Google Docs has a remarkable number of formatting options that you can use to change the way your content looks, as well as adjust the layout of the document.
One particular type of formatting that you might need involves the indentation for some of your paragraphs.
The hanging indent option that you might need when you are referencing other works is available in Google Docs, though it’s on a menu that you might not have needed to use before.
Our tutorial continues below with more information about how to create a hanging indent in Google Docs.
How to Make a Google Docs Hanging Indent
- Open a document.
- Choose a line.
- Select Format.
- Choose the Align & indent option.
- Click Indentation options.
- Select Hanging below Special indent and type a value for the size.
- Click the Apply option.
This guide continues below with additional info, including pictures of these steps.
A hanging indent is a formatting option in word processing systems such as Google Docs and Microsoft Word that will automatically add a left indent to a paragraph while leaving the first line in its original position.
It is one of the application’s lesser-known yet critical features, similar to subscript in Google Docs.
When utilizing a conventional indentation setting, the first line of the paragraph is typically indented rather than the succeeding lines in the paragraph, which are applied off the left margin.
However, due to formatting requirements from organizations such as the MLA, some scenarios, such as on a works cited page, may require that the indent begin on the second line of the paragraph instead.
The above techniques make use of the Google Docs software from the Google Apps suite to enable you to quickly indent your entire paragraph while leaving the beginning line of a paragraph in place and adjusting your indentation settings.
Related: Find out how to change paper size in Google Docs if you are printing a larger or smaller document.
How to Apply a Hanging Indent to a Google Document
These steps were performed in the Google Chrome desktop Web browser, but will work for most other laptop or desktop browsers as well.
Step 1: Go to Google Docs and open your file.
Step 2: Click on the line that you want to indent.
Step 3: Select the Format tab at the top of the window.
Step 4: Choose the Align & indent menu option.
Step 5: Click the Indentation options button.
Step 6: Select Hanging from the Special indent menu, then specify a size.
Step 7: Click the Apply button.
Now that you know how to create a hanging indent in Google Docs, you will be able to apply this formatting in future documents.
Google Docs Hanging Indent Video
You can also check out the video below if you would like to know more about creating this type of indentation in your document.
More Information on Google Hanging Indents
Following the application of the hanging indent, a blue triangle in the ruler will indicate the placement of the left indent. A blue rectangle will appear next to the starting line indent marker.
If you can’t see the rulers on your document, go to View > Show ruler to enable them.
If you need greater control over the margins in your work, look at the margin options under File > Page setup.
When utilizing MLA format, you must regularly double-space your paper. You can determine that value by selecting the Double option under Format > Line spacing.
To add this type of indentation, select the paragraph to be formatted, then drag the Left indent icon (the blue triangle that is upside down) until the indentation is the desired size.
The icon for the first line indent (the tiny blue rectangle) can then be repositioned to the left margin.
To apply the hanging indent to numerous paragraphs in a Google Doc, use either the ruler approach or the Indentation options method by first clicking and dragging to select all of the required paragraphs.
When creating hanging indents, a drop-down menu will appear with alignment and indentation options such as:
- Center align
- Right align
- Left align
- Indent the text more or less
While the hanging indent option allows you to easily indent the second and subsequent lines for multiple citation entries or other sections of your document, these options allow you to quickly adjust some formatting to duplicate the hanging indent appearance.
How do you make a hanging indent in Google Docs?
A hanging indent can be created by opening the document in Google Docs and then selecting the spot in the document where the indent should be put. After that, go to Format > Align & indent > Indentation and pick Hanging. The size of the dangling indent can then be specified. When you’re finished, click the OK button.
What exactly is a Hanging Indent?
A hanging indent is a formatting option that sets the first line of a paragraph along the left margin of the document before the rest of the paragraph is indented.
In order to generate a hanging indent, the first line of a paragraph must be selected in Google Docs. Then, follow the steps outlined in the preceding instruction.
During the method, you will be able to choose how much space you want to use for the dangling indent.
Can I get rid of a hanging indent in Google Docs?
You can remove a hanging indent from your document, as you can with the majority of formatting options.
To erase the hanging indent in Google Docs, you must first click somewhere within the paragraph that contains it.
Then, under Format > Align & Indent > Indentation options, pick None from the Special Indent drop-down menu. After that, click OK to make the change.
Why is a hanging indent required?
Citations are one common instance in which people must employ hanging indents in their writing.
Any of the following style manuals may be used at your school or workplace:
Chicago Style Manual
APA (American Psychological Association) (American Psychological Association)
MLA (Modern Language Association) (Modern Language Association)
Although each of these style guides has its own set of rules, it’s common to need to indent the first line of your reference, which you may do in Google Docs by using a hanging indent.
If you are also producing a bibliography for your paper, the formatting of your cited works may require the use of hanging indents.
Although you may achieve the same look by leaving blank spaces, utilizing the hanging indent style makes it much easier to ensure that everything is done correctly.
What is the average depth of a hanging indent?
If you want to verify that the hanging indent you’re producing corresponds to the specified settings, set the size to.5.
This is the most common option when dealing with circumstances in forms such as APA, MLA, or Chicago Style.
What are the functions of hanging indents?
While there are many applications for indents like this, citations and reference lists are the most common.
They provide a quick and easy way to distinguish specific citations from one another and make it easier for readers to comprehend how each item in a list differs from the one before or after it.
In Microsoft Word, how can I insert a hanging indent?
Text alignment may be required in other word processing tools, such as Microsoft Word.
Despite not having an Indentation Options window like Google Docs, Word includes a Paragraph Settings dialog box with such an option.
Step 1: Open Microsoft Word, then select the paragraph to which you want to add a hanging indent.
Step 2: Right-click on the selection and select the paragraph option.
Step 3: Under Special, select the Hanging option from the drop-down menu.
Step 4: Press the “OK” button.
Another Method for Hanging Indents in Google Docs
You can also use the ruler to add a hanging indent to one of your document’s paragraphs.
Step 1: From the View menu at the top of the screen, select Show ruler.
Remember that if the ruler is visible above the paper, you don’t need to do anything else.
Step 2: Click inside the paragraph to indent it.
Step 3: To position the indentation, click and drag the down arrow on the ruler.
Step 4: Return the blue rectangle to its previous location.
You should now have a blue rectangle and a left indent marker that look like the image below.
If you’re using Google Docs on a mobile device, keep reading to learn how to place a dangling indent.
On an Android or iPhone, how can you insert hanging indents in Google Docs?
Many of the tools you’ll discover and use in Google Docs on your PC are also available in the Google Docs app, which is available for iPhone and Android devices.
You’ll need to utilize a workaround if you want to do it through the mobile app and one of the possibilities isn’t a dangling indent.
Step 1: Launch Google Docs and navigate to the document you wish to edit.
Step 2: Tap the pencil icon in the lower right corner of the screen.
Step 3: Double-tap at the second line of the paragraph.
You can alternatively place your cursor at the end of the previous line and press “Enter” to start a new line.
Step 4: Tap the highlighted “A” icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
Step 5: Select the Paragraph tab.
Step 6: Select the Right indent option.
You should now have a paragraph in your text with the first line aligned to the left margin and the following lines indented to the right.
If you followed our instructions for creating a hanging indent on Google Docs mobile above, your document should have the correct indentation pattern.
Matt Jacobs has been working as an IT consultant for small businesses since receiving his Master’s degree in 2003. While he still does some consulting work, his primary focus now is on creating technology support content for SupportYourTech.com.
His work can be found on many websites and focuses on topics such as Microsoft Office, Apple devices, Android devices, Photoshop, and more.