How to Indent Second Line in Word 365: A Step-by-Step Guide

Indenting the second line in Word 365 is a simple process that can help organize and format your documents. It’s especially useful in creating references or works cited pages. In just a few clicks, you can have your second line indented and your document looking clean and professional.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Indent the Second Line in Word 365

Before you start, it’s good to know that indenting the second line, also known as a hanging indent, is often used in bibliographies and reference lists. This helps the reader to easily find the start of each new reference.

Step 1: Highlight the text you want to indent

Select the text where you want the second line to be indented.

Highlighting the text is the first step to ensure that the changes you make apply only to the text you’ve selected. If you don’t highlight the text first, the hanging indent will apply to the entire document, which you probably don’t want.

Step 2: Right-click on the highlighted text

Once you’ve selected the text, right-click on it to bring up a menu of options.

Right-clicking will bring up a context menu that allows you to quickly access formatting options. If you’re using a trackpad or a touch screen, you might need to tap with two fingers or press and hold to bring up this menu.

Step 3: Choose ‘Paragraph’ from the menu

In the menu that appears, look for and select the ‘Paragraph’ option to open the Paragraph window.

The Paragraph window is where you can change various aspects of your text’s formatting, including alignment, spacing, and, of course, indentation.

Step 4: Under ‘Indentation,’ look for ‘Special’ and select ‘Hanging’ from the drop-down menu

In the Paragraph window, you’ll find an area labeled ‘Indentation.’ Here, you will see the ‘Special’ drop-down menu where you can choose ‘Hanging.’

Selecting ‘Hanging’ tells Word that you want to create a hanging indent, where the first line stays at the margin, and all subsequent lines are indented.

Step 5: Set the ‘By’ value to the amount of indent you want

Next to the ‘Special’ drop-down menu, there’s a ‘By’ field where you can set how much the second line (and any lines after that) should be indented.

Typically, a hanging indent is set to 0.5 inches, but you can set it to any value that works for your document.

After you’ve completed these steps, the second line of your selected text will be indented by the amount you specified. This will give your document a neat and organized appearance, making it easier for readers to follow along.

Tips: How to Indent the Second Line in Word 365

  • Make sure you’re only highlighting the text you want to apply the hanging indent to.
  • If you need to indent multiple paragraphs, you can highlight all of them at once and then follow the same steps.
  • Remember that you can always preview the changes in the Paragraph window before applying them.
  • Word has a default setting for hanging indents, but feel free to adjust the value to suit your needs.
  • If you’re following a specific style guide, like APA or MLA, make sure to set your indents to the requirements specified.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a hanging indent?

A hanging indent is a type of paragraph formatting where the first line starts at the margin, and all subsequent lines are indented.

Can I use a keyboard shortcut to create a hanging indent?

Yes, you can use a keyboard shortcut. After highlighting the text, press Ctrl+T (Cmd+T on Mac) to create a hanging indent.

Will the hanging indent apply to the whole document?

No, it will only apply to the text you’ve highlighted before right-clicking and selecting ‘Paragraph.’

Can I remove a hanging indent?

Yes, you can remove it by highlighting the text, right-clicking, selecting ‘Paragraph,’ and then choosing ‘None’ under the ‘Special’ drop-down menu in the indentation section.

Can I use this method for bullet points or numbered lists?

Yes, hanging indents can also apply to bullet points or numbered lists to align them neatly.


  1. Highlight the text
  2. Right-click the highlighted text
  3. Choose ‘Paragraph’
  4. Select ‘Hanging’ from ‘Special’ drop-down menu
  5. Set the ‘By’ value


Indenting the second line in Word 365 is a breeze once you know the steps. With just a few clicks and adjustments, you can transform your document into a well-organized piece of writing that is sure to impress. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or just someone who loves neat formatting, mastering the hanging indent is an essential skill. Now that you know how to indent the second line, go ahead and give it a try. Your documents will look better than ever, and you’ll feel like a Word wizard in no time!

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