How to Add Bullet Points in Word with Keyboard: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding bullet points in Word using just your keyboard is a simple yet powerful trick that can make your document formatting more efficient. By mastering a few keyboard shortcuts, you can swiftly create organized, easy-to-read lists without touching your mouse. Let’s delve into the steps to achieve this.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on Adding Bullet Points in Word with Keyboard

In the following steps, you’ll learn how to insert bullet points into your Word document using keyboard shortcuts. This method will help you save time and keep your hands on the keyboard.

Step 1: Open your Word document

Press Ctrl + O to open an existing document or Ctrl + N to create a new one.

Opening a document is your first step. If you already have a document ready, Ctrl + O will prompt you to browse and select it. If not, Ctrl + N begins a fresh document where you can start typing.

Step 2: Position your cursor

Move your cursor to the spot where you want to start your bullet list.

Use the arrow keys to navigate through your document. Place the cursor exactly where you want the bullet points to appear, typically at the start of a new line.

Step 3: Use the bullet point shortcut

Press Ctrl + Shift + L to start a bullet point.

This combination will instantly transform your cursor into a bullet point. You can start typing your first list item right away.

Step 4: Create multiple bullet points

Press Enter to create a new bullet point for each subsequent item.

After typing your first item, hitting Enter will automatically create a new bullet point on the next line. Continue this for each new item in your list.

Step 5: End the bullet list

Press Enter twice to end the bullet list.

Once you’re finished with your list, pressing Enter twice will exit the bullet list mode, allowing you to continue with regular text formatting.

After completing these steps, your document will have a neatly organized list of bullet points, making it more readable and professional.

Tips for Adding Bullet Points in Word with Keyboard

  • Practice the shortcuts: The more you use Ctrl + Shift + L, the quicker you’ll become.
  • Customize bullets: You can change bullet styles by using the formatting menu if the default isn’t to your liking.
  • Indent bullets: Use Tab to indent a bullet point, creating a sublist, and Shift + Tab to outdent.
  • Maintain consistency: Ensure all bullet points are uniform in style and size for a cleaner look.
  • Use numbered lists: For ordered lists, you can switch to Ctrl + Shift + 7 to create numbered bullet points.

Frequently Asked Questions About Adding Bullet Points in Word with Keyboard

How do I change the bullet style using the keyboard?

You can’t directly change the bullet style with the keyboard alone. You’ll need to use the ribbon or right-click menu.

Can I create a sub-bullet using the keyboard?

Yes, press Tab to indent a bullet point, creating a sub-bullet.

How do I go back to the main bullet point level from a sub-bullet?

Press Shift + Tab to outdent a sub-bullet back to the main level.

What if my shortcut keys don’t work?

Check your Word settings; your shortcuts might be customized differently. You can reset them to default settings if needed.

Can I use these shortcuts in other Office applications?

Yes, similar shortcuts work in other Office apps like PowerPoint.

Summary of Adding Bullet Points in Word with Keyboard

  1. Open your Word document: Ctrl + O or Ctrl + N
  2. Position your cursor: Arrow keys
  3. Use the bullet point shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + L
  4. Create multiple bullet points: Enter
  5. End the bullet list: Enter twice


Mastering keyboard shortcuts for adding bullet points in Word is like having a secret weapon in your document formatting toolkit. Not only does it save precious time, but it also helps maintain a smooth workflow. The simplicity and efficiency gained from using shortcuts like Ctrl + Shift + L can significantly enhance your productivity.

If you’re looking to streamline your document creation process, practice these shortcuts and incorporate them into your daily routine. For more advanced formatting options, explore Word’s comprehensive menu or seek out additional tutorials online.

Ready to become a Word wizard? Start experimenting with bullet points today, and you’ll soon be navigating through your documents like a pro. Whether you’re preparing a report, a presentation, or just jotting down notes, knowing how to add bullet points in Word with keyboard shortcuts is a skill that will serve you well in countless scenarios. Happy typing!