How to Indent the Second Line of a Paragraph on the New Microsoft Word

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Use the Paragraph window to set your hanging indent.

To begin a new paragraph, typically you tab before typing, creating an indent on the first line. Sometimes, however, you need to indent the second line of the sentence or paragraph while leaving the first line flush with the left margin. These types of indents are most commonly used in creating reference lists when you want the first line to stand out from the rest. The latest version of Word uses a new type of menu called the "ribbon," which marks a break with earlier versions' use of a standard menu. Despite the differences in display, the new Word version retains the same buttons and processes for creating indents.


Step 1

Launch Word to open a blank document or open a previously created Word document.

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Step 2

Select an existing paragraph you want to indent by highlighting and dragging from the beginning of the paragraph to the end. If you are starting with a blank document, continue to the next step.


Step 3

Click the "Home" tab on the ribbon.

Step 4

Click the small, diagonal gray arrow in the bottom of the Paragraph group to open a paragraph menu.


Step 5

Click the box under the word "Special" in the middle of the window. Select "Hanging."


Step 6

Select a spacing in the "By" box if you do not want to use the 0.5-inch default. Click the up or down arrow to make the selection.

Step 7

Click "OK." The second line, and subsequent lines, will now be indented.

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