then apply your formatting to that text.

Using your Enter key when adding new items after you have changed an item will ensure that the new items will share the same characteristics as those that you changed.

About the Author

Carol Bratt

Carol holds A+, MCP, and MOS computer certifications and is the resident DCT Office expert. She trains the staffs of small law firms in the use of Microsoft Office applications and has authored many books covering Microsoft Office as well as written articles for Infopackets, TechnoLawyer, and Digital Harbor. For more Microsoft Office tips visit Carol's Corner Office or follow Carol on FaceBook and Twitter.