How to Indent on Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Indenting in Microsoft Word is a practical skill for organizing your documents and making them look professional. Whether you’re writing an essay, creating a resume, or drafting a report, knowing how to indent properly can enhance the readability of your work. Let’s dive into how you can easily indent paragraphs or lines in Word.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Indent on Word

Before we begin, it’s important to know that indenting can be done in several ways in Word. You can indent a whole paragraph or just the first line. Follow these steps to become a Word indentation pro in no time.

Step 1: Select the text you want to indent

Click and drag your cursor over the text you need to indent. This highlights the text and lets Word know what part of your document you’re working on.

Indentation is always applied to the selected text. If you don’t select any text, the indentation will apply to the paragraph where your cursor is located.

Step 2: Right-click and choose ‘Paragraph’

After selecting the text, right-click on it. A menu will appear with several options. Click on ‘Paragraph’ to open the Paragraph dialog box.

The Paragraph dialog box is where all the magic happens. Here, you can adjust the indentation settings and preview how it will look on your document.

Step 3: Adjust the indentation settings

In the Paragraph dialog box, look for the ‘Indentation’ section. Here, you can set the size of the indent by changing the values in the ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ boxes. You can also use the ‘Special’ dropdown menu to choose ‘First line’ or ‘Hanging’ for specific types of indents.

The ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ values determine the space between the text and the page margin. ‘First line’ indents only the first line of a paragraph, while ‘Hanging’ creates a reverse indent, where all lines except the first are indented.

Step 4: Click ‘OK’ to apply the indent

Once you’ve set your desired indentation, click ‘OK’ at the bottom of the Paragraph dialog box. Your text will now be indented according to your specifications.

If you’re not happy with how the indent looks, you can always go back into the Paragraph dialog box and adjust the settings until you get it just right.

After completing these steps, you should see your selected text indented in your document. If it doesn’t look quite right, you can repeat the steps and adjust the settings until you’re satisfied.

Tips for Indenting on Word

  • Use the ruler at the top of the document to quickly adjust indents. You can click and drag the markers to set the indentation visually.
  • For a first-line indent, you can also press the ‘Tab’ key on your keyboard.
  • If you want to indent all paragraphs in the document, press ‘Ctrl + A’ to select all text before following the steps.
  • To create a block quote, increase both the left and right indents.
  • Save custom indents as a style for quick application in future documents.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I remove an indent in Word?

Select the text with the indent you want to remove, right-click, choose ‘Paragraph,’ and set the indentation values back to zero, or drag the markers on the ruler back to their original positions.

Can I use keyboard shortcuts to indent in Word?

Yes, you can use ‘Ctrl + M’ to increase indent and ‘Ctrl + Shift + M’ to decrease indent. However, these shortcuts apply to the whole paragraph, not just the first line.

Is there a quick way to indent bullet points in Word?

Yes, you can press ‘Tab’ to indent a bullet point to the next list level and ‘Shift + Tab’ to decrease the indent level.

Can I indent multiple paragraphs at once in Word?

Absolutely! Just select all the paragraphs you want to indent, right-click, and follow the same steps for a single paragraph.

How do I set default indents for all documents in Word?

Go to the ‘Design’ tab, click on ‘Paragraph Spacing,’ and choose ‘Custom Paragraph Spacing.’ From there, you can set your default indents and save them as part of a custom theme.


  1. Select the text you want to indent.
  2. Right-click and choose ‘Paragraph.’
  3. Adjust the indentation settings.
  4. Click ‘OK’ to apply the indent.


Indenting text in Word can really spruce up your documents and make them look top-notch. Whether it’s crafting a compelling resume, giving your essay that extra edge, or simply organizing your notes, mastering the art of indentation is a worthy feat. And now, armed with the knowledge of how to indent on word, you’re ready to take on any document that comes your way. Remember to play around with different types of indents to see which one fits your document’s style best. Don’t forget to use the tips and tricks we’ve discussed, and if you ever get stuck, refer back to the frequently asked questions for a quick solution. Happy indenting!