If you believe the user interface, there are only 7 PowerPoint numbering styles:
In fact, there are 41 numbering styles available. About half of these apply to languages using other alphabets. These language variants become available to the user interface when the presentation text and keyboard input method is set to a relevant language.
Microsoft uses "Arabic" for both western European numbers and for numerals in the Arabic language. In this article, I refer to Western numbers for the European/American numbering system.
There are a dozen hidden PowerPoint numbering styles that you can only use if you hack the XML. This subset includes the ever-popular circles within numbers format. Here's how to implement these.
Hacking PowerPoint Numbering Styles
Here's a typical listing of a style using numbering. Bold text is the numbering style type.
<a:lvl1pPr marL="514350" indent="-514350" algn="l" defTabSz="914400" rtl="0" eaLnBrk="1" latinLnBrk="0" hangingPunct="1">
<a:defRPr sz="3200" kern="1200">
If we examine the dialog displayed by the program, the styles available from the upper left are arabicPeriod, arabicParenR, romanUcPeriod, alphaUcPeriod, alphaLcParenR, alphaLcPeriod and romanLcPeriod. You can see the full list of styles at Datypic.com.
The illustrated XML is from the bodyStyle section of the slideMaster1.xml, but you can use exactly the same syntax for the otherStyle section of slideMaster1.xml, to format table text, or for p:defaultTextStyle in presentation.xml to handle text boxes.
PowerPoint Numbering Styles - the Complete List
Here are examples of all 41 numbering styles. The text of each line is the XML parameter to use. Uc = Upper case, Lc = Lower case, Db = Double byte, Plain = No character following the number/letter, Period = Following period, ParenR = Following parenthesis, ParenBoth = Parentheses before and after. Please note there are only a few Plain styles and those are mostly for Western numbers. PowerPoint does not have any ability to create custom numbering styles (I've tried!), so you'll have to live with these.
As an alternative to hacking the XML, you can select text and run a VBA snippet to set one of these styles:
.Type = msoBulletNumbered
.Style = msoBulletArabicParenBoth
Edit the .Style = msoBulletArabicParenBoth line to one of the style names below, adding msoBullet to the front of the name to get the VBA parameter. So thaiNumParenBoth becomes msoBulletThaiNumParenBoth in VBA. Thanks to John SR Wilson for the VBA.
Brandwares can help set up complex numbering and bulleting schemes for PowerPoint and Word. Contact me at email@example.com with your project needs.