Learn: Bullet Point Spacing Inside Out for PowerPoint

About this lesson

Fixing Bullet Points in PowerPoint – 2023 Updated Version

This tutorial by Les from Power Up Training guides you through correcting the spacing and alignment of bullet points in PowerPoint on both Windows and macOS. The first step is ensuring the ruler is turned on from the View menu, which allows precise adjustments. By clicking inside the bullet point line and using the upward and downward triangles on the ruler, you can adjust the distance between the bullet and text, the location of the bullet point, and move the entire bullet-text unit using the square handle.

Les also introduces the F4 function key for quickly repeating the last command, making it easy to apply the same adjustments to multiple lines. For a more advanced and comprehensive solution, he explains how to use the Slide Master view to set bullet point formatting for all slides in your presentation template. Changes made in Slide Master ensure consistency for future slides but won’t affect existing slides unless manually reset.

The tutorial emphasizes the importance of configuring the Slide Master early in the slide creation process to maintain uniform formatting throughout the presentation. Les concludes with practical tips for retroactively fixing existing slides and encourages viewers to explore more about Slide Master through additional tutorials. By following these steps, you can achieve professional and well-organized bullet point formatting in PowerPoint.


Questions Answered:

00:29 How to turn on PowerPoint ruler
01:04 How to change the bullet line indent
02:32 How to move BOTH the Text and Bullet Icon at the same time
03:22 How to Repeat the Last Bullet Setting shortcut
04:14 How to change ALL Bullet Point Spacing One Time with Slide Master
04:34 How to find the Slide Master View
05:38 How to exit out of PowerPoint Slide Master view


00:29 Step 1 – Turn On Ruler
00:53 Step 2 – Select Line To Change
01:04 Step 3 – Change Bullet Line Indent
02:12 Move Just the Bullet Icon
02:32 Move BOTH Text and Bullet Icon
03:22 Repeat the Last Bullet Setting – F4
04:14 Change ALL Bullet Point Spacing One Time
04:34 Go Into Slide Master View
05:38 Exiting Slide Master Mode
06:20 Why Slide Master Changes Failed
06:52 How To RESET a Slide


Subject Microsoft PowerPoint

Software Compatibility All Versions of PowerPoint


Course Completed

PDF Files There are not any files associated with this lesson.



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Video Transcript for Bullet Point Spacing – 2023 Version

Are your bullet points too far apart? Or too close together? Or just plain wrong left margins?

Hi, this is Les from Power Up Training and let’s fix them in PowerPoint. This will work for both Windows and Apple macOS. Plus stay tuned for the bonus tip on fixing bullet point issues all at once; not just one.

Key step one: make sure your PowerPoint ruler is turned on.

Go to VIEW on your ribbon menu and make sure the checkbox for RULER is turned ON.

Watch how the ruler pops up above the workspace canvas. It goes away if I turn it off; and then reappears when I click the check box. Turn it on.

Step two: click inside the bullet point line that you want to modify.

Step three is if you want to change the distance between the bullet point and the text.

On the ruler above the canvas, look for the UPWARD pointing triangle.  Then click inside (it can be tricky because it is a small clickable spacel . . you MUST click inside).

And then, while holding down the mouse button, drag the triangle left or right along the ruler.

When you release, the text pops over.

Let’s do it again.

Click inside OOPS . . I did NOT click EXACTLY inside and it failed to move.

Let me try it again.

Click and drag.

Here is a tip.

You know you’ve properly clicked inside the tiny clickable areas as faint dotted line appears below while moving it. It is a visual reference of where the new indentation will line up.


But there is MORE.  We can actually drag and drop three different elements.

#1 The bullet text indentation with the Up triangle. . like we did on the previous page

#2 The location of the actual bullet point, which is the starting left edge of the paragraph which is controlled by DOWN triangle at the top of the ruler. . . move it bullet icon will move closer or farther from the text.

#3 Move both of them in unison. . . as a collection.  And that is with the SQUARE on the bottom of the ruler. Click and drag the SQUARE to move the whole unit of icon and text: together.

Watch as I jump to the right-side collection of bullet points, and the ruler follows to the new text placeholder.

Add space between the bullet point and text on line one.


Do it again for Line 3a.

And for line 2a, I will bring the text closer to the bullet point symbol and then move the whole group over just a bit to the left by clicking the square to move the full line..

That answers the core question; but here is a bonus to speed things when you need to fix multiple lines.

The fastest and easiest way. The function key at the top of your keyboard called  F4 – The REPEAT LAST COMMAND key

On line one, I change both the spacing between the bullet and text and then the whole set in unison.

Note that I am exaggerating the distance just for this lesson.

And now to make it identical for the third line, I just click inside the target line and hit the F4 functiion shortcut key, and it will REPEAT THE LAST command.

And as long as I don’t perform another action, I can repeat indentation by clicking on a new line and hittin F4. Over and Over and Over. Quick and easy.

But a better way, and an advanced bonus tip, is to go to the secret SLIDE MASTER view.

Slide master controls all aspects of your presentation.

To pull up Slide Master mode, click VIEW on the Ribbon Menu.  And then the SLIDE MASTER icon.

On the screen is the template layout for our whiteboard session slides.

The title and whiteboard image are locked in place.

Plus, we see the five placeholder levels of bullet points that are defaulted for this specific page layout.

And in reality, they do seem to have the text crowding too close to the oversized bullet icon.


As I make the bullet line changes, the concept is that future new slides will follow this revised template.


Once again, I am exaggerating the bullet line layout for this tutorial so that we can see the changes; but the importance is the ability to fix the spacing and have it ripple through all of our future slides based on this template layout for a consistent slide presentation appearance.


Let’s check it out.

IMPORTANT step: to exit out of the Slide Master view, you must click on the SLIDE MASTER ribbon menu and then locate the CLOSE MASTER VIEW icon toward the middle of the menu row.

When I create a new slide, I get the template’s default title and whiteboard background image and now with the new spacing for the bullet points.

Watch as I add text and get those exaggerated bullet point spacings we just created in the Slide Master.

However, if I go back to an existing slide, it does not seem to be impacted.  Why?

Well, the answer is that any in-progress Slide Master changes will not retroactively change any previously created slides. Only new ones going forward

So I have two tips:

#1 fix you slide master early on in the creation process.  Once you see an issue, fix it and then build the rest of your slides to inherit your updated line spacings.

Tip two: you can still fix pre-existing slides with this trick.

Select the specific slide you want to reset to the Slide Master settings, click HOME on the ribbon menu, and then click the RESET icon.


If you want to learn more about the incredible power of Slide Master, then watch my YouTube tutorial called “Learn PowerPoint SLIDE MASTER – A Deep Dive Tutorial.”

If this was helpful, do like and subscribe to Power Up Training.

Until next time, Go Power Up.