How Do You Do a Hanging Indent?


Quick Answer

To create a hanging indent in Microsoft Word, highlight the relevant text, then right-click and select “Paragraph”. On the Indentation and Spacing icon, click the drop-down arrow at “Special”, then select “Hanging” from the drop-down list. Click OK at the bottom of the dialog box. This process applies to the 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013 MS Word editions.

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Full Answer

In a hanging indentation, the first line is flush to the left-hand margin, while the rest of the text portion is indented a short distance to the right. The highlighted paragraph's sentences start at an even margin from the left end but remain unjustified to the right.

In Word, the default size of the indent is 0.5 inches, but it can be changed. To change the size of an indent, simply point the mouse at the up-down scroll arrows and click until you achieve the desired value. Alternatively, insert a specific indent size in the space provided. The sizes of the right and left indents are also variable. Word also has specific features regarding lists, for which hanging indents are generally used.

Creating a hanging indent in other programs may require a different process, depending on the word processor. However, the formatting style is generally found under the paragraph formatting options.

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