Create a Bulleted or Numbered List in WordPress

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WPW_10.7.2020 (2)

Lists are helpful for reinforcing key points beneath a paragraph or at the end of an article, highlight features or benefits, and steps in a process. Incorporating lists where content can be arrayed with bullets or numbers also helps the ‘scannability’ (and therefore, readability) of your post. Remember that site visitors typically don’t everything they view on the internet word for word. Your content needs to be both relevant to the reader and easily scannable. Breaking up big blocks of text, making the post more visually interesting, and allowing people to more easily find the specific information they’re looking for are three ways to enhance user experience.

How to Add a List Block

As always, within the post you’re creating, click the ‘plus’ icon on the top left and select the List icon, which can be found grouped with the other text-type blocks. List blocks include the option to use numbers for ordered lists, as well as for bullets, which is the default setting. The icon for the type of list you’re creating, bullets or numbers will appear black on the toolbar at the top of the block.

When WordPress adds the placeholder block, it appears with a single bullet point where you can begin typing to create your list. If you need an ordered list, simply click the icon that shows the numbered list on the block toolbar. To add items to the list, simply hit Enter and a new bullet or number will appear. Keep going until your list is complete.

Formatting Your List

If your list includes multiple levels (i.e., you need an outline, rather than a simple list), the next two icons on the block toolbar have you covered. The outdenting icon, which points to the left, appears first on the toolbar, and – as you may have guessed – pushes that item to the left. The icon for indenting (points to the right) is next and clicking it will push that list item to the right.

As usual with all of the text-driven blocks, the next collection of icons on the block toolbar are for formatting the text itself and include the usual options:

  • Bold
  • Italics
  • Add a hyperlink to text
  • Dropdown for
    • Adding an inline image – which will make that image a list item
    •  Strikethrough text
    • Sub- and Superscript
    • Change text color

To apply any of these formats, simply select/highlight the relevant text, then click the icon that corresponds to the desired change.

Advanced Options

And now we turn our attention to the settings sidebar, which appears on the right-hand side of the screen.  If you do not see this sidebar, click on the ‘gear’ icon on the top right of the page to make it visible.

Within the settings sidebar, under the “Block” tab, you’ll find two useful options. The first is the ability to change the ‘Start Value,’ which is done by clicking the up and down arrows within that control. Here are a couple of potential reasons for changing the start value:

  • Your list represents a measurement scale that ranges from -10 to 10. Simply changing the start value to -10 will automatically order the scale properly.
  • You need to start with zero as a value on the list.
  • You want to add an image to illustrate a point in the middle of the list. You would add a list block for the first part of your list, then the image block, followed by a second list block where you’d change the start value to pick up where you left off above.

The second helpful setting in this sidebar allows you to toggle to number the list in reverse. In a situation where you have ranked information (e.g., top 10 project management tools), it’s often more interesting to count down to the top choice rather than start with the best.

Now that you know how to add and manipulate lists to your WordPress pages and posts, make your visitors happy and use them any time a list will simplify what you are sharing with your audience.

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