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Chapter 4. Getting the Type Right > Setting Bullet and Number Styles

Setting Bullet and Number Styles

The bullets that appear at the beginning of lines of bulleted text can be customized. You can choose from five types of bullet styles, and each type has its own characteristics, as shown in Table 4.2. You can mix different bullet styles within a group of bullets, as shown in Figure 4.35.

Table 4.2. Bullet and Numbering Styles
No bulletsNo bullets 
Text bulletAny text characterColor

Baseline shift


Scale with text
Image bulletKeynote bullet images, presented Size in a scrollable listBaseline shift


Scale with text
Custom imageAny graphic imageBaseline shift


Scale with text
NumberAutomatic numbering1. 2. 3. 4.


i. ii. iii. iv.

A. B. C. D.

a. b. c. d.

Figure 4.35. You can mix and match different bullet types within the same text box. This example, however, takes the idea well into the Land of No Taste.

Most of the time, you'll probably use the bullet styles that are part of the theme for the presentation, because those styles have been designed to match the rest of the look of the theme. But it's sometimes useful to customize bullets for particular slides. For example, on a slide that discusses financial matters, you could change the usual image bullets into dollar signs to emphasize your point.

To set bullet and number styles

To apply a bullet or number style to an entire bulleted text box, click once in the box to select it.


To apply a bullet or number style to multiple lines inside a bulleted text box, select the lines.


To apply a bullet or number style to a single line, click twice to set the insertion point in the line.

In the Bullets & Numbering tab of the Text Inspector (Figure 4.36), choose the type of bullet or number style you want from the pop-up menu.

Figure 4.36. When you are choosing an Image Bullet, you can scroll through a number of preset images.

The selection changes.

Use the additional controls in the Bullets & Numbering tab to tweak the new style to your liking.

✓ Tips

  • If you choose Custom Image from the pop-up menu, you will be prompted to find a graphic on your hard disk or network. You can use any image you like, and Keynote will scale it to fit (Figure 4.37).

    Figure 4.37. The Custom Image option allows you to make new, interesting bullets. I used a shape of the state of California as the bullets here.

  • Once you use a custom image as a bullet, Keynote adds it to the image list so you can use it later without having to import it again. This is another new feature of Keynote 2.

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