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End Bulleted Lists in Word

Do you have trouble ending your MS Word bulleted or numbered lists?

You know what I mean. You have this great list going, the last item is done and you hit the Enter key to continue on with your document. Of course, we all know what happens next. Word has other plans and continues on with the numbers or bullet points.

So, now what?

Well, most people take their frustration out on the Backspace key, as they try to get back to their normal text. While this works I’ve watched many people hit the backspace one too many times and end up back where they started… back on the last item of the list so another Enter means you start this process all over. You get the idea – frustration abounds.

You could go up to the Standard toolbar / Home tab of the Ribbon (depends upon your version of Word) locate and click the button for bulleted or numbered lists. These buttons work as toggles so clicking the button again will turn off the list feature.

If either of those tactics don’t do the trick easily enough, you might want to try the Style list next time.

In older versions of Word you’re looking for this:


In Word 2007 you need to find the Styles section on the Home tab of the Ribbon:


When you’re on the first line of text that you don’t want to be in the list, simply use the drop down menu / Style section to select the Normal style. (You could also choose one of the other styles, like the headings too).

This will end the list and put your cursor back at the left margin without the frustrations of the Backspace key.

This one also works when you’re trying to insert text into the middle of an established list.

With your cursor on the line that’s to be put out of the list (or highlight several lines, if that’s what’s needed), select the Normal style.

Poof! One list becomes two with the selected line(s) completely out of it.

Who knew stopping those stubborn lists could be so easy?!

~ April