Bulleted lists are standard fare in PowerPoint presentations, and sometimes you want to tweak those bullets to look just right. PowerPoint gives you a fair amount of control by letting you align and adjust the text after a bullet point. Here’s how.

Aligning the Bulleted Text Horizontally in Its Text Box

First, open your PowerPoint presentation and go to the slide that contains the bulleted text. Highlight the text on the bullet you want to adjust.

Highlight text

On the “Home” tab, you’ll see four different alignment options—the same ones you use for aligning regular text.

alignment options

From left to right, these options are:

  • Align Left (Ctrl+L)
  • Center (Ctrl+E)
  • Align Right (Ctrl+R)
  • Justify (Ctrl+J)

Hovering over each option with your mouse gives you the alignment type, respective shortcut key, and alignment description.

alignment description

Select the alignment option you want. In this example, we’ll select “Center.”

Center alignment

Now you’ll notice the highlighted text center itself within the text box.

alignment example

If you need to align more than one bullet point at a time to the same alignment settings, you can select multiple bullet points at once and then select the alignment. If you want bullet points to have different alignments, you’ll have to set each one individually.

Align Bulleted Text Horizontally by Adjusting the Indention

Another method for aligning bulleted text horizontally is to use the ruler feature to adjust both the bullet point and the text that follows. To use this feature, you must first enable the ruler by heading over to the “View” tab and turning on the “Ruler” checkbox.

show ruler

Now you’ll notice a ruler appear at the top and left side. Next, select the bulleted text with which you want to work. We’ll use the same text.

Highlight text

Once you select the text, three line indent markers appear on the ruler:

  • First Line Indent: This is the top marker (the downward pointing triangle), and you can use it to adjust the position of the bullet graphic itself.
  • Hanging Indent: This is the middle marker (the upward pointing triangle), and you can use it to adjust the position of the text.
  • Left Indent: This is the bottom marker (the rectangle), and you can use it to adjust the position of the bullet and text at the same time.

Align Bulleted Text Vertically in Its Text Box

Just to the right of the regular alignment options, you’ll see an “Align Text” button that you can use to align text vertically. This one affects all the text in the box, so you won’t be able to set different bullet points individually.

align text button

Clicking the “Align Text” button opens a menu with a few different options and, of course, you can also explore some of the additional options available, including alignment and text rotation, by selecting “More Options.”

align text options menu


Follow these simple rules, and you’ll be able to draw attention to specific points by using unique text and bullet placement.

Profile Photo for Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI and ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese.
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