How to Add Bullet Points in Google Sheets

- Written by Puneet

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Let’s say you’re listing tasks for a marketing campaign in Google Sheets. Adding bullet points lets you make the list neat and easy to follow. Each task will have a bullet point next to it, making the list organized and easy to read. This way, your team can quickly see what needs to be done.

Like Excel, Google Sheets does not offer a direct option to add bullet points, but we can use different methods to create a bulleted list and add a bullet in a cell before the value.

  1. Keyboard Shortcut – You can use the keyboard shortcut Alt + 7 (From Numeric Pad) to enter bullet points in the cell.
  2. CHAR Function – You can use the CHAR function to insert bullet points. For example, =CHAR(8226) will give you a bullet point in a cell.
  3. Custom Number Formatting – You can also apply custom formatting to a cell to show a bullet point before a value in the cell.
  4. Use a Formula – You can combine value with a bullet point using a formula like =”• ” & A1, where A1 is the cell to which you want to add a bullet point.
  5. Copy-Paste – If you already have a bullet point in a cell or somewhere else, you can copy it from there and then paste it into your desired cell.
  6. Google App Script – With App Script, you can apply custom formatting or enter a button point in the cell before the values.

In this tutorial, we will learn all the methods in detail and try to understand which methods are better to use.

Keyboard Shortcut to Add Bullet Point

To add a bullet point in Google Sheets using a keyboard shortcut, you can use the below steps:

  1. First, click on the cell where you want to insert the bullet point.
  2. Then, press Alt + 7 on your numeric keypad.
shortcut-to-add-bullet-point

It will insert a bullet point in the selected cell. If you don’t have a numeric keypad on your PC, you can use the on-screen keyboard just like I do.

Note – If you already have bullet points in your worksheet and want to remove all the bullet points in one go, you can use find and replace.

Using CHAR Function for Bullet Points

CHAR is a quick function for adding special characters to a cell using simple code. It’s like a shortcut for inserting symbols that aren’t on your keyboard.

If you want to add a bullet point quickly, you can use the CHAR function. Click on the cell where you want the bullet point, type =CHAR(8226), and then hit Enter.

char-function-for-bullet-points

Now, let’s say you want to create a list of tasks in Google Sheets using the CHAR function; in this case, you can use an ampersand to combine text with the bullet lists.

ampersand-to-combine-text-with-bullets

Type the formula =CHAR(8226) & ” Task 1″. It will create a bullet point followed by “Task 1”.

If you have tasks in column A and want to create a bulleted list in column B, In cell B1, type =CHAR(8226) & ” ” & A1 and press Enter. Drag the fill handle (a small square at the bottom right corner of the cell) down to fill cells B2 to B5.

create-a-bullet-list

When you use the formula =CHAR(8226) & ” ” & A1, it combines a bullet point (generated by CHAR(8226)) with a space and the text in cell A1. It gives a structured bullet point list with a space between value and bullet point.

  • Standard Bullet Point / Code: 8226 / Character: •
  • Circle Bullet Point / Code: 9675 / Character: ○
  • Square Bullet Point / Code: 9642 / Character: ▪
  • Black Small Circle / Code: 8226 / Character: •
  • White Small Circle / Code: 9675 / Character: ○
  • Arrow Bullet / Code: 9654 / Character: ▶
  • Diamond Bullet / Code: 9670 / Character: ◇
  • Heavy Check Mark / Code: 10004 / Character: ✔
  • Star / Code: 9733 / Character: ★
  • Heart / Code: 9829 / Character: ♥

Note – A bulleted list in a Google Sheets column makes it harder to sort data from that column. In this case, the best way is to use custom formatting to apply custom formatting to apply bullet points.

Use Custom Formatting for Bulleted Point List in Google Sheets

This is the best way to apply bullets in your Google Sheets worksheet. WHY? Custom number format only affects the appearance of the cells and does not alter the actual value in the cell.

Select the cell first if you have a list of tasks in column A from A1:A5. Then, go to Format > Number > More Formats > Custom number format.

custom-formatting-for-bullet-point-list

Now, in the “Custom number formats”, you have an input bar to enter the custom format for the selected cells. Here, you need to enter the format you want to apply for.

