Use a screen reader to create bulleted or numbered lists with Word

Screen reader content Screen reader content

This article is for people with visual impairments who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Microsoft Support home.

Use Word with your keyboard and a screen reader to create bulleted or numbered lists. We have tested it with Narrator, JAWS, and NVDA, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. You'll learn how to turn existing lines of text into a list, change the bullet style, and create nested lists.

Screen readers vary in their ability to describe the style of bullet or number used for a list. You might need to adjust your screen reader’s verbosity settings. For example, JAWS can identify the ten most common bullet types.

Notes: 

In this topic

Type a bulleted or numbered list

There are two ways to create a bulleted or numbered list.

Type the list first

  1. Type the items for your list. Press Enter to separate each item.

  2. Select the items for the list.

  3. To turn the items into a list, do one of the following:

    • For a bulleted list, press Alt+H, U, L. You hear: "Bullet Library, None." Use the Right and Left arrow keys to browse the bullet style options, and press Enter to select.

    • For a numbered list, press Alt+H, N. You hear: "Numbering Library, None." Use the Right and Left arrow keys to browse the numbering style options, and press Enter to select.

  4. To exit the list, press the Down arrow key. You hear: "Exit list."

Choose the list style first

  1. Do one of the following:

    • To create a bulleted list, press Alt+H, U to open the library of bullet styles. You hear: "Bullet Library, None." Use the Right and Left arrow keys to browse the bullet style options, and press Enter to select.

    • To create a numbered list, press Alt+H, N to open the library of numbering styles. You hear: "Numbering Library, None." Use the Right and Left arrow keys to browse the numbering style options, and press Enter to select.

  2. Type the first item in the list. To continue the list, press Enter and type the next item.

  3. To stop creating the list, press Enter instead of typing a new item.

Make a nested list within a list

You can create a list within a list, such as nested bullets in a bulleted list.

  1. In an existing list, navigate to the end of the list item after which you want to start the nested list, and press Enter to create a new list item.

  2. Press the Tab key. Word increases the indent for the new list item and makes it part of a nested list.

    Note: The bullet or numbering style for the new list item is based on the style of its parent. To learn how to change it, refer to Change the bullet or number style.

  3. Type the items for the nested list. For more information, refer to Type a bulleted or numbered list.

Change the bullet or numbering style

If you want to change the style of an existing list, you can choose any style from the bullet or numbering library.

  1. Select the entire list.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To open the Bullet Library, press Alt+H, U.

    • To open the Numbering Library, press Alt+H, N.

  3. Use the Right and Left arrow keys to go through the available options, which can vary depending on what you’ve used most recently. To choose a style, press Enter.

Change the alignment of a list

It is simple to change a list’s alignment with respect to the page margin.

  1. Select the entire list.

  2. To decrease indent, or move the list closer to the margin, press Alt+H, A, O.

  3. To increase indent, or move the list farther away from the margin, press Alt+H, A, I.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to align text and paragraphs in Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

Use Word for Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to create bulleted or numbered lists. Word for Mac lets you turn existing lines of text into a list, change the bullet style, and create nested lists.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in macOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, go to VoiceOver Getting Started Guide.

In this topic

Type a bulleted or numbered list

There are two ways to create a bulleted or numbered list.

Create a list as you type

  1. At the start of a new line, do one of the following:

    • To create a bulleted list, type an asterisk (*), and press Spacebar. A filled round bullet is created.

    • To create a numbered list, type 1. (the number 1 followed by a period), and press Spacebar. A numbered list item is created. 

  2. Type the text for the first list item.

  3. To create a new list item, press Return and type the text for the item.

  4. To stop creating the list, press Return twice.

Choose a bullet or numbering style first

  1. Place the cursor where you want to start a new list.

  2. To go to the Home tab, press F6 until you hear a tab name followed by “You are currently on a tab.” Then press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear: "Home tab." Press Spacebar to select the tab.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To select a bulleted list style, press the Tab key until you hear: "Bullet points, menu button." To expand the menu, press Control+Option+Shift+M. To select a bullet style, press the Down arrow key once, and then use the Right and Left arrow keys to browse the styles. To select a style, press Spacebar.

