PowerPoint 2016: Lists

Lists are an effective way to organize and present information in PowerPoint. They help break up large blocks of text, highlight key points, and show sequential steps.

Here are some best practices for using lists effectively in PowerPoint 2016:

Types of Lists

PowerPoint supports two main types of lists:

Bulleted Lists

  • Use bulleted lists for non-sequential items
  • Each item starts with a bullet character like • or √
  • Easy way to break up text and draw attention to important points

Numbered Lists

  1. Use numbered lists to show sequence or rank
  2. Each item has an associated number
  3. Useful for step-by-step processes or hierarchical information

Formatting Lists

You can customize the appearance of lists in PowerPoint to match your presentation design.

Change Bullet Style

  • Click the arrow next to Bullets on the Home tab
  • Select a different bullet character like discs, squares, arrows, etc.

Change Numbering Style

  1. Click the arrow next to Numbering on the Home tab
  2. Choose from numbers, letters, Roman numerals, etc.

Adjust Indentation

  • Use the ruler or the Increase/Decrease Indent buttons
  • Set different left indents for bullets/numbers and text

Apply Text Formatting

  • Change font face, size, color
  • Can be different than body text
  • Create emphasis

Nesting Lists

You can create nested (multi-level) lists to show hierarchy.

  • Main points
    • Sub-points
      • Supporting details
  • Press Tab or click Increase List Level to indent
  • Press Shift + Tab or click Decrease List Level to un-indent

Apply Consistent Formatting

Use the Slide Master to change default list formatting for all slides.

  1. View the Slide Master (View tab)
  2. Edit Master Layouts containing lists
  3. Modify list indentation, style, colors, etc.
  4. Close Slide Master view when done

Now all lists will have consistent styling.


  • Use brief phrases rather than full sentences
  • Limit to 5-7 items per list
  • Be consistent with punctuation at the end of each item
  • Add visual icons or graphics for extra emphasis


Here are some examples of effective lists in PowerPoint:

Bulleted List Highlighting Key Features

Bulleted list of key features

Numbered List Showing Process Steps

Numbered list of process steps

Nested List With Multiple Levels

Nested bulleted list

Video Tutorial

Here is a helpful video tutorial on creating lists in PowerPoint 2016:

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Lists help organize information and enhance presentations in PowerPoint. Use bulleted and numbered lists appropriately, format them consistently, and nest them to show hierarchy. Follow the best practices outlined here for creating effective lists that clearly communicate your ideas to your audience.