10 Ways to Add Bullet Points in Microsoft Excel

Today I’ll show you how to add bullet points in Excel with steps and illustrative images so you can also do the same to highlight key points in your Excel workbook reports for clarity and enhanced readability.

Bullet points enhance the visual appeal of a document or presentation by adding structure and white space. Bullet points also help you to establish a hierarchy of information by indicating the main points and sub-points. However, there’s no simple user interface button on Excel that enables you to add such elements without guesswork. There’s one Bullets and Numbering group but that doesn’t work in normal circumstances.

In this quick Excel tutorial, you’ll explore how to insert bullet points in Excel using different tricks that you didn’t know until today. So, read until the end and make your Excel worksheets easier for readers to scan through and locate specific information quickly with Excel bullet points.

Excel Bullet Points Using Hotkeys

If you’re looking to learn how to put bullet points in Excel and you can pretty much remember anything you use once or twice, the keyboard shortcuts-based method is the best approach.

Here are the various hotkeys you can use while the worksheet is set to use any normal font like Arial, Calibri, etc.:

  • Alt + 7 for •
  • Alt + 9 for ○
  • Alt + 4 for ♦
  • Alt + 13 for ♪
  • Alt + 16 for ►
  • Alt + 26 for →
  • Alt + 254 for ■
  • Alt + 9+ 6 for ♠

To add bullets, double-click on the target cell and press the Home key on the keyboard to go to the beginning of the text string or numerical values of the cell.

Now, press any of the above hotkey combinations to get your bullet point.

Repeat the steps for the rest of the cells in your worksheet.

Using the AutoCorrect Tool to Put Bullets in Excel

I personally like this method of inserting bullets when not using any automated methods mentioned later in this article. AutoCorrect allows you to replace a preconfigured letter or character with a bullet in Excel automatically.

AutoCorrect Options
AutoCorrect Options

To configure your AutoCorrect tool to do so, bring up the Excel Options dialog by pressing Alt + F + T on your Excel software.

Click on the Proofing category in Excel Options and click on the AutoCorrect Options button in the right side menu.

Setting up bullet configuration
Setting up bullet configuration

On the AutoCorrect dialog, enter a letter or character inside the Replace field. Then, enter the bullet type you want inside the With field. Here, you can use any of the previously explained keyboard shortcuts to insert a bullet of your choice. Don’t forget to click the Add button.

Now, click on the OK button twice to save the changes you’ve made.

Add bullets in Excel using AutoCorrect
Add bullets in Excel using AutoCorrect

That’s it! If you type the configured letter, in this example it’s X, in any cell and press the Space bar, AutoCorrect shall change that to the configured bullet style.

If you type the same letter in a word or phrase, without spaces, AutoCorrect won’t change it to bullets.

Import Bullet Points in Excel From Word

You you can export your Excel worksheet’s text strings to a Word file. Format the content with bullets and import the content back to the spreadsheet.

Paste Special
Paste Special

When copying content from Excel to Word, use the Ctrl + Alt + V keys to bring up the Paste Special dialog. There, choose Unformatted Text.

Bullets command
Bullets command

Now, highlight content in Word and click on the Bullets command inside the Paragraph commands block of the Word Home tab. This should format the text strings to a bulleted list.

Add bullets using Word
Add bullets using Word

Copy the content from the Word document and paste it on the destination cell range by pressing Ctrl + V.

Getting small bullets
Getting small bullets

You can also press Ctrl + Shift + V to get miniature bullets.

Excel Bullet Points Using Symbol Tool

This is the only direct user interface command that allows you to put bullet points in Excel manually by clicking certain options.

Insert bullet from Symbol
Insert bullet from Symbol

Access the target cell where you want the bullet in edit mode and go to the beginning of the text string.

Press Alt + N + U to bring up the Symbol dialog box.

Enter the value 2022 inside the Character code field to select the standard Bullet instantly.

Added a bullet
Added a bullet

Click the Insert button to get your bullet in the cell.

Bullet Points in Excel Using a Formula

Suppose, you’ve got a column filled with text strings to which you’d like to add bullets in every cell.

Formula to enter a bullet
Formula to enter a bullet

Go to an adjacent empty cell of the first cell of your target column. Enter the following formula inside the cell and hit Enter:

=CHAR(149)&" "&B2

Don’t forget to adjust the formula according to your own dataset.

