Getting to the Point

How the Lowly Bullet Can Help You Become a Better Communicator

Have you ever had to reread a colleague's e-mail or meeting notes to try and pull out action items or important details?

  • The fastest and easiest way to document observations and action items is by using bullets.

  • Bulleted-list format requires the writer to be concise and clear, and allows readers to quickly take away the details that are important to them.

  • According to David Kay and Margaret Levine Young, authors of the WordPerfect for Dummies books, people also tend to think in lists—to do lists, grocery lists, America's Most Wanted lists—maybe that’s why the bullet is such a powerful communications tool.

While simple on their own, bullets strung together can become something much more helpful—an outline for a longer document. Outlining is a highly effective way to organize your ideas when creating a report or other document.

WordPerfect® Office X4 makes it easy to work with bullets and outlines in each of WordPerfect X4, Presentations™ X4 and in the new WordPerfect® Lightning™ digital notebook.

Bulleted Lists in WordPerfect X4

  • In WordPerfect X4, as in previous versions, you find bullet and outline tools under Insert > Outline/Bullets and Numbering. Selecting this menu item opens the Bullets and Numbering dialogue.

  • WordPerfect X4 gives you a variety of bullet and list-numbering options to choose from. Use the slider bar in the dialogue box to scroll down and have a look.

  • Don't see what you're looking for? Check out the buttons at the bottom of the dialogue. You can use these to customize the look of your lists or set your default list layout.

Lists in Lightning

WordPerfect Lightning is a lightweight and easy to use digital notebook. Many have already discovered how fast and powerful WordPerfect Lightning is for creating to-do lists and meeting notes—in fact, this tip was created in WordPerfect Lightning!

  • To start a list in Lightning, simply select the notebook icon from the toolbar (the left-most button). A new notes window will open.

  • In that note window, type your title and hit Enter. If you look at the menu bar, you'll see that your title automatically becomes your file name (no need to save, as WordPerfect Lightning does that automatically too).

  • Select the numbered list or bulleted list button from the toolbar. WordPerfect Lighting automatically formats your list for you. Want to put a hard return between your lines without adding another bullet? Use Shift+Enter. Your bullets will start again the next time you hit Enter.

  • Use the indentation or insert buttons on the toolbar if you need to format your list further.

  • Use the "Send to Word Processor" button at the bottom of the Notes window to send off to WordPerfect or Microsoft Word for additional formatting and publishing options.

From Lightning Note to Presentations Outline

If you like to create an outline when preparing a presentation, here's a handy way to put one together in WordPerfect Lightning so you automatically populate your slides in Presentations X4.

  • Open the Notes window containing any list you've create in WordPerfect Lightning

  • Click the Menu button and select "Save As." Save your note to your desktop in WPD format.

  • Open Presentations X4. Select Insert > File.

  • Select "WordPerfect Document (.wpd)" from the file type field. Browse your desktop and select the outline you created in WordPerfect Lightning. Click "Insert".

  • Voila! Presentations automatically imports your list as a new slide show, creating a new slide at each bullet.

Whether you're working in WordPerfect Office X4 or in Microsoft Outlook, bullets, lists and outlines can help make you a better communicator. Try it out, and if you haven't already, try out the new WordPerfect Office X4.