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Creating a hanging indent


A hanging indent is a special style of the paragraph indentation when the first line is not indented while all the subsequent lines of the paragraph are indented from the left margin of the page. Hanging indents are commonly used in a bibliography or references section. They help to quickly view all entries in the reference list focusing on authors' names.

When creating and editing documents in online or desktop editors, you can easily create a hanging indentation by specifying an exact value in the paragraph settings or by using the horizontal ruler.

Step 1. Select the necessary part of the document

Select the part of the document you want to be formatted as a hanging indented paragraph:

  • Put the cursor within a single paragraph.
  • Select several paragraphs with the mouse.
  • Select all the text in the document by pressing the Ctrl+A key combination.
How to do a hanging indent Step 1 How to do a hanging indent Step 1

Step 2. Set the hanging indent using paragraph settings

To open the paragraph settings window, right-click the text and select the Paragraph Advanced Settings option from the menu or use the Show advanced settings link at the right sidebar.

  1. In the opened Paragraph - Advanced Settings window, switch to the Indents & Spacing tab.
  2. In the Indents section, open the Special drop-down list and select the Hanging menu item.
  3. If necessary, change the default numeric value specified for Hanging using the entry field on the right. By default, the 1.27 cm value is used.
  4. Click the OK button to apply the changes.
How to do a hanging indent Step 2 How to do a hanging indent Step 2

Step 3. Set the hanging indent using rulers

First of all, make sure that rulers are visible. In the Document Editor, rulers are displayed by default. If they have been earlier hidden, display them again in the following way:

  1. Go to the View tab.
  2. Click the Rulers option to show or hide rulers.

On the left side of the horizontal ruler, you can see three markers that are used to adjust paragraph indents from the left margin of the page.

How to do a hanging indent Step 3 How to do a hanging indent Step 3
  • First Line Indent marker The upper one is the First Line Indent Marker that allows to set the offset from the left margin for the first line of the paragraph.
  • Hanging Indent marker The lower triangular marker is the Hanging Indent Marker that we must use to make a hanging indentation.
  • Left Indent marker The lower rectangular marker is the Left Indent Marker that is used to move all the markers at once and allows to set the entire paragraph offset from the left margin of the page.

Click the triangular Hanging Indent Marker Hanging Indent marker and drag it to the right until the necessary offset is reached.

If you accidentally move the Left Indent Marker instead, just drag the First Line Indent Marker First Line Indent marker back to the left margin.

That's all, you have made a hanging indent in your document in just a few clicks.

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