Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Understanding and Creating Lists.

Understanding and Creating Lists

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 8, 2016)

There are two types of lists commonly used in printed material. The first is a bulleted list and the second is a numbered list. A bulleted list is a nothing but a list of individual items with a symbol to the left side of the first line of each item in the list. For example, the following is a bulleted list:

  • This is the first item in the list.
  • This is the second item in the list. There is more than one line in this item. Notice that the extra lines are aligned with the line above, not with the bullet or the text margin.
  • This is the third item in the list.
  • This is the fourth item in the list.

In the case of this bulleted list, the symbol used as the "bullet" is a small dot. A numbered list is a little bit different. It consists of a series of items, each with a sequential number in front of it. Numbered lists are used extensively in WordTips to describe a sequence of steps to be followed.

This usage points out the primary way you can decide which type of list to use. If you have a sequence of steps, which must be followed in order, then you should use a numbered list. If you have a group of items to which you want special treatment given, but they don't represent a series that must be followed in sequence, then you should use a bulleted list.

Word allows you to quickly and easily create lists. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Type your list, only pressing Enter at the end of each item in the list. If an item runs more than one line, do not press Enter at the end of each line.
  2. Select all the items in the list.
  3. Click on the Bullets list tool in the toolbar to create the bulleted list, or the Numbering tool to create a numbered list.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1251) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Understanding and Creating Lists.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Multiple Pages Per Sheet

You can save on paper on your printouts by instructing Word to print multiple pages on a single sheet of paper. In fact, you ...

Discover More

Understanding Outlining in Word

Remember when you needed to create outlines for your writing when you were in school? Word includes outlining capabilities ...

Discover More

Selecting a Group of Words

Want to select a chunk of text in a document? Perhaps the easiest way to do this involves using the mouse in conjunction with ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Turning Off Automatic Numbered Lists

Type what Word thinks is a numbered list, and it will helpfully format the text to match what it thinks your numbered list ...

Discover More

Automatic Numbers with Leading Zeroes

Word's automatic numbering formats allow you to easily create lists that have one leading zero. If you want more than one ...

Discover More

Increasing Space between Numbers and Text in a List

You can easily create numbered lists in your document. Most versions of Word even allow you to modify the distance between ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six more than 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.