How to Create Hanging Indents

By Anthony Smith

A hanging indent is a type of indentation in which all the lines of a paragraph are indented except for the first one. Hanging indents are often used for numbered and bullet lists. Microsoft Word has become the industry standard and is used in homes and businesses around the world. The developers of Word have made it easy to create a hanging indent in your work.

Step 1

Use your mouse to "grab" all the text in the paragraph for which you wish to create a hanging indent, and highlight it if you are working with a version of Word 2003 or earlier. For Word 2007, go to Step 6.

Step 2

Click on the word "Format" at the top of the Word screen. From the menu that appears, select "Paragraph."

Step 3

Select the tab labeled "Indents and Spacing." Look to the "Special" field, and click to reveal the drop down menu. Select "Hanging."

Step 4

Type in the amount of hanging indent you want. For example, for a 1 1/2 inch indent, you would type 1.5" , and then click "OK."

Step 5

Position the cursor right after the colon that follows the words "Hanging Indent," press the "Tab" key, and the hanging indent will be in place.

Step 6

Click on the "Page Layout" tab in the Ribbon at the top of the Word 2007 screen. Find the Paragraph group, and click the small arrow in the lower right hand corner of that group.

Step 7

Click to select the "Hanging" option in the Indentation area of the dialog box that opens. Type in the value for the size of your indent, just as you did in Step 4, click "OK."