Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Apply Bullet Points to Paragraphs in Word

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated February 10, 2023

Applies to: Microsoft® Word® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, 2021 or 365 (Windows)

You can add bullet points in Microsoft Word documents using several keyboard shortcuts. Since bullets are best applied as a paragraph format, the following shortcuts apply to paragraphs. A paragraph is anything with a hard return after it.

Recommended article: How to Turn Off Automatic Bullets and Numbering in Word

Insert default bullet points using Word's built-in keyboard shortcut

To insert default bullet points using Word's built-in keyboard shortcut:

  1. Select the paragraphs to which you want to apply bullets (insert at the beginning).
  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + L. Word will apply the default bullets and apply indents to the paragraphs.

Insert bullet points using the Bullets drop-down menu

To insert bullet points using the Bullets drop-down menu:

  1. Select the paragraphs to which you want to apply bullets (insert at the beginning).
  2. Press Alt > H > U (Alt and then H and then U). A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Press the right arrow to move through the different types of bullets.
  4. Press Enter to select the highlighted bullet. Word will apply the bullets and apply indents to the paragraphs.

You can also select Define New Bullet to choose other characters as bullets.

The Bullets drop-down menu includes other types of bullets:

Bullets drop-down menu in Microsoft Word.

Insert bullet points using AutoCorrect

Using Word's AutoCorrect, you can also apply bullets as you type. This method can be used before you type the first paragraph.

To insert bullet points using AutoCorrect (this option should be turned on by default):

  1. Position the cursor at the beginning of a new line where you want to insert a bullet.
  2. Press Shift + 8 to enter an asterisk (*).
  3. Press Tab or Spacebar. Word inserts the default bullet and indents the paragraph.
  4. Type the text for the bulleted paragraph.
  5. Press Enter at the end of the paragraph. Word should continue the bulleted list.
  6. To turn off the bullets and return to the Normal style, press Ctrl + Shift + N.

You can also use several other characters for other types of bullets using the AutoCorrect method:

  • Type — (two hyphens or dashes at the top of the keyboard) and then press Tab or Spacebar to enter a square bullet.
  • Type – (one hyphen or dash) and then press Tab or Spacebar to enter a dash style bullet.
  • Type -> (one hyphen and the greater than symbol) and then press Tab or Spacebar to enter a thin arrow.
  • Type => (equal sign and the greater than symbol) and then press Tab or Spacebar to enter a thick arrow.
  • Type > (greater than symbol) and then press Tab or Spacebar to enter a tail-less arrow.

If you are comfortable using styles in Word, you can also apply styles that include bullets.

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Keyboard Shortcuts to Insert Bullet Points in Word (3+ Shortcuts)
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Keyboard Shortcuts to Insert Bullet Points in Word (3+ Shortcuts)
Description
You can add bullet points in Microsoft Word documents using several keyboard shortcuts. Since bullets are best applied as a paragraph format, the following shortcuts apply to paragraphs. A paragraph is anything with a hard return after it.
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Avantix Learning

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