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Entering Bulleted Text

On many slides, you'll use bulleted text, which you've seen in most presentations to denote the individual talking points on a slide (Figure 4.4). Bulleted text is just that, text preceded by a marker called a bullet. Bullets in PowerPoint can be either text characters, or pictures.

Figure 4.4

Figure 4.4 You'll use bulleted text to make your points.

The bulleted text on a slide can have multiple levels, which denote sub-points or sub-topics. For example, you could have text on a slide such as this:

Contemporary Folk Music
      Kaplansky, Lucy
      Peacock, Alice
      Shindell, Richard

Each level of text is subordinate to the level above. On a slide, just as in the text above, that subordination will be shown as indented text. There will be a bullet at each level, preceding the text. In some themes, you'll see different bullets for each indented level (Figure 4.5).

Figure 4.5

Figure 4.5 Some themes use different colors or shapes of bullets for each bullet level.

When you enter text in a bulleted text box, PowerPoint automatically inserts the bullets whenever you press Enter to begin a new line. Pressing Tab at the beginning of a new line indents that line one level.

On slide layouts with content boxes, PowerPoint allows one bulleted text box per content box. You can manually insert other text boxes, but they can't contain bulleted text (except for text you manually add bullets to with the Home > Paragraph > Bullets button; those bullets don't take on the theme's bullet styles, as shown in Figure 4.6).

Figure 4.6

Figure 4.6 Free text boxes don't use the same bullets as the presentation's theme.

To enter bulleted text:

  1. Create a slide with a slide layout containing a content box.

    Typical slide layouts with content boxes include Title and Content, Two Content, Comparison, and Content with Caption.

  2. In the text box with the "Click to add text" placeholder, click to place the insertion point (Figure 4.7).
    Figure 4.7

    Figure 4.7 When you click in the placeholder, the placeholder text goes away and the insertion point appears.

  3. Enter your text.

    If your entry is too long, it will wrap within the text box, with the default left text alignment.

  4. Press Return to begin a new line.

    PowerPoint automatically inserts a new bullet at the beginning of the line.

  5. (Optional) To indent text one level, press Tab before you begin typing on a new line.
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