It’s easy to add bullet points in Word. It’s a text processor that is designed to work with text and bulleted lists, so Microsoft added this feature directly to the ribbon.
Excel, on the other hand, is a spreadsheet, so it’s primarily designed to work with numbers and not text. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t add bullet points here. You can, you just won’t find it directly on the ribbon and you can do it in a few different ways.
Copy bullet points from Word to Excel
You can add bullet points by inserting them in Word and then copying them to Excel.
You can find bullets on the Word Ribbon in Home >> Paragraph >> Bullets.
In order to copy the bullet point, first, you need to insert it into the text, then move the cursor to the left of the bullet, to the margin so the cursor will change to the arrow, and click it with the left mouse button.
Use the Ctrl + C keyboard shortcut and paste it into Excel (Ctrl + V).
The cursor will be aligned to the right.
Click the cell with the bullet and go to the formula bar.
As you can see there are a lot of spaces to the right of the bullet.
Remove that spaces and click Enter.
As you can see the bullet is still aligned to the right despite showing in a Ribbon that it’s aligned to the left.
Just click the Align Left button twice, and the bullet inside the cell will move to the left.
The second way to add bullets in Excel is by using the keyboard shortcut. It only works if you have the numeric keypad.
Every character in Excel has its own unique key code. For bullet points, this code is 7 or 0149.
In order to enter the bullet point, do the following steps.
- Click a cell inside Excel.
- Hold Left Alt.
- Press (while holding the Left Alt) 7.
There are a few other characters, you can add in a similar way.
You can find even more information about key codes on the Wikipedia page.
Once you add a character, you can copy it to other cells.
Add bullet using the Symbol Menu
The next way to add bullets in Excel is by using the Symbol Menu. You can find it in Insert >> Symbols >> Symbol.
The Symbol window will appear. Here, you can find a lot of characters to choose from.
Once you find the character you want to use, you can click the Insert button or just double-click the character. It will be automatically added to a cell without closing the window.
You can insert many characters this way, which will be added to the selected cell, one after another. Once you are happy with your choice, you can close the window.
If you have difficulties in finding your character, you can use one of the following character codes.
If you type or paste one of these characters into the Character code textbox, you will be automatically moved the character.
Add bullet points using the CHAR formula
Another way to add a bullet list is by using the CHAR function. This function returns the character specified by the code number.
Remember that apart from Alt + 7, there is also the second keyboard shortcut to insert bullet point: Alt + 0149?
If you want to use the CHAR function, you have to use this code, without 0.
You can use this function + concatenation character + text to achieve the desired effect.
=CHAR(149)&" First option"
And also with a cell reference.
Add a shortcut to the Quick Access Toolbar
You can create a simple procedure in VBA and then apply it to the icon in Quick Access Toolbar.
To add a bullet or any other character in VBA, first, open the VBA editor by using Alt + F11. Inside the editor add a new module.
Inside this module insert the following code. It will add a bullet point to the active cell.
ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = "•"
This code, however, has a small disadvantage. It works well with a single cell, but if you select multiple cells, it’s going to return the following result.
Let’s modify this code to handle multiple cells at once.
The code has to loop through every cell inside a selected range and add a bullet point.
For Each cell In Application.Selection
cell.FormulaR1C1 = "•"
Now, if you select a range of cells and run this code, it will give you the following result.
Now, we know that the code runs well, let’s create a shortcut.
- First, click the little icon to customize the Quick Access Toolbar.
- Then click the More Commands
- Inside Choose from commands Select Macros.
- Choose the macro and click Add >>
- Click Modify… if you want to assign an icon to the shortcut. Click OK.
- Click OK to close Excel Options.
You’ve just created a new shortcut button.
Now, if you select a range of cells and click this icon, Excel will add a bullet point to each cell within the selected cell.