So enter “• @” and hit enter to apply the bullet point to the selected cells.

custom-number-formats

And the moment you do this, it applies the bullet points to the entire range of cells.

bullet-points-applies-to-range

In the above example, you have a bullet point before the value, but that bullet point doesn’t exist in the value within the cell. That makes it way better than any other method. You can also sort the list normally.

IDEA – One of the best ways I use these bullet points is when I need to share a task list with my team members. I create a list and export it as a PDF to share with others.

Copy and Paste Bullet Points in the Cell

Copying and pasting bullet points directly into cells in Google Sheets is a quick way. Copy the bullet point (•) from a source like a webpage or document, or you can even use the keyboard shortcut to enter it in a cell first and then copy it.

Afterward, go to the cell where you want to paste it and use the keyboard shortcut Control + V. If that cell already has a value, you can edit it first with F2 and then paste it there.

Use a TEXT Function to Create a Bullet List in Google Sheets

You can also use the TEXT function to add a bullet point to the list of values in Google Sheets. TEXT allows you to refer to a value and then specify a cell. All you need to do to enter the function in the following way:

=TEXT(A1,"• @") / for text values
=TEXT(A1,"• 0.00") / for numeric values

You can use these formulas, but I suggest you use the methods we have used with the CHAR function if you want to use a formula. Otherwise, the best way is still to custom-format the numbers.

Google App Scripts to Create Bullet List

Here, we have three different scripts that you can use. The first script can apply the custom formatting to the selected cells, where you will get the bullet point before that

function addBulletPointsWithFormatting() {
var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet().getActiveSheet();
var range = sheet.getActiveRange();
var values = range.getValues();
var richTextValues = [];

for (var i = 0; i < values.length; i++) {
var row = [];
for (var j = 0; j < values[i].length; j++) {
if (values[i][j] !== "") {
var bullet = '• ';
var richText = SpreadsheetApp.newRichTextValue()
.setText(bullet + values[i][j])
.setTextStyle(0, bullet.length, SpreadsheetApp.newTextStyle().setBold(true).build())
.build();
row.push(richText);
} else {
row.push(SpreadsheetApp.newRichTextValue().setText("").build());
}
}
richTextValues.push(row);
}

range.setRichTextValues(richTextValues);
}

With the second script, you can select a range of cells and run the code; this code goes to each cell in the range and add a bullet point at the start of the cell, followed by a space.
function addBulletPoints() {
var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet().getActiveSheet();
var range = sheet.getActiveRange();
var values = range.getValues();

for (var i = 0; i < values.length; i++) {
for (var j = 0; j < values[i].length; j++) {
if (values[i][j] !== "") {
values[i][j] = '• ' + values[i][j];
}
}
}

range.setValues(values);
}

In the third script, we have code for a function that you can use to combine a value from a cell with a bullet point at the start of the value in a new cell.

code-for-the-function
/**
* Adds a bullet point to the start of the cell's value.
*
* @param {string} input The input string.
* @return {string} The string with a bullet point added at the start.
* @customfunction
*/
function ADD_BULLET_POINT(input) {
if (input.toString().indexOf('•') === 0) {
return input; // If the cell already starts with a bullet point, return the input as is
}
return '• ' + input;
}

function onOpen() {
var ui = SpreadsheetApp.getUi();
ui.createMenu('Custom Scripts')
.addItem('Add Bullet Points to Range', 'showPrompt')
.addToUi();
}

function showPrompt() {
var ui = SpreadsheetApp.getUi();
var response = ui.prompt('Add Bullet Points', 'Please enter the range (e.g., A1:A3):', ui.ButtonSet.OK_CANCEL);

if (response.getSelectedButton() == ui.Button.OK) {
var range = response.getResponseText();
addBulletPointToCells(range);
}
}

function addBulletPointToCells(range) {
var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet().getActiveSheet();
var cells = sheet.getRange(range).getValues();

for (var i = 0; i < cells.length; i++) {
for (var j = 0; j < cells[i].length; j++) {
if (cells[i][j].toString().indexOf('•') !== 0) { // Check if the cell does not already start with a bullet point
cells[i][j] = '• ' + cells[i][j];
}
}
}

sheet.getRange(range).setValues(cells);
}
Last Updated: June 16, 2024