The Gmail composer appears to only offer numbered and bulleted lists. Shortcuts:

  • Ctrl+Shift+7 for a numbered list
  • Ctrl+Shift+8 for a bulleted list

Is there a straightforward way to create an ordered list that uses letters instead of numbers? I.e.,

A. First item
B. Second item

instead of

1. First item
2. Second item

2 Answers 2


When I want specific formatting (such as tables), I write the email in Word first then paste it in Gmail. I tried it with your example of lettered bullets and it worked well. I haven't found another option directly in Gmail unless there is an extension that gives more formatting options.


With one caveat, there is a simple way to do this using the Developer Tools of your web browser.

Caveat: There does not seem to be a "straightforward" way to do this directly through the unmodified Gmail formatting bar available today in the web-browser version of the Gmail App. This feature simple has not yet been developed by Google into the Gmail web application.

However, not all hope is lost!

There is a somewhat straightforward workaround worth considering if the order-list formatting is essential enough to warrant some minor effort.

1. Make a formatted ordered list in Gmail

First, in Gmail – if you haven't already done so – you need to make an ordered list.

  1. Click the formatting tools button on the toolbar on the bottom of the email it looks like a small, underlined, and capitalized letter .

  2. Then select your lines you would like to create the ordered list from and click the ordered list button it looks like this Google's ordered list icon

2. Use Developer Tools

  1. Right-click your list and choose Inspect or whatever equivalent option the browser you're using has. This will bring up that HTML element in your browser's developer tools.
  2. Find the <ol> tag. You might have "Inspected" an inner <li> tag, in which case, just look to the parent tag that wraps the list you'd like to change the order style on.
  3. Right-click the <ol> tag and choose Add Attribute.
  4. By simply typing type='A' and then hitting the enter key, you will set the type attribute of the <ol> tag of your list equal to 'A'.

3. Voilà!

Now, look at the edited list in Gmail. You should instantly see the change reflected in the body of the email you're writing.

More options on the Ordered List element's type attribute

type – sets the numbering type:

  • a for lowercase letters
  • A for uppercase letters
  • i for lowercase Roman numerals
  • I for uppercase Roman numerals
  • 1 for numbers (default)

See Mozilla's MDN for more styling options for the Ordered List element.

Trouble opening your browser's Developer Tools?

Common browser's Devloper Tool's Inspect option:

Deeper understanding, credit, and related links

When using Gmail's built-in formatting tool, Gmail will format your email in HTML under the hood when using Gmail's built-in formatting tool. This means that you have several options to work around this issue.

  • You can use your browser's developer tools. When you make a change to the HTML elements in the developer tools those changes will directly edit the content of the email you're writing in the Gmail web application. More on Developer Tools in various browsers
  • You may be able to copy/paste already HTML formatted content from another authoring application to achieve a similar effect. However, keep in mind that everyone's copy/paste formatting experience will vary greatly based on a number of factors. The discussion of which is outside of the scope of this answer.

If you're sending the email in plane-text mode that is, not HTML, then you can simply ignore all of these fancy formatting instructions and type the raw text in, without any special formatting.



Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.