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The two, Word and “˜Word Blindness’ don’t gel together in a single sentence. But for me, it was a fact for quite some time. I was not familiar with some of Microsoft Word’s most common features and the way they could be tweaked or extended. It was only after I was forced to stay on the learning curve that I started learning about the various tips and tricks that can be applied to a simple document that’s born out of MS Word.

We have covered a lot of MS Word 2007 tips and tricks and how-to’s over the months and we have seen how the Office application can be used to create interesting documents. With decreasing attention spans and more hurried reading, designing documents for easy readability has become very important. People don’t read — they glance through. If it’s not your grandmother bequeathing you all her worldly possessions, I guess you too would prefer a rapid scan through a document instead of going at it by line.

Bullets are an essential tool for creating concise documents. You can capture the essential gist of a document in a bulleted list (or a numbered list for that matter).

When I was starting out with MS Word, I knew of only those that I got from the toolbar, with a click on Bullets and Numbering. As MS Word graduated to MS Word 2007, one colorful option came in. A few more days spent spraying bullets all over a document and I learned that there’s an entire gallery of bullets that can be used for improving the décor of one’s document. Not only that, I can use symbols and my own custom pictures too to create my own bullets.

So let’s take a look at the different ways in which we can create bullets. Of course, these are common across all MS Office applications.

Define your own bullet with symbols

MS Word makes it real easy to customize our own bullets if we don’t like the default ones.

  • On the Home tab of the Ribbon, go to the Paragraph group where the Bullets command is located. Click the little drop down arrow to access the default bullets in the Bullets Library. Click on Define New Bullets.

    word 2007 tips and tricks

  • Next, click on Symbol and select any character you like to get a new bullet. You can select Wingdings, Wingdings 2 and Webdings from the Fonts dropdown to access a rich variety of typefaces as bullets. You can see a small preview too. Click on OK to set your new choice of bullet.

    word 2007 tips and tricks

  • Just like a font, you can change the color and size of a bullet.

    word 2007 tips and tricks

Define your own bullets with pictures

  • Alternatively, you can click on Picture in the Define New Bullet box to select any from the large gallery. You can also put a check on Include Content from Office Online.

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  • Click on Import to browse to an external file and include it in the collection.
  • A lot of the picture bullets can be found under – (In Windows XP) C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Media\Office12\Bullets.
  • In the above location, you will see that the GIF files have average dimensions of 15 pixels. You can make your own customized picture bullets using the same dimensions in any graphic application.

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Shortcut bullets with AutoCorrect

  • The AutoCorrect feature of Word allows you to create fast bullets with some special characters. To see whether AutoCorrect is set for automatically creating bulleted lists, go to: Office – Word Options – Proofing – Click on AutoCorrect Options.

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  • In the AutoFormat as You Type tab, check Automatic Bulleted Lists.

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  • AutoCorrect recognizes any of these characters”¦
    “” (em dash)

    “¦and changes them to bullets on the run when you press Enter. Type in any of these characters, press Spacebar, or a tab to enter the text for that line. Hit Enter to go to the next line as the bulleted list gets created with each press of an Enter.
  • Creating bulleted lists with AutoCorrect works with all kinds of bullets like symbols and pictures.

Steal bullets from open documents

  • If you get a document with a bullet you like, you can easily copy it into your collection. Bullets in an open document get added to the bullets collection under the group – Document Bullets. Select the bullet in that group, right click and Add to Library. Now, it’s yours’ to own and use.

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  • You can remove them by selecting them in the Library group and right clicking on Remove.

Composing bulleted lists is often harped upon these days. Don’t you think that attractive bulleted lists will help with more eye-catching points?

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