Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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: Indenting a Paragraph.

Indenting a Paragraph

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 6, 2019)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


If you want to quickly indent a paragraph from the left margin, you can do so by any of these means:

  • Display the Home tab of the ribbon and click the Increase Indent tool in the Paragraph group. This moves the left margin to the position of the next tab stop.
  • Press Ctrl+M. Each time you press it, the left margin is moved to the position of the next tab stop.
  • Use the mouse to drag the indent markers on the Ruler. Release the mouse button where you want the paragraph indented.
  • Use the Paragraph dialog box by displaying the Home tab of the ribbon and clicking the small icon at the lower-right corner of the Paragraph group; make sure the Indents and Spacing tab is selected. You can then precisely set the indent in the Left field.

This final method of setting the indent is the most precise, and is also a great way to precisely indent a paragraph from the right margin. If you want to do this, simply enter the desired indent in the Right field. You can double-indent a paragraph by entering values in both the Left and Right fields.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7874) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Indenting a Paragraph.

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. ...

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