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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
© Copyright 1996-2021 by Barry MacDonnell. All Rights Reserved.

Page updated June 6, 2008

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Need a new bullet outline 'style'? Create custom bullets for your outlines

Here are two ways to do it.

Method A:  Using character symbols for outline bullets

WordPerfect 8/9 was shipped with 10 bullet outline styles; WordPerfect 10 and later have 11 styles. These bullet lists use character symbols as bullets. You can create a new variation using one of the symbols from the symbol set (<Ctrl+W>).

  • First, use <Ctrl+W> to view the various symbol characters you might want to use for a bullet symbols. For example, let's say you want to use the "Play" symbol (4,91) from the Typographical Symbols set.
  • Click Insert, Outline/Bullets & Numbering, Bullets.
  • Click on "More Bullets."
  • Type 4,91 in the Number box to select the character, then click "Insert and Close." This creates a new type of bulleted list that uses the new character for a bullet.
  • Click OK to begin creating the list.
  • To use this type of list again, click Insert, Outline/Bullets & Numbering, Bullets and select the list.
  • To save this new custom bullet list for use in other documents: In the Bullets & Numbering dialog, click Options, Copy, Default template.

To turn the bullets on and off as you work, you can press Ctrl+H (WordPerfect keyboard) or Ctrl+T (DOS keyboard). For more information, see my tip here.

Method B:  Using graphic images for outline bullets

Here's how you can create your own custom graphical bullets to use in a WordPerfect outline. The procedure may look a bit involved, but it is actually fairly simple and you only need to do it for each graphical image you want to use as a bullet.

The important thing is to follow the steps exactly.

As Charles Rossiter (Corel C_Tech) said recently, you can use GIF files supplied by MSWord as graphics. See the MSWord GIFs, probably in a folder such as C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\CLipart\Themes1\Bullets. Of course, you could use images stored elsewhere on your system.

So, let's assume you want to use an image in that folder as an outline bullet in WordPerfect. Here's how.

  • First, create the bullet from the graphic image.
    • Open a new, empty document (if one is not already open) with File, New.
    • Click on Insert, Graphics, From File..., then choose the graphic image (e.g., BD10265.GIF, which is a red square with a faded side; see here). Click Insert, and WP will make the conversion and insert the image. It should show on your screen as a 1.5" image with 8 black squares (drag handles) around it.
    • Right click on the image and choose Size. Set the width to 0.1 inch (i.e., 1/10 inch; you can try changing this if it is too small or too large for your particular graphic image). Leave the height set to "Maintain proportions." Click OK.
    • Right click on the image and choose Position. Attach the box to "Character." Click the radio button, "Content baseline," (preferred for the square graphic image used in this example) or "Centered," etc. Un-check the box, "Box changes text line height" in case the bullet is a little too large for the current font size. Click OK.
    • Left click anywhere in the document to unselect the image.
    • Click on Format, Paragraph, Paragraph numbering. The Insert Paragraph Numbering dialog appears. Click OK to insert a paragraph number code into the document.
    • Click on Format, Paragraph, Indent to insert a hard left indent.
    • Open Reveal Codes (View, Reveal Codes) and select these three codes: [Box][Para Num][Hd Left Ind]. It is easier to do this by holding down the Shift key while you press the left or right arrow key.
    • Copy the codes to the Windows clipboard with <Ctrl+C>.
  • You must now create a new, simple style that will be used by the outline.
    • Click on Format, Styles, Create.
    • In the Style Editor's Name: field, type in a name (perhaps Red Square 1).
    • Enter a description if desired.
    • Be sure the "Enter key inserts a style" is set to <Same Style>, and that the Type is set to Paragraph.
    • Click inside the Contents: field and paste the copied codes into the field with <Ctrl+V>.
    • Click OK. (Ignore the number that shows up adjacent to the graphic in the Preview pane of the Styles dialog.)
    • IMPORTANT: You will want to save this style in your default template so that is available for use in all new documents based on the default template.
      • While in the Styles dialog and click the Options button, then Copy, then "Default template." Click OK. (If you aren't sure about how to answer the "Overwrite?" question, answer No. If you want to replace a style of the same name, answer Yes.)
      • Click on Close to exit the dialog to return to the main document. (Again, ignore the number that shows up adjacent to the graphic.)
  • Now you will create a new outline using the above style.
    • Click Insert, Outline/Bullets & Numbering. Choose the Bullets tab, then click Create.
    • A "Create Format" dialog opens. Give the outline an name (perhaps RedSquares).
    • Enter a description if desired.
    • The Type of Numbered List should be "Single level list."
    • In the Number Set drop list, choose User Defined.
    • The Text before: field should be empty.
    • Delete the "1." from the Number/Bullet field. (It should also be empty.)
    • In the Style droplist, choose "Red Square 1," then click OK.
    • The new style's icon appears as a blank rectangle, like a sheet of paper. However, the name and description will be at the top of the Bullets & Numbering dialog.
    • IMPORTANT: At this point you will want to save this outline in your default template so that is available for use in all new documents based on the default template.
      • Click on the new outline icon to select it (if it is not already selected). Click the Options button. Click on Copy, then "Default template." Click OK.
      • Click OK to return to the main document.
      • Delete all codes that were entered in the document during the style and outline creation process.
  • Test the new outline -
    • Click on Insert, Outline/Bullets & Numbering, then the Bullets tab. Then scroll down and choose the new outline (the image looks like a blank piece of paper), and click OK. A new graphic bullet should appear (without a number, but followed by a left indent) to mark the first outline item.
    • Enter some text.
    • Each time you press Enter, a new bullet should appear.

To turn the bullets on and off as you work, you can press Ctrl+H (WordPerfect keyboard) or Ctrl+T (DOS keyboard). For more information, see my tip here.