    • To select a numbered list style, press the Tab key until you hear: "Numbering, menu button." To expand the menu, press Control+Option+Shift+M. To select a numbering style, press the Down arrow key once, and then use the Right and Left arrow keys to browse the styles. To select a style, press Spacebar.

  4. The list is created and the focus moves to the document. Type the text for the first list item.

  5. To create a new list item, press Return and type the text for the item.

  6. To stop creating the list, press Return twice.

Make a nested list within a list

You can create a list within a list, such as nested bullets in a bulleted list.

  1. In an existing list, go to the end of the item after which you want to start the nested list, and press Return.

  2. With the cursor at the start of the line for the new item, press the Tab key. Word for Mac increases the indent for that item and makes it part of a nested list.

    Note: The bullet or numbering style for the new list item is based on the style of its parent. You can change these styles to any available bullet or numbering style. To learn how, see Change the bullet or numbering style.

  3. Type the items for the nested list. For more information, refer to Type a bulleted or numbered list.

Change the bullet or numbering style

If you want to change the style of an existing list, you can choose any style in the bullet or numbering library.

  1. Select a list or nested list.

    Tip: To select a piece of text, hold down Shift and move the cursor using the arrow keys.

  2. To go to the Home tab, press F6 until you hear a tab name followed by “You are currently on a tab.” Then press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear: "Home tab." Press Spacebar to select the tab.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To select a new bullet style, press the Tab key until you hear: "Bullet points, menu button." To expand the menu, press Control+Option+Shift+M. To select a bullet style, press the Down arrow key once, and then use the Right and Left arrow keys to browse the styles. To select a style, press Spacebar.

    • To select a new numbering style, press the Tab key until you hear: "Numbering, menu button." To expand the menu, press Control+Option+Shift+M. To select a numbering style, press the Down arrow key once, and then use the Right and Left arrow keys to browse the styles. To select a style, press Spacebar.

The list style is changed and the focus moves to the document.

Change the alignment of a list

It's simple to change a list’s alignment with respect to the margin.

  1. Select a list or nested list.

    Tip: To select a piece of text, hold down Shift and move the cursor using the arrow keys.

  2. To go to the Home tab, press F6 until you hear a tab name followed by “You are currently on a tab.” Then press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear: "Home tab." Press Spacebar to select the tab.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To decrease indent, or move the list closer to the margin, press the Tab key until you hear: "Decrease indent button." Press Spacebar to select.

    • To increase indent, or move the list farther away from the margin, press the Tab key until you hear: "Increase indent button." Press Spacebar to select.

  4. To move the focus back to the document, press F6.

See also

Use a screen reader to check spelling and grammar in Word

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

Use Word for iOS with VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader, to create bulleted or numbered lists on your phone. Word for iOS lets you change existing lines of text into a list, change the bullet style, and create nested lists.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in iOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, visit Apple accessibility.

In this topic

Type a bulleted or numbered list

It is easy to create a list as you type.

Type a bulleted list

  1. In the Editing view, type the first item of your list using the on-screen keyboard. To go to the keyboard, swipe right until you hear a keyboard element.

    Tip: You can also find the keyboard by exploring the items on the screen. To explore, place a finger on the screen and drag it around. VoiceOver announces the items as you land on them. To select an item, lift your finger and double-tap the screen.

  2. After typing, to close the keyboard and go to the ribbon, swipe left until you hear "Show ribbon, button," and double-tap the screen. The Home tab opens, and you hear: "Home tab."

  3. On the Home tab, swipe right until you hear “Bullets button," and double-tap the screen. The Bullets menu opens.

  4. In the Bullets menu, swipe right to go through the available bullet styles. You hear the bullet style descriptions while swiping. When on the style you want, double-tap to select it. The bullet is added to the selected item, and the focus moves to the Home tab.

