Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Creating a Hanging Indent.

Creating a Hanging Indent

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 7, 2013)

1

"Hanging indent" is the typographical term for a paragraph in which the first line is not indented, but subsequent lines in the paragraph are. Typically, hanging indents are used for numbered and bulleted lists. To create a hanging indent in Word, use the following steps:

  1. Position the insertion point in the paragraph in which you want the hanging indent.
  2. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Paragraph group. Word displays the Paragraph dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Indents and Spacing tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Indents and Spacing tab of the Paragraph dialog box.

  6. In the Special drop-down list, choose Hanging. The By field changes to a value, most often one-half inch.
  7. Adjust the By field to indicate how much you want each line in the paragraph (except the first) indented.
  8. Click on OK.

Of course, Word provides shortcuts to create the most common application of hanging indents—numbered and bulleted lists. To apply these, you can simply use the appropriate Numbering or Bullets tools on the Home tab of the ribbon.

Word also provides a handy shortcut for creating a hanging indent: Just put the insertion point within the paragraph you want to "hang" and then press Ctrl+T. Word indents the paragraph to the first tab stop, but leaves the first line at the left margin—a hanging indent! You can undo the hanging indent by pressing Ctrl+Shift+T. If you want your hanging indent to be to some distance that doesn't match up to the first tab stop, then you'll need to use the steps described earlier in this tip.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7358) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Creating a Hanging Indent.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Using Slashed Zeroes

To reduce the chances of confusion in presenting data, some people like to use zeroes with slashes through them. If you ...

Discover More

Using AutoCorrect

The AutoCorrect feature in Excel is a great tool for quickly entering information. Here's an explanation of the feature ...

Discover More

Swapping Two Strings

Strings are used quite frequently in macros. You may want to swap the contents of two string variables, and you can do so ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Compound List Formatting

Word can help you do quite a bit of complex formatting to your lists, both bulleted and numbered. Using the steps ...

Discover More

Decreasing a Paragraph's Indent

When formatting your document, you often have need to indent paragraphs. If you later want to decrease the indent used on ...

Discover More

Mysterious Boxes around Paragraphs

Do you have some mysterious and unwanted boxes showing up around the paragraphs in your document? Here are some ideas on ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 6?

2013-09-09 10:56:26

rpurosky

Not sure why using the ruler isn't even mentioned. Though sometimes trickier, certainly more convenient if you know how to use it.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.