If you’re in the business world, or even the business of organizing your thoughts, you can’t go far without using numbered or bulleted lists.

Bulleted lists are an attractive way of presenting nuggets of information. Here’s a great example:

  • Each paragraph is indented from the left margin (like this one) and is preceded by a bullet (the round dot shown at left).

  • Word comes with two automatic list-formatting features turned on to help create this kind of list: “Automatic bulleted lists” and “Automatic numbered lists.” However, since many people can’t figure out how to control this automatic behavior, it’s one of the first things they turn off—once they figure out where the preferences are. They’re at Word → Preferences → Auto Correct → AutoFormat as You Type, as discussed on AutoFormat.

  • You can always create a numbered list by typing a number at the beginning of each line, but it won’t be nicely indented.

  • You may know how to create a bullet (•) at the beginning of every line by using the keyboard shortcut Option-8. But again, that won’t produce the clean left margin on your bulleted paragraphs.

  • Furthermore, creating lists manually can get messy. For example, inserting an item between two existing ones in a numbered list requires some serious renumbering. And if you want your list indented, you’ll have to fiddle with the indent controls quite a bit.

Word has partially automated the process. A quick way to start a numbered or bulleted list is from the Formatting Palette. Open the ...

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