  5. To close the ribbon and switch to the keyboard, swipe left until you hear "Hide ribbon, button," and double-tap the screen.

  6. To add a new list item, select Return on the on-screen keyboard. You hear: "New line, auto correct to bullet." Type the new item. To select Return, swipe right until you hear "Return," and double-tap the screen.

  7. To stop creating list items, select Return on the on-screen keyboard. You hear: "New line." Select Return again. The focus moves below the bulleted list.

Type a numbered list

  1. In the Editing view, type the first item of your list using the on-screen keyboard. To go to the keyboard, swipe right until you hear a keyboard element.

  2. After typing, to close the keyboard and go to the ribbon, swipe left until you hear "Show ribbon, button," and double-tap the screen. The Home tab opens, and you hear: "Home tab."

  3. On the Home tab, swipe right until you hear “Numbering button," and double-tap the screen. The Numbering menu opens.

  4. In the Numbering menu, swipe right to go through the available numbering styles. You hear the numbering style descriptions while swiping. When on the style you want, double-tap to select it. The number is added to the selected item, and the focus moves to the Home tab.

  5. To close the ribbon and switch to the keyboard, swipe left until you hear "Hide ribbon, button," and double-tap the screen.

  6. To add a new list item, select Return on the on-screen keyboard and type the new item. To select Return, swipe right until you hear "Return," and double-tap the screen.

  7. To stop creating list items, select Return on the on-screen keyboard. You hear: "New line." Select Return again. The focus moves below the numbered list.

Make a nested list within a list

You can create a list within a list, such as nested bullets in a bulleted list.

  1. In an existing list in the Editing view, navigate to the end of the list item after which you want to start the nested list, and select return on the on-screen keyboard to create a new list item.

    Tip: To move the cursor to the end of the item, when on that item, swipe down with one finger until you hear the last character.

  2. To close the keyboard and go to the ribbon, swipe left until you hear "Show ribbon, button," and double-tap the screen. The Home tab opens, and you hear: "Home tab."

  3. On the Home tab, swipe right until you hear “Increase indent position, button," and double-tap the screen. Word for iOS increases the indent for that item and makes it part of a nested list.

    Note: The bullet or numbering style for the nested list item is based on the style of its parent item. You can change these styles to any available bullet or numbering style. To learn more, refer to Change the bullet or numbering style.

  4. Type the first nested list item. To add another list item, select Return on the on-screen keyboard and type the new item. To select Return, swipe right until you hear "Return," and double-tap the screen.

Change the bullet or numbering style

If you want to change the style of an existing list, you can choose any style from the bullet or numbering library.

  1. In the Editing view, navigate to an item on the list level where you want to change the bullet or numbering style.

  2. To close the keyboard and go to the ribbon, swipe right until you hear "Show ribbon, button," and double-tap the screen. The Home tab opens, and you hear: "Home tab."

  3. On the Home tab, swipe right until you hear "Bullets button" or “Numbering button," depending on what you want to do, and double-tap the screen. The selected menu opens.

    Tip: You can combine a bulleted list with numbered nested lists, or vice versa.

  4. Swipe right to browse the styles. You hear the style descriptions while swiping. The currently selected style is announced as "Selected." When on the style you want, double-tap to select it. The style is applied to items on the selected list level, and the focus moves to the Home tab.

Change the alignment of a list

It is simple to change a list’s alignment with respect to the page margin.

  1. In the Editing view, navigate to the beginning of the first item of the list.

  2. To close the keyboard and go to the ribbon, swipe left until you hear "Show ribbon, button," and double-tap the screen. The Home tab opens, and you hear: "Home tab."

  3. On the Home tab, swipe right until you hear “Increase indent position, button," and double-tap the screen. Word for iOS increases the indent for the whole list.

    Tip: To decrease the indent for the whole list, select "Decrease indent position, button" instead.

