I would like to format list labels without having the text right after the label affect that format. For example:

1. First item
2. Second item

The bolding of "1." is determined by the bolding of the F in First. But I cannot figure out how to do the precise formatting in Office PowerPoint 2016. I looked here for a solution, but it appears that the solutions given are for earlier versions of office. How exactly do I get my list formatted like the one above?

Important edit: This concerns PowerPoint specifically, not Office in general.

  • Which Office application are you using? – fixer1234 May 31 '17 at 6:34
  • Powerpoint. For some reason this is not a problem in Word. – Forklift17 Jun 2 '17 at 19:25
  • Are you saying the numbering is being formatted like the text and you want to change it to be like your example, or the example indicates the problem and you want to change it so that the number format matches the text? – fixer1234 Jun 2 '17 at 19:34

I typed Alt+8203 at the beginning of the line to insert a zero-width joiner.  (Press and hold Alt while typing 8203 on the numeric keypad; then release Alt.)  That fixed the problem.

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  • 2
    Thanks for the reminder that Alt+(nnnn) works in Microsoft Office. I probably knew it once, but somehow I had forgotten. – Scott Jun 4 '17 at 17:10
  • 1
    But decimal 8203 equals 200B in hexadecimal,  so I believe that you are getting code point U+200B, Zero Width Space. – Scott Jun 4 '17 at 17:10

In Microsoft Word, the formatting of the number or bullet before a list item is determined by the formatting of the paragraph mark at the end of the paragraph.  This is easy to see (and manipulate) if you click on “Show/Hide ¶”:

      numbered list in Microsoft Word, with formatted numbers

but you can select the paragraph marks even if you can’t see them.  And, of course, the paragraph marks are invisible in printout, so the fact that they’re formatted won’t directly affect the appearance of the document.

Oddly, I couldn’t get it to work for underlining.

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  • The problem is in PowerPoint, not Office in general. I should have made that clear. – Forklift17 Jun 2 '17 at 19:28

Asker Clarified They Only Meant PowerPoint 2016
So I tried it out and I had the same results as you. It appears this isn't a new thing as I was able to find a Microsoft question on the same topic.

I'm utterly horrified this is the best workaround that I can come up with... but it will do the job. Re-posting "solution":

Select the "T" and press Ctrl+B to UNbold it (along with the number.)

Put the text cursor just to the left of the T then choose Insert > Symbols Symbol from the ribbon. In the Symbol dialog box, choose Font: (normal text)
Make sure that from: Unicode (hex) is selected
In the Character code: box, type: 034f

Verify that that selects the character named: Combining Grapheme Joiner
Click Insert
You can now select just the T and bold it again. The character you just inserted has no width, but fools PPT into thinking that there's an unbolded character before the T.

So in your case, you can do the following to replicate what you want:

  1. Create your list as:
    1. First
    2. Second
  2. Insert the Character above in front of both bolded characters ^ representing my invisible no width character
    1. ^First
    2. ^Second
  3. Unbold the S in Second and you will be done.
    1. ^First
    **2. ^**Second

My screenshot from PowerPoint:

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  • The problem is in PowerPoint, not Office in general. I should have made that clear. – Forklift17 Jun 2 '17 at 19:28
  • Updated based on just PowerPoint. Not proud of this workaround... but it works – Will Jun 2 '17 at 19:59

This is basically the same as Will.Beninger’s answer, which, in turn, is based on the “Unbold numbering list” page at Microsoft Community (answers.microsoft.com), but this one is somewhat simplified and illustrated better.

  1. Type your list.  (Format it as a numbered list.)  Select the entire first paragraph and bold it:

                second item is not bold

  2. Click at the beginning of the second item/paragraph; i.e., the one where you want to format the number without (visibly) formatting the text.  In the Ribbon, go to the “Insert” tab, “Symbols” pane, and click on “Symbol” (the one with the Ω icon).  Ensure that “Unicode (hex)” is selected in the “from” field (bottom right corner of the window), and type “200D” into the “Character code” field.  The words “Zero Width Joiner” should appear under “Unicode name” (bottom left corner of the window).

      “Insert Symbol” dialog box

    Click on “Insert” and “Close”.

  3. Your slide still looks the same as it did before, but there is now an invisible (zero-width) character to the left of the insertion point (i.e., to the left of the “S”)1.  The next step is to press Shift+ (cursor left) (or Shift+Home) to select it.  The insertion point (cursor) will disappear.
  4. Now that you have the invisible character at the beginning of the list item selected, format it as you wish.  The number “2” will be formatted the same.

                number “2” is bold

    (There’s really no need to embolden the “S”, just to unbold it in the next step.)

Since you’re formatting the number “2” the same as the (entire) first list item, once you understand this technique, you can do it a little more efficiently:

  1. Type your list.  (Format it as a numbered list.)
  2. Click at the beginning of the second item/paragraph and insert the “Zero Width Joiner” character, as described above.
  3. Press Shift+ (cursor left) (or Shift+Home) to select it the invisible character.  Then press Shift+ (cursor up) to additionally select the (entire) first list item.
  4. Format the selected text (including the invisible character) as you wish.

[The above was tested on PowerPoint 2013.]

It seems to me that the Unicode characters 200B (“Zero Width Space”) and 200C (“Zero Width Non-Joiner”) work as well as the 200D.  And, as far as I know, 034f (“Combining Grapheme Joiner”), the one suggested by Microsoft, works also.
1 You can “see” that it is there by the way (cursor left) and (cursor right) behave.  For example, if you click at the end of the first list item and press , the insertion point will move to the beginning of the second list item.  But if you press again, the insertion point will (apparently) stay still.  It has actually moved to the right of the invisible character, but it’s still to the left of the “S”.

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  • That zero-width joiner didn't appear in the symbols window, but Alt-8203 brought it up anyway and fixed the problem. – Forklift17 Jun 4 '17 at 5:17
  • (1) What do you mean, “didn't appear in the symbols window”? As you can see from the screenshot in my answer, none of the invisible characters appear in the symbols window. (2) Are you sure? Decimal 8203 equals 200B in hexadecimal, so I believe that you are getting code point U+200B, Zero Width Space. – Scott Jun 4 '17 at 17:10

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