Bullet point shortcut

When you’re typing away and you need to quickly list out some questions or features. I need the bullet point shortcut all the time. On a Mac it’s easy to remember if you just want the dot (•) and not a formatted list. It’s Alt-8. Think of it as the alternative to the asterisk (which lives on the 8 key on most keyboards). To create the bullet point shortcut on a PC you’ll need to be a bit more dexterous. Use the Alt keyboard sequence, ensuring that the num lock is open. Press Alt-0-1-4-9 then, upon lifting the Alt key you’ll see a delicious bullet point.

Ok, but what if you want an actual formatted list? On Mac you’re in luck for MS Office, for Windows you may have consistency issues going between versions. I find that strange. There is a way around this however. If you feel it will pay off you can build your own shortcut. Open the Customise Keyboard dialog box. To find this choose tools/customise/keyboard (pre Word 2007) and Office/Word options/customise. Now choose formatting from the categories list then in the commands list choose format bullet default. Click the press new shortcut key box and type in your shortcut. Select assign and then close everything. Now you have a bullet point shortcut for Word or Office on PC.

Bullets have been around for a while. In the day of the typewriter people would type a lowercase ‘o’ and then fill it in with ink. The Alt-8 shortcut back then would have blown their minds! The symbol for a bullet list can vary from a dash to a little black heart to a tiny cross.  No one truly knows the origin of the phrase ‘bullet point’ but some say they came about because it was too much trouble to renumber a list once edited on a typewriter.

Windows Mac

If you’re having trouble getting bullet points to work with these shortcuts or if you’ve discovered any other ways of doing it (on any program), then I’d love to hear below.

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