Lists are a great way to break down complex ideas and make them easier to read and scan.

There are two main types of lists: bulleted (or unordered) and numbered (or ordered) lists. Reserve numbered lists for steps that need to be followed in a particular order. 

Bulleted (unordered lists)

Bulleted lists should contain relatively few words or short phrases. For most content types, limit the number of items in a list to five. 

Never create a bulleted list with only one bullet, and never use a dash to indicate a bulleted list. 


If your list items are fragments, capitalize the list items for ease of scanning but do not use terminal punctuation.

Successful businesses must mitigate four key challenges to stay ahead: 

  • Change
  • Complexity
  • Collaboration
  • Scale 

If you use a sentence fragment to introduce your list, the list items that follow should complete the sentence and use terminal punctuation.

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  • Access Quick links.
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  • View the Additional insights panel.

List items can also be complete sentences.

We need to create a model for what success might look like. Consider:

  • How has the demand changed?
  • What skills and capabilities have changed?
  • Where and how do we recruit for those changes or new requirements?

Some content types may use bulleted lists that contain 10 items, but it's preferable to break longer lists into several lists, each with its own subheading or introduction. 

If an unordered list comprises more than 10 items, use a table instead. Obviously, long lists are acceptable for familiar items such as countries.

Where it makes sense to do so, put the longest item at the end of the list (the short items establish that this is a list, and the long one finishes it off). 

In some cases, it will make sense to have your most important point appear as the first item in the list, with other items following on in whatever logical order the content dictates. 

Ensure that each bullet contains unique information and isn't a paraphrase of another bullet.

In technical documentation, product owners may specify which feature/benefit they wish to prioritize. If no clear order exists, write them alphabetically.

Numbered (ordered) lists

Use a numbered list when you want to present a series of sequential steps.

To install the Add-in:

  1. Double-click the .msi file you downloaded. The PowerPoint Add-in Setup Wizard appears.
  2. Click Next.
  3. Read and accept the end-user license agreement and click Next.

Separate steps into logical chunks, with no more than two related actions per step.

If your numbered list runs to more than 10 steps, consider breaking it into two or more lists, each with its own subheading or introduction. 

Add a line break inside the numbered list item when more explanation or a screenshot is necessary.

Use numbers (1,2,3) for the first level and lower case letters (a,b,c) if you need a second level. If you feel you need to use a third level in a numbered list, you should probably rewrite the content.

  1. Create a driver list and add list items. 
    This list has no properties applied to it.
  2. Create a filter list and add list items, then create a driver and a filter property. 
    This list has two properties applied to it, a driver property list-formatted to the driver list, and a filter property, list-formatted to the filter list. 

        a. Navigate to Lists and Rollups, open the filter list and click the Properties tab.

        b. Click the Insert button and add two properties, one to represent the driver list and one, the filter list.

Introductory phrases

Precede all lists with colons, whether the words before the colon form a complete sentence or are just a fragment. This lets screen readers know a list is coming.

Make sure all items flow logically and grammatically from the introduction. 

Parallel construction

Make sure all your list items are parallel. This means you should structure each list item in the same way. They should all be fragments, or they should all be complete sentences. If you start one list item with a verb, then start every list item with a verb.

You must contact the connection owner to:

  • Change the page selection. 
  • Refresh the connection.
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Formatting your list

Remember, every item in a list should:

  • Start with a capital letter, whether it's a sentence or a fragment.
  • Use terminal punctuation if the list items are full sentences.
  • Omit semicolons, commas, and conjunctions (and, or) at the end of list items.
  • Table of contents