PowerPoint 2000: Levels and Bullets

PowerPoint 2000 provides a powerful way to organize information in presentations using levels and bullets. This allows you to create hierarchical outlines that emphasize key points and relationships.

Benefits of Using Levels and Bullets

Using levels and bullets in PowerPoint presentations has several advantages:

  • Improves organization – Levels naturally group related ideas, making the structure clearer. Bullets call out individual points. This makes information easier to digest.
  • Directs focus – Levels show the relative importance of ideas, guiding the audience to focus on key points. Lower levels contain supporting details.
  • Enhances visual layout – Indenting lower levels and bullets creates visual hierarchy, spacing out the content. This makes slides less dense and easier to read.
  • Simplifies editing – Rearranging an outline with levels and bullets is easier than editing sentences in paragraphs. This facilitates revisions.

Creating Levels

To create a layered outline in PowerPoint 2000:

  • Start with the top level – Click the text placeholder and type the main heading to introduce the key topic.
  • Add the next level – Hit Enter to create a new bullet point. Then hit Tab to indent and type the level 2 text.
  • Continue nesting – Hit Enter again and Tab to indent further for level 3. Repeat as needed.
  • The left pane shows the outline structure. Levels can be promoted/demoted here too.

Formatting Levels

Some ways to format levels:

  • Fonts – Use a larger font for higher levels. Decrease font size for lower levels.
  • Colors – Apply a different text color for each level. This color codes the hierarchy.
  • Line spacing – Increase spacing above and below higher text levels to better separate each.
  • Alignment – Consider center aligning upper levels. Left align details in lower levels.

Customizing Bullets

To modify bullets:

  • Open format dialog – Select the bullets then right-click > Bullets and Numbering.
  • Choose bullet character – Pick a symbol like →, *, ●, etc. Custom icons can be used too.
  • Set size and color – Make bullets smaller/larger or match a level’s font color.
  • Adjust spacing – Increase spacing before/after for more white space around bullets.
  • Create new defaults – Save customized bullets as a new default to reuse their formatting.

Tips for Readability

Follow these tips when working with levels and bullets:

  • Limit text per line to 5-8 words maximum. Anything more is hard to read quickly.
  • Use fragments and short phrases rather than full sentences in bullets.
  • Only capitalize the first letter of bullet points. Sentence case is easier to absorb than all caps.
  • Add some visuals! Charts, icons, etc. break up the text and aid retention.
  • Use the slide master to apply consistent fonts, sizes, colors, and indentations across all slides.


Using levels and bullets effectively takes some work, but pays off with better structured, focused, and readable slides. Audiences better understand the information this way. The improved organization also makes content easier to update later on. Starting with PowerPoint 2000, levels and bullets have been the foundation to clearly communicate ideas in presentations.