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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to add a hanging impression in Microsoft Word

How to add a hanging impression in Microsoft Word



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A hanging indentation is used to place the first row of each paragraph against the margin, with each additional row indented. If you want to add hanging indents to a Microsoft Word document, this is what you need to do.

You will see pending features applied when adding bibliographies to Microsoft Word to meet the style guide requirements for certain types of academic documents. However, you can use hanging indents for any reason, as they allow you to emphasize the beginning of each new paragraph for clarity.

RELATED: How to automatically add quotes and bibliographies to Microsoft Word

Add a hanging slash to a Microsoft Word document

A hanging indent can be applied to individual paragraphs or to the document as a whole. If you apply a hanging indent, the first line is held in the normal position, square to the margins of your document, with each additional line pressed inward.

An example of a hanging indent that is applied to multiple paragraphs in a Microsoft Word document

To apply the hanging indent to a single paragraph, place the flashing cursor in that paragraph in the text first or select the paragraph as a whole. You can also apply the setting to multiple blocks of text at the same time by selecting multiple paragraphs.

If you want to apply this setting to the entire document, you can do so later. Currently, you can place your flashing cursor anywhere in your document.

Example text from a Microsoft Word document with a paragraph selected.

Once your text has been selected, click on the “Home” tab in the menu tab. From here, select the “Extra Options” icon in the lower right corner of the “Paragraph” section.

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This opens the “Paragraph” settings window. Click the “Special” drop-down menu, which appears under the “Retraction” section on the “Retraction and Distance” tab.

From here, select the “Hanging” option.

Select

You can select how much the text should be pressed by resizing the “By” box next to this setting, by the size in centimeters.

A preview is displayed at the bottom, so you can see what the text will look like when the setting is applied.

Change the depth of field using

Apply a hanging indentation only to selected text

If you only want to use the hanging indentation setting on the text you have selected, click the “OK” button at the bottom of the “Paragraph” settings window.

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This will ensure that any text you have not selected is not affected by any changes you have made here.

An example of text from a Microsoft Word document, with a hanging indent applied to the first paragraph.

Apply a hanging indentation to the entire document

To use this setting as the default in your current document (or any future document), click “Set as Default” at the bottom of the “Paragraph” window instead.

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You will be asked if you want to apply this change to your current document or apply it to all future documents. Select either the “Documents Only” or “All Documents Based on Normal.dotm Template” option, then click “OK” to confirm your selection.

Choose whether to apply the changes to your current document or to all future documents, then click

If you select the “Documents only” option, the hanging indent will be applied to all text in your current document. If you select the “All documents based on Normal.dotm template” option, a dash will be applied to your current document, as well as any future documents you create.




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