How to Indent on Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Indenting on Google Docs is a straightforward task that can enhance the organization and readability of your document. Whether you want to start a paragraph with an indent or create a hanging indent for a bibliography, it’s a simple process that can be completed in just a few clicks.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Indent on Google Docs

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to know that indenting can help separate paragraphs, create lists, and give your document a polished look. Let’s get started on how to make your Google Docs look even more professional with indents.

Step 1: Open your Google Doc

Go to your Google Drive, find the document you want to work on, and open it. This is the starting point for any changes you want to make.

Step 2: Place the cursor where you want the indent

Click at the beginning of the line or paragraph where you want to add the indent. This tells Google Docs exactly where to apply the change.

Step 3: Use the ruler to set the indent

At the top of your document, you’ll see a ruler with two blue arrows. Drag the First Line Indent (the top triangle) to the right to create a first-line indent.

If you don’t see the ruler, go to View in the menu bar and make sure “Show ruler” is checked.

Step 4: Adjust the indent using the ruler

You can move the First Line Indent arrow to the right for a larger indent or to the left for a smaller one. This will adjust the indent in real-time on your document.

Make sure not to drag the Bottom Triangle, as this creates a hanging indent, which is used for things like bibliographies.

After you complete the action of setting an indent, the first line of your paragraph will be indented to the extent you’ve set using the ruler. Now, the document will appear more organized, and it will be easier for readers to distinguish between paragraphs.

Tips for Indenting on Google Docs

  • If you want to apply indents to multiple paragraphs, highlight the text before adjusting the indent on the ruler.
  • For a hanging indent, drag the Bottom Triangle (Hanging Indent) to the right instead of the Top Triangle.
  • Use the “Increase indent” and “Decrease indent” buttons on the toolbar for quick adjustments.
  • Remember that indenting isn’t just for aesthetics; it also improves the readability of your document.
  • If you’re working with a list, use the Tab key on your keyboard to indent the list item.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I create a hanging indent in Google Docs?

Yes, you can create a hanging indent by dragging the Bottom Triangle (Hanging Indent) on the ruler to the right.

Is there a keyboard shortcut for indenting?

For a quick indent, you can use the Tab key on your keyboard to indent the first line of a paragraph.

How can I remove an indent?

To remove an indent, drag the First Line Indent arrow back to the left margin on the ruler.

Can I indent a whole paragraph?

Yes, in addition to the first-line indent, you can indent the whole paragraph by dragging the Left Indent (the rectangle under the First Line Indent) to the right.

Why can’t I see the ruler to set my indents?

If the ruler is not visible, go to View in the menu bar and check “Show ruler.”


  1. Open your Google Doc.
  2. Place the cursor where you want the indent.
  3. Use the ruler to set the indent.
  4. Adjust the indent using the ruler.


Indenting in Google Docs is a simple yet powerful tool to enhance the structure and flow of your text. Whether you’re writing an academic paper, a business report, or a personal letter, mastering how to indent on Google Docs can make your document more readable and professional. Remember, the key is in the details. A well-formatted document can make a lasting impression on your readers. So go ahead, open up that Google Doc, and give your paragraphs the space they deserve. Happy indenting!

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