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How to create bullets using <li> elements ?

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We know that, whether it may be an ordered list or unordered list they come along with a numbering.

It may be:

  • Bullets
  • Squares
  • Decimal
  • Roman etc.

There are numerous options that we can use, but the question comes what property does this depend upon?

In CSS, for tags like <ol> and <ul>, there is a property called list-style-type.

Approach: The list-style-type property determines whether bullets, squares, or decimal etc come with li elements. To change or understand how it impacts the HTML is to use CSS targeting the selector <ul> or <ol>. Syntax: CSS targeting <li> elements:
ol {
    list-style-type: decimal
}
ul {
    list-style-type: disc
}    

Let’s understand with examples:

 
  1. The default list-style-type for ordered list is Decimal and unordered is Disc. As evident from the above code.
    • Example:
      <!DOCTYPE html>
      <html>
      <head>
        <meta charset="utf-8">
        <meta name="viewport" content=
                "width=device-width">
        <title>Lists</title>
      </head>
      <body>
        <p>Ordered List:</p>
        <ol>
            <li>Eggs</li>
            <li>Bacon</li>
            <li>Leeks</li>
        </ol>
        <p>Unordered List:</p>
        <ul>
            <li>Coriander</li>
            <li>Basil</li>
            <li>Onion</li>
        </ul>
      </body>
      </html>
      
                          
    • Output:

      With the default styling, <ol> tag comes with Decimal and <ul> comes with Disc/Bullets as defined in CSS above.

      From here we understand how bullets come to <li> elements, but we can also change them to something else as well.

  2. Now we know from where bullets come in list elements, we can change it accordingly. Let’s set it to Roman Numerals in Ordered List and Square in Unordered List.
    • Example:
      <!DOCTYPE html>
      <html>
      <head>
        <meta charset="utf-8">
        <meta name="viewport" content=
              "width=device-width">
        <title>Lists</title>
        
        <style>
          ol{
            list-style-type: upper-roman
          }
          ul{
            list-style-type: square
          }
      </style>
      </head>
        
      <body>
        <p>Ordered List:</p>
        <ol>
            <li>Eggs</li>
            <li>Bacon</li>
            <li>Leeks</li>
        </ol>
        <p>Unordered List:</p>
        <ul>
            <li>Coriander</li>
            <li>Basil</li>
            <li>Onion</li>
        </ul>
      </body>
      </html>
      
                          
    • Output: Roman Numeral and Squares in ordered and unordered list respectively.
    • Here we can clearly see bullets/disc are replaced with square and decimals with Roman Numerals.
Complete Code:
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
  <meta charset="utf-8">
  <meta name="viewport" content
         ="width=device-width">
  <title>Lists</title>
</head>
  
<body>
  <p>Ordered List:</p>
  <ol>
      <li>Eggs</li>
      <li>Bacon</li>
      <li>Leeks</li>
  </ol>
  <p>Unordered List:</p>
  <ul>
      <li>Coriander</li>
      <li>Basil</li>
      <li>Onion</li>
  </ul>
  <p>Ordered List:</p>
  <ol style="list-style-type:
            upper-roman;">
    <li>Eggs</li>
    <li>Bacon</li>
    <li>Leeks</li>
  </ol>
  <p>Unordered List:</p>
  <ul style="list-style-type:
                  square;">
    <li>Coriander</li>
    <li>Basil</li>
    <li>Onion</li>
  </ul>
</body>
</html>                    

                    
Output:
Using both Default and Custom Inline CSS

Using both Default and Custom Inline CSS

Similarly, we can change the list-style-type to numerous types:
  1. upper-alpha
  2. lower-alpha
  3. none
  4. circle
  5. and many more….


Last Updated : 08 Jun, 2020
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