How to Make a Hanging Indent

By Julie McClure

Hanging indents are often used in the 'Works Cited' page of a research paper. A hanging indent is the reverse of a paragraph indent. In a paragraph indent, the first line of text is indented and all of the following lines are flush with the margin. In a hanging indent, the first line of text is flush with the margin and all of the following lines are indented. Auto-format settings make the hanging indent a bit tricky to create in Microsoft Word.

Step 1

Type the text that needs hanging indents without any indents first.

Step 2

Place your cursor at the end of the first line of text.

Step 3

Press the "Enter" key on your keyboard. The cursor will move to the beginning of the second line of text.

Step 4

Press "Enter" again. The cursor will not move.

Step 5

Press the "Tab" key. The second line of text will indent without auto-formatting any other line of text.

Step 6

Repeat Steps 1 to 5 for any additional lines of text.

Tips & Warnings

  • You do not need to follow the above instructions in MAC native word processors, Pages and Text Edit because the auto formatting does not get in the way. Just position the cursor at the beginning of the second line of text and press "Tab" to make a hanging indent in MAC native word processors.