How to Do Hanging Indent on Word 2019: A Step-by-Step Guide

Hanging indents are a breeze to create in Word 2019, and they can really give your document that polished, professional look. All you need to do is select the text you want to format, go to the ‘Paragraph’ settings, and adjust the indentation options. It’s as simple as that. After reading this article, you’ll be able to add hanging indents with ease.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Do Hanging Indent on Word 2019

Creating a hanging indent in Word 2019 is a handy skill, especially if you’re working on academic papers or business documents. It’s a way to format your paragraphs or bibliographies so that the first line stands out. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Highlight the Text

First, select the text you want to format with a hanging indent.

When you’re working on a document and you’ve got your references or paragraphs ready, the first thing you need to do is highlight the text. Click and drag your mouse over the text, or hold down the ‘Shift’ key and use the arrow keys to select.

Step 2: Access the Paragraph Settings

Next, right-click on the highlighted text and choose ‘Paragraph’ from the context menu.

Once your text is selected, right-clicking will bring up a menu with various options. Look for ‘Paragraph’ – it’s usually towards the bottom of the menu. Clicking on it will open up a new window where you’ll find all sorts of settings to tweak your text.

Step 3: Adjust the Indentation Options

In the Paragraph window, look for the ‘Indentation’ section and select ‘Hanging’ from the ‘Special’ drop-down menu.

In the ‘Indentation’ section of the Paragraph window, you’ll see a drop-down menu next to the word ‘Special’. Click on it and choose ‘Hanging’. This tells Word that you want to create a hanging indent.

Step 4: Set the Indentation Size

After selecting ‘Hanging’, enter the size of the indent in the ‘By’ box, then click ‘OK’.

You can decide how much you want to indent your text. Usually, a half-inch indent is standard, but you can enter whatever size suits your document. Once you’ve entered the size, hit ‘OK’, and your hanging indent will be applied to your text.

After completing these steps, your text will have a hanging indent. The first line will be flush with the left margin, and all subsequent lines will be indented. This format is commonly used for references or citations, making them easier to read and giving your document a clean, orderly appearance.

Tips for Hanging Indent on Word 2019

  • Always double-check your indent size, as different institutions or publications may have specific requirements.
  • If you need to apply hanging indents to multiple paragraphs, you can do them all at once by highlighting the entire section before starting.
  • Remember that the ‘Undo’ function (Ctrl+Z) is your friend if you make a mistake or want to try a different indent size.
  • Use the ‘Ruler’ feature in Word to visually adjust and check the indent size if you prefer a more hands-on approach.
  • Keep in mind that hanging indents are typically used for bibliographies and works cited pages, so be sure to use them appropriately in your documents.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply a hanging indent to a single paragraph?

Yes, you can apply a hanging indent to a single paragraph or multiple paragraphs. Just highlight the paragraph(s) you want to format before following the steps.

Is the hanging indent size always half an inch?

While a half-inch indent is standard, you can set your hanging indent to any size that fits the requirements of your document.

Can I remove a hanging indent?

Absolutely! If you need to remove a hanging indent, simply follow the same steps but set the ‘Special’ drop-down menu back to ‘None’.

Will my hanging indent stay if I send my Word document to someone else?

Yes, your formatting, including hanging indents, will remain in place when you share your Word document with others.

Can I create a hanging indent on Word for mobile or tablet?

The steps may vary slightly, but you can create a hanging indent on Word for mobile or tablet. Look for the ‘Paragraph’ settings in the app to adjust your indents.


  1. Highlight the text you want to format.
  2. Access the ‘Paragraph’ settings by right-clicking on the highlighted text.
  3. Choose ‘Hanging’ from the ‘Special’ drop-down menu under ‘Indentation’.
  4. Set the indent size and click ‘OK’.


Mastering the art of creating a hanging indent in Word 2019 can make a significant difference in the presentation of your documents. Whether you’re a student formatting a bibliography or a professional preparing a report, knowing how to do a hanging indent on Word 2019 is an essential skill. With the easy steps outlined in this article, you can quickly apply this formatting to your paragraphs and references, ensuring that your work looks organized and professional. Remember to use these tips and refer to the frequently asked questions if you run into any issues. So go ahead, give it a try and watch your documents transform!

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