How to Insert Bullet Points in an Excel Spreadsheet


Excel doesn’t come with a button for adding bullets, unlike most word processors. We have no idea why Microsoft didn’t include the option to do so, but regardless, there’s a way to do it.

In fact, there are several ways to do it. It’s not going to be a straightforward step, but it’s why you’re here, right?

So, today, we’ll teach you six ways to create bullets in an Excel spreadsheet.

How to Insert Bullets in Excel Using the Symbol Dialog Box

If you don’t have a real or emulated number pad on your keyboard, or if you don’t know how to use keyboard shortcuts, you should use the Symbol dialog box.

Go to Symbols > Symbols in the Symbols section on the Insert tab. If the Excel window is wide enough you can right-click the Symbols button in the Symbols section without first clicking the Symbols button.


The default font Calibri is chosen automatically in the Font drop-down list, but you can pick a different font.

Pick the icon you want to use for your bullets and click the Insert button. Then click the Close.


How to Insert Bullets in Excel Using Using Keyboard Shortcuts

The easiest way to create a bulleted list is to use a keyboard shortcut to enter a bullet character in a cell.

Pick a cell that you want to type a bullet in and press either Alt + 7 or Alt + 0149 for a solid bullet or Alt + 9 for a hollow bullet. You must use the number pad on your keyboard to enter the numbers in these shortcuts.

If you are using a laptop without a number pad, you may be able to turn Num Lock on to mimic a number pad. Not all laptops have the Num Lock key. If yours has one, you can find it on one of the function keys. You can either hit Shift + Num Lock or Fn + Num Lock. And the digits for the “number pad” will be on the letter and number keys on the right side of the keyboard.

Don’t worry if you don’t have access to a number pad at all. The next methods and the one before this teach you how to enter bullets in cells without using a number pad.


How to Insert Bullets in Excel Using a Custom Format

If you need to build a long list of bullets, you can use a custom number format to make it easier to add bullets to your list-objects.

If you don’t have a number pad, first insert a bullet into a cell that you don’t need and then copy it.

Pick the cells to which you want to add the bullets. They can be empty, or they can already have text. Then right-click the chosen cells and pick Format Cells, or press Ctrl+1.


Choose Custom under Category on the Number tab.

In the Type box, just paste the bullet you copied or use one of the keyboard shortcuts that we gave you to type a bullet. Type a space or two (or more and the @ character.

Select OK. The new type will be added to the chosen cells immediately.


Now if you want to add bullets to the cells, pick the cells to which you want to add bullets. Then press Ctrl + 1 to open the Format Cells dialog, select Custom under Category on the Number page and select the new Type you made.


How to Insert Bullets in Excel By Copying it from Word

If you have created a bulleted list in Microsoft Word or another word processor that you wish to add to your spreadsheet, select the list in that program and click Ctrl+C to copy it.

To paste the whole list into a single cell, double-click the cell, and press Ctrl+V. There might be no gap between the bullets and the text on each line, but you can correct it by moving the cursor where you like and inserting spaces.


To insert each item in the list into different cells, select the cell where the first item is to be inserted and click Ctrl+V.

You may need to change the space in each cell.


How to Insert Bullets in Excel in a Single Cell

To enter a bulleted list in a single cell, double-click a cell and use a keyboard shortcut or the Symbol dialog to inject a bullet. Type the number of spaces that you want, and then the text you want for the first bullet point.

Click Alt+Enter to switch to the next line in the cell. Then enter another bullet, one or two spaces, and the text for the second bullet point.

Repeat for each bullet point by pressing Alt + Enter at the end of each line. Then click Enter when you have finished making a list.


How to Insert Bullets Using Special Fonts

Windows comes with certain special fonts that are just symbols, such as Wingdings and Webdings. Wingdings has a couple of icons that make some cool bullets.

To inject a bullet character into the cells using the font symbols, first, pick the cells. Then change the font to Wingdings in the Font section of the Home tab.

Pick the first cell you want to enter a bullet and type “L” (l) to enter a big solid bullet, “w” to enter a small solid bullet or one of the other letters displayed in the image below to enter other types of bullets. Do the same thing about the other cells that you have updated to the Wingdings font.


To use this process, you must place the bullet characters in their own cells in the column to the left of the items in the list because of the font symbol you use in the bullet cells. Then adjust the width of the column that holds the bullets to the width of the bullets.


You can pick from more bullet symbols using the Wingdings font CHAR function. The image below displays the values of the CHAR function for different types of bullet characters.

When using the CHAR function with the Wingdings font, you must first enter the CHAR function in a non-symbol font and then modify the font of the cell(s) to Wingdings.


And there you have it! These are the different ways to insert bullet points in an Excel spreadsheet.

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