You should see that Excel has added the bullet you wanted.

Added bullets using a CHAR formula
Added bullets using a CHAR formula

Now, drag the fill handle down the column to add bullets to the rest of the text strings of the source column.

You can now delete or hide the source column.

Add Bullet Points in Excel Using Format Cells

You can configure a cell range or all the cells in the entire worksheet to insert a bullet when you enter a value or text string using the Format Cells tool.

Creating a cell formatting code
Creating a cell formatting code

So, highlight the cell range where you’d like to automatically enter bullets. Now, press Ctrl + 1 to bring up the Format Cells dialog.

Click the Number tab and choose the Custom category in the left-side navigation panel.

Inside the Type field, enter this cell number code: ● @. Click OK to save the formatting.

Added bullets using Format Cells
Added bullets using Format Cells

Now, you can start typing anything in these cells and Excel shall add the bullet at the beginning of the text string or numerical value.

Insert Bullets in Excel Using SmartArt

SmartArt lets you add preconfigured objects to your Excel worksheet to visually explain processes, hierarchies, relationships, pyramids, and more. The List object of Excel SmartArt allows you to create structured bulleted lists.

Open your Excel workbook and navigate to the worksheet where you want to insert the SmartArt with bullets.

Choose a SmartArt Graphic
Choose a SmartArt Graphic

Click on the Insert tab in the Excel ribbon at the top of the window.

In the Illustrations group, click on SmartArt. The Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box shall show up.

In the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box, select the category of SmartArt that best fits your needs. For bulleted lists, you can choose a SmartArt layout under the List category.

Square Accent List
Square Accent List

Browse through the available SmartArt layouts and select the one that you want to use for your bulleted list. Click on it to highlight it. I’ve chosen the Square Accent List layout.

Click the OK button to insert the selected SmartArt into your worksheet.

SmartArt placeholder
SmartArt placeholder

A placeholder for your SmartArt graphic will appear in the worksheet. Click inside the text pane of the SmartArt graphic to start typing your bulleted list. The text pane is on the left side of the object.

Text pane
Text pane

Type your first bulleted item and press Enter to move to the next line and create a new bullet point. Repeat this process for each item in your bulleted list.

To add additional levels of bullet points (sub-bullets), press the Tab key on your keyboard before typing the text for the bullet point. This will indent the text and create a sub-bullet point.

SmartArt Design
SmartArt Design

You can customize the appearance of your SmartArt graphic by using the options in the SmartArt Design tab using commands inside the blocks like Layouts, SmartArt Styles, and Reset.

Create Excel Bullet Points in a Text Box

If you find the bulleted lists created by the SmartArt objects a bit large and different, you should try the Text Box-based method.

Create Text Box
Create Text Box

On your worksheet, go to the Insert tab and click on the Text Box button of the Text commands block. Doing so shall activate the Text Box creation cursor.

Click on the worksheet and draw the Text Box by dragging the cursor to the lower right corner.

Copy content to Text Box
Copy content to Text Box

Now, copy and paste the cell contents into the Text Box. Use the Enter key to put a new text string in the next line.

Right-click on content
Right-click on content

Highlight the whole content inside the Text Box and right-click.

Choose bullet styles
Choose bullet styles

On the right-click context menu, hover the cursor over the Bullets menu and choose the bullet style you want by clicking any from the list.

Bulleted lists using Text Box
Bulleted lists using Text Box

Excel shall create the bulleted list you need inside the Text Box.

Add Bullet Points in Excel Using VBA Programming

If you want to learn how to insert bullet points in Excel automatically in one or two clicks, you must try Excel VBA macro. VBA allows you to create macros that in turn allow you to transform un-bulleted lists to bulleted lists in Excel.

