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Indent Paragraphs in Word- Instructions

by / Monday, 07 August 2017 / Published in Latest, Microsoft, Office 2013, Office 2016, Word 2013, Word 2016

Indent Paragraphs in Word: Overview

            You have many choices as to how you would like to indent paragraphs in Word. One of the most common paragraph indentations is the first-line indent. To add a half-inch first line paragraph indentation, pressing the “Tab” key on your keyboard before typing the paragraph.

            You can also increase or decrease the indentation of the entire left side of paragraphs. The “Increase Indent” or “Decrease Indent” buttons in the “Paragraph” group on the “Home” tab in the Ribbon help you do this. To use these buttons to indent paragraphs in Word, click into the paragraph for which you want to increase or decrease the indentation. Then click either the “Increase Indent” or “Decrease Indent” button, as desired. This increases or decreases the indentation of the entire left edge of the paragraph by half-inch increments each time you click the button.

            You can also indent paragraphs in Word using the four indentation markers on the horizontal ruler. To do this, display the horizontal ruler. Then look for the “Left Indent,” “First Line Indent,” “Hanging Indent,” and “Right Indent” markers. Click the indent marker you want to set. Then drag it to the location on the horizontal ruler at which you want the indentation to occur.

            You can drag the “Left Indent” marker inward to indent the left side of the paragraph. You can do the same thing with the “Right Indent” marker, which indents the right side of the paragraph.

            The “First Line Indent,” which is the most common paragraph indentation, sets the indentation of the paragraph’s first line. When you press the “Tab” key on your keyboard, the paragraph’s first line starts at the “First Line Indent” marker’s location on the horizontal ruler.

Indent Paragraphs in Word- Instructions: A picture of a user displaying the “First Line Indent” marker on the horizontal ruler in a Word document.

Indent Paragraphs in Word- Instructions: A picture of a user displaying the “First Line Indent” marker on the horizontal ruler in a Word document.

            The “Hanging Indent” is a less frequently-used indentation. This is used mainly for bibliographies. With a hanging indent, you indent all paragraph lines except the first one. These lines are indented to the position at which you set the “Hanging Indent” marker in the horizontal ruler.

            You must ensure the first line indent is at the left margin of the page for the hanging indent to be effective. When setting the hanging indent, make sure you click and drag the upward-pointing marker that looks like a “home plate” in baseball. The small square marker below that is actually the “Left Indent” marker.

Indent Paragraphs in Word: Instructions

  1. To set first-line paragraph indentation before typing a paragraph, press the “Tab key on your keyboard.
  2. To increase the entire left side paragraph indentation, select the paragraph or paragraphs to indent.
  3. Then click the “Increase Indent” button in the “Paragraph” button group on the “Home” tab of the Ribbon.
  4. To decrease the left side paragraph indentation, click into the paragraph to indent.
  5. Then click the “Decrease Indent” button in the “Paragraph” group of the “Home” tab in the Ribbon.
  6. To set the first-line paragraph indentation, enable the horizontal ruler, if needed.
  7. Then select the paragraph or paragraphs to indent.
  8. Drag the “First-line Indent” icon to the position on the horizontal ruler at which to start the paragraph’s first line.
  9. To set the hanging indentation for a paragraph, enable the horizontal ruler, if needed.
  10. Then select the paragraph or paragraphs to indent.
  11. Drag the “Hanging Indent” icon to the position on the horizontal ruler at which to set all lines except the paragraph’s first line.
  12. To indent the right side of a paragraph, enable the horizontal ruler, if needed.
  13. Then select the paragraph or paragraphs to indent.
  14. Drag the “Right Indent” icon to the position on the horizontal ruler at which to set the right side of the paragraph.
  15. To indent the left side of a paragraph, enable the ruler, if needed.
  16. Select the paragraph or paragraphs that you wish to indent.
  17. Drag the “Left Indent” icon to the position on the horizontal ruler at which you want to set the left side of the paragraph.

Indent Paragraphs in Word: Video Lesson

            The following video lesson, titled “Indenting Paragraphs,” shows how to indent paragraphs in Word. This video lesson on how to indent paragraphs in Word is from our complete Word tutorial, titled “Mastering Word Made Easy v.2016-2013.”

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