How to Add a Bullet in Excel

By Aaron Parson

As of Excel 2013, no current or past version of Excel has an automated bulleted list feature akin to [the feature in Microsoft Word]( Usually, lists in Excel use each cell as an entry, rather than relying on bullets. Even so, you can manually insert bullet points as symbols into cells or cell formatting, if you prefer.

Step 1

Type **Alt-7**, **Alt-8** or **Alt-9**, using the numbers on the numeric keypad, to insert a solid bullet, a bullet outline or a hollow bullet, respectively, in Excel. This one-step solution works for text lists, but when performing calculations, bullets prevent formulas from working. Instead, use the following method to add bullets that won't interfere.

Step 2

Select all cells where you want to add bullets to numbers. Right-click any cell in the selection and choose **Format Cells** from the drop-down menu. It's okay to use either blank cells or cells that already contain data.

Step 3

Select **Custom** on the Number tab. In the Type box, use the **Alt** combinations of **Alt-7**, **Alt-8** or **Alt-9** to create the type of bullet you want. Immediately after the bullet, type **" "0**. The single space within quotation marks adds a space after the bullet for a cleaner style, which you can optionally omit. The *0* represents the number in each cell. In total, this code adds a bullet and a space prior to each cell's numeric value. Click **OK** to apply the formatting.

Step 4

Enter a number in a formatted cell. After you press "Enter" or click out of the cell, your bullet will appear automatically. Formulas that reference these cells work as expected and also adopt the bullet point.

Tips & Warnings

  • To create a multi-line list in a single cell, press "Alt-Enter" after each line. Use the "Alt-7," "Alt-8" or "Alt-9" key combination to add a bullet to each line, if needed.
  • If you paste a bulleted list from Word into Excel, Excel splits each list item onto its own row, but also places the bullets in a separate column. To paste the entire list into a single cell, double-click the cell before pasting.
  • To use an alternate bullet style, click "Symbol" on the Insert tab in Excel and insert a symbol of your choice. Copy that symbol and paste it into the Format Cells Type box in place of using the "Alt" key combo.
  • Stick with symbols found in the same font as the rest of your document, usually Calibri. If you pick an image from Wingdings, for example, it won't show up correctly when used in Format Cells.
  • The "Alt" number shortcuts only work with the digits on the number pad. Keyboards without a separate number pad often reuse a set of letters as numbers when you have "Num Lock" enabled or the "Fn" key held down.