Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
When Bullets Work
When Bullets Work
Word gives you the capacity to create bulleted lists with a number of looks. For instance,
you can select bullet characters, colors, and indents. Further, you can place bulleted lists
side by side in a multicolumn format. Here are some guidelines to remember when you
create bulleted lists:
Be concise. Fewer words make a larger impact. Unless you must include paragraphs
of text for each bullet item, pare your prose down to fewer than three sentences, if
you can.
Stick to the point. A general rule is one point, one bullet. Don’t try to cram more
than one idea into each bullet item.
Be clear. Flowery language isn’t necessary—clear and simple is best.
Don’t overdo it. Bullets can be so much fun (and easier to write than big blocks
of text) that you might be tempted to use them liberally throughout your document.
Resist the temptation to overuse bullets in your work and use them only when they
bring clarity to your content.
Choose a bullet that makes sense. If your report is about a new drive train your
company is manufacturing, would baby-bottle bullet characters really make sense?
Probably not. Be sure to it the bullet characters you choose to the style and
expectations of your audience.
Don’t use too many at once. Don’t make your lists burdensome for your readers.
If possible, say what you need to say in five to seven bullet points and move back to
paragraph style.
Tip
Bullets are ideal for those times when you want to convey short, to-the-point pieces
of information. The fact that you use bullets instead of numbers implies to your reader
that the points can be read and applied in any order; there’s no specific sequence in a
bulleted list.
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