How to Create a New Line Without a Bullet in PowerPoint

Using the Shift+Enter trick for a soft return in bullets

Working with bullets on PowerPoint slides can be frustrating. By default, when you work on a PowerPoint slide that uses the bulleted list format, each time you press the Enter (or Return) key, PowerPoint inserts a bullet to start the next line. It isn't always what you want, but you can easily avoid it by manually inserting a soft return.

Instructions in this article apply to PowerPoint 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010; PowerPoint for Mac, PowerPoint for Microsoft 365, and PowerPoint Online.

Example of the Shift+Enter Trick

Say you want to separate the text in the first bullet point in the example below and drop the text after "little lamb" to a new line without inserting a bullet point. You start out with this:

A screenshot showing an example of a bullet list in PowerPoint

If you press Enter (or Return) after "little lamb." you get a new line and a new bullet:

A screenshot showing how to add a new bullet point to a list in PowerPoint

Your keyboard may have Enter labeled as Return, but don't let that confuse you; they are the same thing.

If you don't want to create a new bullet point, use a soft return. A soft return causes the text to drop to the next line automatically without adding a bullet. To force a soft return, hold the ​Shift key while you press the Enter (or Return) key. It drops the insertion point to the next line without a new bullet and aligns with the text above it.

A screenshot showing how to use Shift+Enter to add a new line (but not a new bullet) to a bullet list in PowerPoint

The Shift+Enter Trick Works Elsewhere

This tip works for other Microsoft Office suite products, including Word. It's also a typical function for other text-editing software. Put the soft return technique into your bag of keyboard shortcuts to remember whenever you are dealing with bullet points.

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