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Photoshop Tip #3: Bullets in Photoshop

It’s time for another quick Photoshop tip. The other day I was working on an HTML mockup in Photoshop and said, “Hey wouldn’t it be great if there were bullets”. My co-worker turns around and says you can make them, and it’s super easy. It’s not really like ordered or unordered lists in HTML; you still have to type in the numbers or bullets manually, but it’s as close as you’ll get.

Once you have your list created in a text box, go to the Paragraph window. Go to the Indent first line field and type in a negative value. For this example I have 11 pixel Verdana text with a -15px first indent.

Photoshop Bullets

From the screenshot above you can see we now have perfect bullets in our mockup.

18 Comments to “Photoshop Tip #3: Bullets in Photoshop”

  • sanish

    Thanks a lot .. its a nice trick 🙂

  • Lukas

    …only your example doesnt contain any bullets, its a numbered list… this doesn’t show anyone how to insert bullets in photoshop.

    • Angie

      If you utilize the different font capabilities and go through the webdings or dingbat fonts you will probably to find something that fits with what you were looking for.

      In my case I used a tick which happens to be a 4 in the Monotype Sorts font.

      Hope that helps

  • Ian Hoar

    Hi Lukas,

    You can use anything character you want, just paste a bullet in where the numbers are. If you aren’t sure how to create a bullet just copy and paste this one. “•”

  • Scott

    I guess I’m just slow but this doesn’t have enough information for me. Where exactly do I paste the bullet in? Also when I put a -24 in my text it moves everything over to the left, what I want is to move to the right and have a bullet inserted in front of the text so I set it to 24. Why are you saying to use a negative number?

  • Ian Hoar

    Scott, the negative number is for the bullets. You outdent only the first line of text with a number or bullet character.

  • Eric

    I’m confused. -15 first indent in photoshop doesn’t seem to give me bullets…. I get a -15 first indent.

  • Ian Hoar

    Eric, it doesn’t actually generate the list like HTML does, you have to input the numbers or bullets on each line, but if you have a long list and want consistent looking bulleted lists or numbers it’s the best way I know of in Photoshop.

  • Jack Dallas

    The tip above is good but to simplify things just go to the position where you want your bullet and hold down the Alt key and enter 0149 from your keypad. Once your bullet is entered I just hit the spacebar a few times to line up the first line with the rest of the text.
    This needs to be done for each bullet. Just go to the first line of each bullet item and do the Alt 0149 thing.

  • Ian Hoar

    Hi Jack, I think this is how a lot of people do bullets, but when you get multiple lines on one bullet they will not always line up properly and you will have to mess around with the space between letters. I also do not think this is a faster method. Once you set up the the method used above you simply hit enter for each bullet and they line up automatically.

    Note: alt 0149 is a PC only fast key.

  • Ed Ramos

    You might want to also use the Character Map Tool in Windows to find/select the bullet symbol. In Windows Vista look in;

    Open the Character Map Tool, check the ‘Advanced view’ check box at the bottom of the tool window to open the search box. Enter the name of the symbol, bullet. Click search and bingo there it is. Then just copy/paste it where you want it.

  • Andrea

    Ian – Everyone seems to be giving you a hard time about this, but I thought it was perfect! Exactly what I was looking for, thanks!!

  • mcdotca

    nice tip!! worked wonderfully

  • Kathleen

    It aligns perfectly in your example, but when I do the exact same thing it takes the first letters in the line and negatively indents them as well. Are you using a mac or pc? Could the difference in the way it works and the confusion depends on the operating system? I do this all the time in InDesign, but it works using tabs between the bullet and first letter, which I haven’t anything found comparable in Photoshop.

  • Dan

    You want to know how to make a billeted list in photoshop with out graphics? This is how you do it.

    Put a period at the beginning of your phrase

    Apples –> .Apples
    Then you go to the “Character” Formatting pallet.
    Change the period (.) to something rounded. (a lot of screen fonts are square)
    Increase the size of just the period (.) I usually use a size 36 to go along with 12pt for the word.
    Highlight the period (.)
    Then in the that same pallet there is an option to rais the baseline of just that one character. it looks a like a Cap A and a lowercase a Aa but the lowercase a has a line underneath it and an arrow pointing up. Increase the number and the letter that is highlights will rase up.
    Now you have your bullet.
    just copy and paste and you will paste the exact same bullet anywhere.
    Simple Done….
    THAT is how you make a bulleted list.

    • Ian Hoar

      Hey Dan, Interesting idea, but it seems overly complex when there is already a bullet character, numbers and several other characters that that you could use with the method outlined above. Also, if you do numbers you must apply this method to each one and you do not retain your indent on the next line. I don’t see how this is easier, if you need a bullet, why not just use a bullet? •

  • luke

    LOL. so many terrible ideas about how to do simple bulleted lists! people, use ian’s instructions! it’s not hard.

    also as a small side note, this means your numbers or bullet points will be left of the rest of the text, to fix this just offset it by adding a 15 (or whatever number you’re using) in the first box, just above your -15 in the box below.