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How to do hanging indent on Google Docs

The hanging indent is a classic staple of word processing software. One such platform is Google Docs, which is completely free to start using. Google Docs is packed with all kinds of features and settings, to the point where some of its more basic capabilities are overlooked. Sure, there are plenty of interface elements you may never use, but something as useful as the hanging indent option should receive some kind of limelight.




5 minutes

What You Need

  • Access to Google Docs

And we’re just the publication to power on the neon bulbs of discovery! We’ve written up a guide to get you adding hanging indents in Google Docs in no time.

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.
screenshot / Digital Trends

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.
screenshot / Digital Trends

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.
screenshot / Digital Trends

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.
screenshot / Digital Trends

Step 5: Select the menu and choose Hanging.

The Hanging Indent Length field is circled in Google Docs.
screenshot / Digital Trends

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.
screenshot / Digital Trends

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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