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How to do hanging indent on Google Docs

Hanging indents are a popular formatting requirement in some circles, such as when citing your sources in a bibliography or making notes in legal work. If you’re working on a research project in Google Docs, then it’s important to know how to create hanging indents whenever you want.




5 minutes

What You Need

  • Access to Google Docs

Let’s go over the basics about how to do this in Docs, so you’ll be ready whenever the formatting requirement comes up.

How to create a hanging indent in Google Docs

Step 1: Head into Google Docs to start. You can access Docs in several ways, but the easiest method is to use the web app. Log in if necessary, and find the document that you want to apply hanging indents to.

Navigate to the left part of your document, and place the cursor at the beginning of the paragraph you want to indent.

A document in Google Docs with the Format menu circled in red..
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 2: Navigate to the Google Docs menu at the top and click on the Format drop-down menu.

The Indentation Options are shown in Google Docs.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: In the Format menu, go to Align & Indent. When this menu pops open, choose Indentation Options.

The Special Indent drop-down menu is circled in Google Docs.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 4: Indentation Options will open a new window where you can customize an indentation. Go to the Special indent section, which should currently say None.

The Hanging option is selected in the Indentation Options menu in Google Docs.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 5: Select the menu and choose Hanging.

The Hanging Indent Length field is circled in Google Docs.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 6: Now you will see a number on the right, noting how long the hanging indent will be. It should be set to the traditional 0.5 inch, but you can adjust this if you want to.

Hanging Indent is applied to a paragraph of text in Google Docs.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 7: When finished, select Apply. The paragraph you were on should now have a hanging indent.

Step 8: If you have multiple paragraphs or sections to indent all at once, it’s no problem. Just highlight them all before using the steps above. Then the hanging indent will automatically apply to the entire highlighted section.

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