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hanging indent

How to Make a Hanging Indent in Google Docs

Hanging indents are a convenient and simple formatting feature often used on works cited pages. By simply making this change to your document’s formatting, hanging indents can drastically improve its aesthetics and readability.

To create a hanging indent, first highlight the text you wish to format and right click. From there, choose Paragraph; from within that dialog box select Hanging under Special drop-down list and enter desired spacing into By: section.

Let’s find out how to make a hanging indent in Google Docs!


Hanging indents are straightforward to create in Google Docs on PCs or Macs, but creating them with an iPad or mobile device may prove more challenging. There are ways around this though; learning the technique could prove particularly valuable if you regularly create academic or scholarly documents using Google Docs.

Before beginning to indent text, select it first and click and drag the indent control in the ruler area (it looks like an upside-down triangle with a blue rectangle next to it) in either direction to adjust where you would like your first line of text to be indented. When done, let go of this control; otherwise your hanging indent may end up longer than planned!

Once you’ve adjusted the indent control, click on View and ensure the Show ruler option is checked. Select the paragraph where you made a hanging indent and notice where its first line has now been indented; if necessary, drag its marker back to where it originally resided.

Once again, select the second line of text you would like indented and repeat this process for that line of text. This should result in a paragraph formatted according to MLA, CMS or APA writing styles – your bibliography or Works Cited page should look professional and organized!

An easy way to apply this format is to select a paragraph you just created and click Home, Paragraph and Special drop-down menu, selecting Hanging. This should set every first line of each paragraph further away from the left margin – perfect for making your work stand out and appear more formal! This format should especially come in handy if creating a reference page or bibliography for research paper or thesis submission.


Hanging indents are an effective way to add professional polish and order to a Google Slides presentation, offsetting line breaks and creating visual hierarchy, making it easier for audience members to follow along with your presentation. Though more commonly associated with academic papers, these indentations can also add sophistication to slideshow presentations.

To create a hanging indent, start by selecting the text you wish to indent and clicking A at the top of Google Slides screen, followed by Paragraph and Right Indent icons – these will push lines of text rightward, creating the effect of hanging indentation.

Google Slides’ ruler tool offers another simple method of creating hanging indents: computer users only. It offers simple controls and greater accuracy than its menu options; simply open your presentation and select View > Ruler from the top ribbon menu to enable this feature.

To use a ruler, highlight the text you wish to indent, drag the bottom slider of the ruler right until it reaches your desired indentation size and press Enter to apply the indent.

Hanging indents are frequently employed in academic papers and reports to make text more organized and easily readable, especially Works Cited pages. Such indents are recommended by several style guides including Modern Language Association, American Psychological Association and Chicago Manual of Style.

If you’re writing a scientific paper, a hanging indent is an effective way to emphasize the significance of your findings. Furthermore, this format helps set apart your work from that of other authors while increasing reader comprehension of your argument.

Writing Hanging Indents on a Computer Most writers struggle to create hanging indents on a computer due to most word processors not supporting this formatting feature. If you use Microsoft Office on either a Windows or Mac computer, however, creating hanging indents requires just three steps and will result in professional-grade documents!

How to Make a Hanging Indent in Google Docs


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First Line Indent

No matter if you’re a student or business professional, hanging indents are likely to become part of your writing toolkit at some point. They are required for formatting references in MLA, CMS and APA (American Psychological Association) styles, making paragraph formatting simpler for readers while helping readers identify when starting each new paragraph from within text. Furthermore, creating hanging indents requires just a few clicks!

To create a hanging indent on a Word document, first select the paragraph you wish to format and either use ruler or Indentation Options dialog box to set first line indent. Ruler provides real-time preview of how indent will look while also eliminating drop-down menu navigation; Indentation Options dialog box requires selecting each paragraph that needs indenting manually.

Hanging indentations refer to paragraphs with an initial line that is more heavily indented than subsequent ones. They’re frequently seen when listing references or items to be listed; the indentation can either be left- or right-oriented and you can create one using ruler, the Indentation Options dialog box, or keyboard shortcut.

An easy and straightforward way to create hanging indentations using the ruler method is dragging the First Line Indent marker (blue rectangle) left or right on any paragraph you wish to format. If unsure of what level of indentation is needed, consult a style guide or writing tutor.

Ruler method indenting is another effective option for indenting multiple paragraphs simultaneously, and particularly useful when adjusting large blocks of text, like block quotations. While quicker than Indentation Options method, mastery may take more practice.

Second Line Indent

Hanging indents are a formatting style used to indent the second line of citations while leaving the first flush with the margin, often found in MLA works cited lists to make scanning simpler for readers and to easily spot incomplete or incorrect citations. Employing these indents will give your work a professional and organized appearance when written using MLA format.

If you’re using Microsoft Word on a PC, creating second-line indents is as easy as selecting text and pressing Ctrl + T or Cmd T to open up a dialog box with various indentation options. Select Hanging before choosing an indent size before pressing OK to apply your changes. Likewise, Mac users can follow this same method for indenting text by following similar steps.

Google Docs offers several different methods for indenting text, depending on whether or not you are using its web version or mobile app. If using the latter, there are numerous methods available to you including rulers or indent shortcuts to indent second lines on documents; otherwise if using Google Docs mobile app you will need to adjust some settings first.

There are multiple methods for indenting text on a computer, but most require markings on a ruler. You could use an indent shortcut or tweak your indenter settings for desired looks; however, writing research papers or documents requiring hanging indentations may make this task challenging without altering ruler markers manually.

Microsoft Word allows users to indent text by selecting it and clicking either the Home tab or pressing Ctrl+A, respectively. You can also change paragraph indent by clicking on the small arrow in the Paragraph section of Ribbon; alternatively, use built-in list paragraph styles for indenting.

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