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Default Bullet of Word changed to Up or Upward Arrow

If, for no apparent reason, your Word shows upward arrows (or some other weird symbol) instead of the usual black dots as its default bullets, don’t waste time doing any of the following:

  • Clicking Reset button for every bullet style
  • Office Diagnostics
  • Office Setup’s Repair option
  • Windows SFC (System File integrity Checker)
  • Repairing Font Cache
  • Deleting “” or “Normal.dotm” templates
  • Deleting “List Gallery Presets” key from registry
  • Deleting “ListGal.dat” file

I wasted my time, but I can save yours. Your “Symbol” font is missing. Get a copy of the “Symbol” font from your friend’s computer (with same Windows version) or from any source and install it.

Full discussion here: Office Discussion Groups – Word Application Errors – Default Bullet of Microsoft Word changed to Up Arrow (Upward Arrow)


  1. thank you! you are heaven sent :)

  2. Bless you for figuring out how to solve this. I had been frustrated with this quirk but managed to live with it for a long time, until I had to share editing duties on an important group project.

  3. Thank you so much - have spent hours looking for a solution to the random up arrow bullet! All is now fixed :)

    1. I'm glad it helped. Wow after six years, this can still happen :P Where did you find the replacement Symbol font? I didn't mention but it may be possible to extract it from the Windows installation DVD.


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