See also

Use a screen reader to check spelling and grammar in Word

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

Use Word for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to create bulleted or numbered lists on your phone. Word for Android lets you change existing lines of text into a list, change the bullet style, and create nested lists.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Android screen reader, TalkBack. To learn more about using TalkBack, go to Android accessibility.

In this topic

Type a bulleted or numbered list

It is easy to create a list as you type.

Type a bulleted list

  1. In the Editing view, type the first item of your list using the on-screen keyboard.

    Note: You can find the keyboard by exploring the items on the screen. To explore, place a finger on the screen and drag it around. TalkBack announces the items as you land on them. To select an item, when on the item, lift your finger. Depending on your device settings, you might need to double-tap the screen to insert the character.

  2. After typing, to close the keyboard and go to the ribbon, drag your finger above the keyboard or swipe left until you hear "More options, switch," and double-tap the screen. The Home tab opens, and you hear: "Tab menu, home selected."

  3. On the Home tab, swipe right until you hear “Bullets menu," and double-tap the screen. The Bullets menu opens.

  4. In the Bullets menu, swipe right to go through the available bullet styles. You hear the bullet style descriptions while swiping. When on the style you want, double-tap to select it. The bullet is added to the selected item, and the focus moves to the Home tab.

  5. To close the ribbon and switch to the keyboard, swipe right until you hear "More options, switch," and double-tap the screen.

  6. To add a new list item, select Enter on the on-screen keyboard and type the new item. To select Enter, drag your finger on the keyboard until you hear "Enter," and then lift it (and double-tap if needed).

  7. To stop creating list items, select Enter twice.

Type a numbered list

  1. In the Editing view, type the first item of your list using the on-screen keyboard.

  2. After typing, to close the keyboard and go to the ribbon, drag your finger above the keyboard or swipe left until you hear "More options, switch," and double-tap the screen. The Home tab opens, and you hear: "Tab menu, home selected."

  3. On the Home tab, swipe right until you hear “Numbering menu," and double-tap the screen. The Numbering menu opens.

  4. In the Numbering menu, swipe right to go through the available numbering styles. You hear the numbering style descriptions while swiping. When on the style you want, double-tap to select it. The number is added to the selected item, and the focus moves to the Home tab.

  5. To close the ribbon and switch to the keyboard, swipe right until you hear "More options, switch," and double-tap the screen.

  6. To add a new list item, select Enter on the on-screen keyboard and type the new item. To select Enter, drag your finger on the keyboard until you hear "Enter," and then lift it (and double-tap if needed).

  7. To stop creating list items, select Enter twice.

Make a nested list within a list

You can create a list within a list, such as nested bullets in a bulleted list.

  1. In an existing list in the Editing view, navigate to the end of the list item after which you want to start the nested list, and select Enter on the on-screen keyboard to create a new list item.

  2. To close the keyboard and go to the ribbon, drag your finger above the keyboard or swipe left until you hear "More options, switch," and double-tap the screen. The Home tab opens, and you hear: "Tab menu, home selected."

  3. On the Home tab, swipe right until you hear “Increase indent, button," and double-tap the screen. Word for Android increases the indent for that item and makes it part of a nested list.

    Note: The bullet or numbering style for the nested list item is based on the style of its parent item. You can change these styles to any available bullet or numbering style. To learn more, refer to Change the bullet or numbering style.

  4. Type the first nested list item. To add another list item, select Enter on the on-screen keyboard and type the new item.

Change the bullet or numbering style

If you want to change the style of an existing list, you can choose any style from the bullet or numbering library.

  1. Navigate to an item on the list level where you want to change the bullet or numbering style. Double-tap the screen to move the cursor there. TalkBack announces the list level of an item and reads it.

  2. To close the keyboard and go to the ribbon, drag your finger above the keyboard or swipe left until you hear "More options, switch," and double-tap the screen. The Home tab opens, and you hear: "Tab menu, home selected."

  3. On the Home tab, swipe right with one finger until you hear "Bullets menu" or "Numbering menu," depending on what you want to do, and double-tap the screen. The selected menu opens.

