How to make Hanging Indent in Google Docs & MS Word? (6 Easy ways)

Hanging Indent is an indentation towards right of the lines subsequent to the first line of a paragraph.

A hanging Indent, also known as a second line indent or reverse indent is generally used for Bibliographies, reference lists and works cited. Moreover, the first line of a paragraph is flushed to the left margin and the subsequent lines are indented 0.5 inches towards right from the left margin.

Regular and hanging indent

There are three ways to use Hanging indentation in each Microsoft Word and Google Docs that we will discuss in this article.

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3 ways to create a Hanging Indentation in Google Docs

If you are wondering how to make a hanging indent in Google Docs, there are three ways to do so. You can use paragraph formatting, margin ruler and keyboard keys to get indentations in Google Docs.

Hanging indent using Paragraph Formatting in Google Docs

You can use the feature in your text by using the Format tab in the Tabs’ bar of Google Docs.

Follow these steps to use hanging indent in your text using the Format Tab:

  1. Firstly, go to the paragraph you want to indent.
    Format 11
  2. Now, go to Format Tab from the tabs’ menu and select Align & Indent and Indentation Options subsequently from the drop down menus.
    Format 12
  3. From the pop-up menu, open the drop-down panel below Special Indent.
    Hanging Indent in Google Docs
  4. Select Hanging from the drop-down panel.
    Hanging Indent In Google Docs
  5. Click on Apply to make the paragraph you selected earlier hanging indented.
    Hanging Indent in Google Docs
  6. The paragraph will get hanging indent. In order to continue indentation for rest of the paragraph, use soft line break at the end of line by pressing Shift + Enter/Return.
    hanging indent

Hanging indent using Ruler in Google Docs

You can use hanging indent in your text by using the ruler. If you have the ruler already enabled, you can skip step 1.

Follow these steps to hanging indent your text using the Ruler:

  1. Firstly, to enable the ruler, go to View > Show Ruler
    Hanging Indent
  2. You will see a ruler in the top of sheet with a blue component.
    Ruler Docs
  3. Go to the desired paragraph and drag the component towards right by clicking and moving the triangular part of the component.
    Ruler DOCS
  4. The whole text will get indented towards right, now drag the rectangular component (just above the inverted triangle of blue component) back to its original position.
    Ruler Docs
  5. As a result, the whole paragraph will get hanging indentation. You can continue this indentation for the further part of paragraph by using a soft line break (Shift +Enter/Return) at the end of each line.
    Ruler DOCS

Hanging indent using Shortcut Keys in Google Docs

You can hanging indent your text by using the Tab key on the keyboard. This method is also known as indent shortcut key.

Follow these steps to hanging indent your text using the shortcut key or Tab:

  1. Firstly, type the first line of the paragraph.
    Keys Docs
  2. At the end of the line, give a soft line break using Shift + Enter/Return and the cursor will shift to the beginning of next line.
    Keyboard Docs
  3. Now, press the Tab key to give an indentation and the cursor will shift 0.5 inches toward right.
    Key DOCS
  4. Continue typing further and repeat the above steps at the end of subsequent lines to continue hanging indentation.
    Key DOCS

3 Ways to create a Hanging Indentation in MS Word

If you are wondering how to make a hanging indent in MS Word, there are three ways to do so. You can use paragraph formatting, margin ruler and keyboard keys to get indentations in Google Docs.

Hanging indent using Paragraph Formatting in MS Word

You can use hanging indent in your text by using the Format tab in the Tabs’ bar of MS Word.

Follow these steps to use hanging indent in your text using the Format Tab in Microsoft Word:

  1. Firstly, go to the paragraph that you want to indent.
    Format Word
  2. Right click to open a menu for the text and select Paragraph.
    Format Word
  3. From the indentation section of Indents & Spacing, select Hanging as a special indentation.
    Format Word
  4. Click OK.
    Format Word
  5. As a result, the selected paragraph will get Hanging Indentation. You can continue the indentation by using soft line break (Shift + Enter/Return) at the end of each line.
    Format Word

Hanging indent using Ruler in MS Word

You can set hanging indent in your text by using the ruler. If you have the ruler already enabled, you can skip step 1.

Follow these steps to set hanging indent in your text using the Ruler in Microsoft Word:

  1. Firstly, to enable the ruler, go to View > Show Ruler
    Ruler Word
  2. You will see a ruler above the sheet.
    Ruler Word
  3. There is a component in the ruler, click and drag the inverted triangle towards the right in order to change the indentation of lines subsequent to the first line.
    Ruler Word
  4. As a result, the whole paragraph will get hanging indentation. To continue the indentation, use a soft break (Shift + Enter/Return) at the end of each line.
    Ruler Word

Hanging indent using Shortcut Keys in MS Word

You can set hanging indent in your text by using the ‘Tab’ key on the keyboard. It is also known as indent shortcut key.

Follow these steps to set hanging indent in your text using the shortcut key (Tab key) in Microsoft Word:

  1. Firstly, type the first line of paragraph.
    Keys Word
  2. At the end of the line, give a soft line break using Shift+Enter/Return.
    Hanging Indent
  3. As a result, the cursor will shift to the next line, now press ‘Tab’ key to give an indentation towards right.
    Hanging Indent
  4. Continue typing further and repeat the above steps at the end of subsequent lines to continue the indentation.
    Keys Word

Conclusion

There are total six ways to set hanging indentation in Google Docs and Microsoft Word and in this article, we have covered all the methods with each single step for the reader’s convenience.

By reading the article, you can easily create a hanging indentation for citations, bibliographies and reference lists.

For more technical help kindly visit Assistme360.com


FAQs

How to remove Hanging Indent in Google Docs?
Select the hanging indented paragraph. Now go to Format Tab > Align & Indent > Indentation Options. Subsequently select ‘None’ in the Special Indent option. Apply the changes to remove the indentation.

How many spaces is an indent?
In standard texts, an indent is equal to five spaces or 0.5 inches. However, you can customize indent size as per your requirement while setting it up.

How to change indent in Word?
You can change the indent from the same menu you had set it. Right click on the text, click on Paragraph. In the indentation section, enter the value of indent you need at right, left and special.

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