How to Block Indent in Word

By Lily Medina

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.

Using the Tab Key

Step 1

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 2

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

Step 3

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

Using the Ruler

Step 1

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 2

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

Step 3

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 4

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

Using the Ribbon

Step 1

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 2

Click anywhere in the block of text.

Step 3

Click the "Home" tab on the ribbon.

Step 4

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.