PowerPoint Bullets Bye Bye
Why would you want to get rid of bullets in your presentations?
In short, they can turn a good presentation
into a boring one.
But how do you get rid of bullets?
Recently, a woman read my article from the January, 2004 issue of
"A PowerPoint world without bullets is possible, and beautiful as well" and
called me to ask if I had any courses explaining how to create presentations
without bullets. She was interested in a guide, templates, how to design slides,
a sample set of slides, and more.
I don't have such a course (yet), but I wanted to offer a quickie solution
for now. Before that, let me say a couple of things:
Designing presentations without bullets is
easy, but involves layout, thinking about your content and the
processes you're describing, working with images that function as metaphors,
I recommend Cliff Atkinson's book,
Beyond Bullet Points. It's a complete system for designing and
organizing presentations without bullet points.
Now for the shortcut. This is especially useful if you have
existing presentations that you want to change in a hurry.
Follow these steps:
Open a presentation that has bulleted
Display the master (View > Master >
Slide Master). You see an example here.
You might as well start by deleting
the third to fifth level, which I recommend that you never use. So many
outline levels makes for a confusing organization of ideas.
Select the first two levels and
choose Format > Bullets and Numbering.
In the Bullets and Numbering dialog box,
click None and then click OK to return to your slide.
You're not done yet, because if you
type text on a slide that wraps to a second line, that second line will be
indented as it is for bulleted text. So, make sure that the Ruler is
displayed. (View > Ruler.) Here I've labelled the markers that you need to
Click the first level of text, as you
see in the image and drag the Hanging indent marker for the first level text
all the way to the left, so that it's underneath the First Line Indent marker
for first level text. This lines up the text so that it's all aligned in
block format to the left.
Click the second level of text and
drag the Hanging indent marker for the second level text so that it's
underneath the First Line Indent marker for second level text. The indent
markers should be lined up like this:
Click Close Master View on the Slide
Master View toolbar and you're done
You need to go through your presentation and see if this works.
(You can always undo your change!) If you have slides that have a lot of text on
them, you may feel that the slide is now confusing. For example, here's a slide
with the bullets.
Here's the same slide without bullets.
It's hard to tell where one item starts and another ends.
Here's one solution:
By alternating text colors, you can distinguish between the items.
But, as I mentioned at the beginning, another solution entirely might work
better. This is the concept of thinking about your content in terms of
Try this with your own presentations and see what you can
come up with!
Original article entitled:
"Quickly get rid of bullets"
originally written by Ellen Finkelstein