How to Block Indent in Word

Unlike a first-line paragraph indentation, which indents the first line in every paragraph to show clearly where each paragraph begins and ends, a block indentation indents the entire paragraph. A block indent sets off the paragraph from the surrounding text, indicating its difference or importance. In school papers, block indents signify long quotes from other sources; in professional documents, block indents can signify quotes, excerpts or essential information. Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010 offer multiple ways to create a block indent in your document.

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Use the tab key to indent text.

Using the Tab Key

Step

Create a separate paragraph for the block of text that you want to indent. If the block sits within a larger paragraph, you can't indent it separately. If the text isn't in a separate block, then press "Enter" at the beginning of the text block, and again at the end of the block, to set it in its own paragraph.

Step

Select the paragraph by triple-clicking any spot in the block of text.

Step

Press the "Tab" key on your keyboard. To indent the block of text further, press "Tab" again.

Using the Ruler

Step

Create a separate paragraph for the block of text that you want to indent. If the block sits within a larger paragraph, you can't indent it separately. If the block isn't a separate paragraph, then press "Enter" at the beginning of the text block, and again at the end of the block, to set it in its own paragraph.

Step

Click anywhere in the paragraph -- you don't need to select the text.

Step

Click the gray square underneath the Ruler, near the left end. A small gray arrow points upward immediately above the square; another small gray arrow, pointing downward, may sit on top of that arrow.

Step

Drag the square to the right until the paragraph reaches the desired indentation point, then release the mouse.

Using the Ribbon

Step

Create a separate paragraph for the block of text that you want to indent. If the block sits within a larger paragraph, you can't indent it separately. If the block isn't a separate paragraph, then press "Enter" at the beginning of the text block, and again at the end of the block, to set it in its own paragraph.

Step

Click anywhere in the block of text.

Step

Click the "Home" tab on the ribbon.

Step

Click the "Increase Indent" button on the ribbon in the Paragraph group. This button displays horizontal lines of varying thicknesses, accompanied by a right-pointing arrow. To indent further, click the button again.