    Tip: You can combine a bulleted list with numbered nested lists, or vice versa.

  4. Swipe right to browse the styles. You hear the style descriptions while swiping. The currently selected style is announced as "Selected." When on the style you want, double-tap to select it. The style is applied to items on the selected list level, and the focus moves to the Home tab.

Change the alignment of a list

It is simple to change a list’s alignment with respect to the page margin.

  1. In the Editing view, navigate to the beginning of the first item of the list.

  2. To close the keyboard and go the ribbon, swipe left until you hear "Show ribbon, button," and double-tap the screen. The Home tab opens, and you hear: "Home tab."

  3. On the Home tab, swipe right until you hear “Increase indent, button," and double-tap the screen. Word for Android increases the indent for the whole list.

    Tip: To decrease the indent for the whole list, select "Decrease indent, button" instead.

See also

Use a screen reader to check spelling and grammar in Word

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

Use Word for the web with your keyboard and a screen reader to create bulleted or numbered lists in your document. We have tested it with Narrator in Microsoft Edge, JAWS in Chrome, and NVDA in Firefox, but it might work with other screen readers and web browsers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. You'll learn how to change existing lines of text into a list, change the bullet style, and create nested lists.

Notes: 

  • If you use Narrator with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, you have to turn off scan mode in order to edit documents, spreadsheets, or presentations with Office for the web. For more information, refer to Turn off virtual or browse mode in screen readers in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • To learn more about screen readers, go to How screen readers work with Microsoft Office.

  • When you use Word for the web, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. Because Word for the web runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, you’ll use Ctrl+F6 instead of F6 for jumping in and out of the commands. Also, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not Word for the web.

In this topic

Type a bulleted or numbered list

It is easy to create a list as you type.

Create a bulleted list as you type

  1. At the start of a new line, type an asterisk (*), and press Spacebar. A filled round bullet is automatically created.

  2. Type the text that you want for the first item. Press Enter to create a new list item.

  3. Repeat the previous step until your list is done. To stop creating the list, press Enter instead of repeating step 2.

Create a numbered list as you type

  1. At the start of a new line, type 1. (the number 1 followed by a period), and press Spacebar. A numbered list item is automatically created.

  2. Type the text that you want for the first item. Press Enter to create a new list item.

  3. Repeat the previous step until your list is done. To stop creating the list, press Enter instead of repeating step 2.

Make a nested list within a list

You can create a list within a list, such as nested bullets in a bulleted list.

  1. In an existing list, navigate to the end of the list item after which you want to start the nested list, and press Enter to create a new list item.

  2. Press the Tab key. Word for the web increases the indent for the new list item and makes it part of a nested list.

    Note: The bullet or numbering style for the new list item is based on the style of its parent. To learn how to change it, refer to Change the bullet or numbering style.

  3. Type the items for the nested list. For more information, refer to Type a bulleted or numbered list.

Change the bullet or numbering style

If you want to change the style of an existing list, you can choose any style from the bullet or numbering library.

  1. Select a list or nested list.

    Tip: To select a piece of text, hold down Shift and move the cursor using the arrow keys.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To open the Bullet Library, press Alt+Windows logo key+H, then press H, U.

    • To open the Numbering Library, press Alt+Windows logo key+H, then press H, N.

  3. Use the Right and Left arrow keys to go through the available options, which can vary depending on what you’ve used most recently. To choose a style, press Enter.

Change the alignment of a list

It is simple to change a list’s alignment with respect to the page margin. 

  1. Select a list or nested list.

    Tip: To select a piece of text, hold down Shift and move the cursor using the arrow keys.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To decrease indent, or move the list closer to the margin, press Alt+Windows logo key+H, then press H, A, I.

    • To increase indent, or move the list farther away from the margin, press Alt+Windows logo key+H, then press H, A, O.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to share a document in Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

Need more help?

Join the discussion
Ask the community
Get support
Contact Us

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?

Any additional feedback? (Optional)

Thank you for your feedback!

×