You can use the following VBA script to automate bulleted lists-making in Excel:

VBA script to add bullets
VBA script to add bullets
Sub AddBullets()
    Dim rng As Range
    Dim cell As Range
    Dim userInput As Range

    ' Prompt the user to select the target cell range
    On Error Resume Next
    Set userInput = Application.InputBox("Select the target cell range:", Type:=8)
    On Error GoTo 0

    ' Check if user canceled the input box or didn't select any range
    If userInput Is Nothing Then
        MsgBox "Operation canceled. No range selected.", vbExclamation
        Exit Sub
    End If

    ' Loop through each cell in the selected range
    For Each cell In userInput
        ' Add a solid round bullet to the beginning of the cell value
        cell.Value = ChrW(&H25CF) & " " & cell.Value
    Next cell
End Sub

You can go through the steps mentioned in the following article to create a VBA macro using this script:

📒 Read More: How To Use The VBA Code You Find Online

You can use the above script as is. There’s no need to customize any part of this script since this is an interactive VBA macro. It automatically adjusts to your dataset.

Input box to select cell range
Input box to select cell range

When you execute the macro, you’ll see a dialog box so you can select a cell range you want to transform.

Added bullets with VBA
Added bullets with VBA

Then, the script scans through the selected cell ranges and replaces the existing content with bulleted lists of the same content.

⚠️ Warning: Create a backup copy of your Excel worksheet before performing this method because you won’t be able to use the Excel undo feature to revert to the previous state after you run a VBA script.

Excel Bullet Points Using Office Scripts

If you use Office Scripts to automate various tasks in your Excel workbook, you can use the same to add bullet points in Excel. Office Scripts enables you to easily share the code with colleagues and other collaborators so they can also use the same automation with minimum customizations.

Find below a simple Office Script that allows you to create a command button to apply bulleted list formatting to highlighted datasets in the active worksheet:

function main(workbook: ExcelScript.Workbook) {
    // Get the currently selected range.
    let selectedRange = workbook.getSelectedRange();

    // Get the worksheet.
    let worksheet = selectedRange.getWorksheet();

    // Get the values of the selected range.
    let data = selectedRange.getValues();

    // Define the bullet.
    let bullet = "• ";

    // Loop through each cell in the selected range.
    for (let i = 0; i < data.length; i++) {
        // Get the current cell value.
        let cellValue = data[i][0];

        // Add the bullet to the cell value.
        let bulletedCellValue = bullet + cellValue;

        // Replace the cell value with the bulleted cell value.
        // Note: The getCell method uses zero-based indexing for both row and column numbers.
        worksheet.getCell(selectedRange.getRowIndex() + i, selectedRange.getColumnIndex()).setValue(bulletedCellValue);
Create Office Script code
Create Office Script code

Want to try out the script? It’s pretty easy! Go to the Automate tab on your Excel desktop or web app. Then, click the New Script button to bring up the Code Editor console on the right-side border of Excel.

Copy and paste the above script inside the Code Editor console. Then, click the Save script button to save the Office Script for future use.

Now, highlight the target dataset that you want to transform into a bulleted list.

Running script
Running script

Hit the Run button on the Code Editor console to execute the code.

Excel shall add bullets to each highlighted cell at the beginning of the text strings or numerical values.

📝 Note: This method is only relevant for you if you’ve been using Excel for the Microsoft 365 desktop app or Excel for the web app with a valid Microsoft 365 Business Standard or better subscription. If you don’t see the Automate tab in Excel, it’s either due to the subscription you’re using or the organization’s IT admin has disabled Office Scripts.


There you go! You’ve learned all the tried and tested methods to add bullet points in Excel in easy steps. You can try the manual methods using hotkeys, AutoCorrect, Symbol tool, Format Cells dialog, and Excel functions. These are suitable if you can remember the steps and only need to add bullets occasionally.

However, if you’re working on projects where you often need to convert text strings to bulleted lists, you can use automated methods involving Excel VBA and Office Scripts.

If the article helped or you’d like to suggest a better method, do comment below!

About the Author

Tamal Das

Tamal Das

I'm a freelance writer at HowToExcel.org. After completing my MS in Science, I joined reputed IT consultancy companies to acquire hands-on knowledge of data analysis and data visualization techniques as a business analyst. Now, I'm a professional freelance content writer for everything Excel and its advanced support tools, like Power Pivot, Power Query, Office Scripts, and Excel VBA. I published many tutorials and how-to articles on Excel for sites like MakeUseOf, AddictiveTips, OnSheets, Technipages, and AppleToolBox. In weekends, I perform in-depth web search to learn the latest tricks and tips of Excel so I can write on these in the weekdays!


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John MacDougall

I’m John, and my goal is to help you Excel!

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