Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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 to the Next Tab Stop.

Indenting a Paragraph to the Next Tab Stop

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 19, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Using the tools on the Home tab of the ribbon, you can quickly and easily indent a paragraph to the next tab stop for that paragraph. If there are no explicit tab stops set for the paragraph, then it will be indented to the next default tab stop (usually 1/2 inch). To indent a paragraph to the next tab stop, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the insertion point is in the paragraph that you want to indent or that you have selected text in all the paragraphs you wish to indent the same.
  2. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click on the Increase Indent tool, in the Paragraph group.

If you are the type of Word user that prefers to use the keyboard whenever possible, just place your insertion point in the paragraph you want to indent and then press Ctrl+M. Word indents the paragraph to the next tab stop, as desired. (You can press Ctrl+M multiple times to increase the indent or press Ctrl+Shift+M to decrease the indent.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9592) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Indenting a Paragraph to the Next Tab Stop.

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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