How to Insert Bullet Points in an Excel Spreadsheet

Excel logo on gray background

Adding a bulleted list in an Excel spreadsheet isn’t easy, but it is possible. Unlike Microsoft Word, or even PowerPoint, there aren’t many visual cues to guide you when adding these lists. Instead, we’re going to try some manual tricks to accomplish the task.

Insert bullets from the Symbol menu

First, select a blank cell in your Excel workbook.

blank cell excel

Make sure the “Insert” tab is open and click “Symbol” under the “Symbols” icon.

excel symbols menu

In the dialog box, enter 2022 in the “Character code” box.

unicode excel symbol

Click on “Insert”, then on “Close”.

insert and close in Excel

If you want to add more bullets to the lines below, press ALT + Enter on the keyboard and repeat the previous steps.

Insert bullets in a text box

If you want to ignore the functionality of a worksheet and just overlay a text box, this is a simpler process than the one above, although you will lose some of the functionality of a worksheet because it acts more like a Word document.

Go to the “Insert” tab and click “Text Box” in the “Text” menu.

text menu text box

Click anywhere in the worksheet to add the text box. To resize, grab one of the corners, drag it to the size you want, and release the mouse button.

drag to resize

Type the items from the list in the text box.

list of items in the text box

Highlight the items you want to add bullets to. To add bullets, right-click on the list, then click “Bullets” in the list of options.

context menu, bullets

Choose your bullet style.

bullet styles

Insert bullets using keyboard shortcuts

Click on the cell where you want to start your bulleted list.

empty cell

For a standard bullet, press Alt + 7 on your keyboard. You can also use Alt + 9 if you prefer a hollow chip.

bullet keyboard shortcuts

To add more bullets, just click on the square in the lower right corner, hold down the mouse button, and drag the mouse down (or left or right) to fill additional cells.

drag to copy bullets

Or, if you want to add your bullets to a nonadjacent cell, just highlight the bullets and press Ctrl + C to copy them, then Ctrl + P to paste them into a new area.

copy bullets to a nonadjacent cell

Excel, like most Microsoft Office products, has several ways of doing the same thing. Just choose the way that works best for you and what you’re trying to accomplish.

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