Creating a Hanging Indentation

To create a hanging indent in Word, you need to use the Paragraph dialogue.  In Word 2003 and earlier versions of Word, click on Format, Paragraph and change the drop-down menu under Indentation, Special to say "Hanging"; then click "OK":

Click to view a still picture of the entire Paragraph dialogue box. (Use the back button to return to this page.)

To see the same dialogue box in Word 2007, click the arrow at the lower right corner of the Paragraph section of the Office 2007 Ribbon:

The material you type will have the first line typed flush with the left margin and other lines indented.  If you have also set Word to double space, the lines will look like this:

To turn hanging indentation off, click Format, Paragraph or use the arrow on the Paragraph part of the Ribbon to open the dialogue and change the drop-down list to "(none)" or "First line." 

If the second and following lines are indented too far (more than 1/2 inch) from the left margin, adjust "By:" to read  .5.

If you are using another word processor, use the Help function to find out how to create a hanging indentation in that system.  Generally, it will not be satisfactory to use the Tab key to create a hanging indentation when you are not using a typewriter.

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This page last edited on 25-Apr-2011 .

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