How to Create a Hanging Indent in Microsoft Word

Depending on the nature of your work or projects, you may not frequently use hanging indents. They are commonly used in bibliography or works cited pages. If you are new to using them or need a refresher, you may be wondering how to create a hanging indent in Microsoft Word.

How to Create a Hanging Indent in Microsoft Word on Windows

These instructions are applicable to various versions of Microsoft Word for Windows, including Word for Microsoft 365, Word 2021, Word 2019, Word 2016, and Word 2013.

Step 1: Open the Word document that you want to edit and select the paragraphs that you want to indent.


Step 2: Next, go to the Home tab and click on the dialog box launcher button in the Paragraph subsection located in the bottom right corner.


Step 3: When the Paragraph dialog box appears, navigate to the Indents and Spacing tab. Under the Indentation section, there is a drop-down menu labeled Special. Click on the drop-down menu and select Hanging from the options.

Click OK, and your selected paragraphs will now have hanging indents.


How to Create a Hanging Indent in Microsoft Word on MacOS

Microsoft Word functions a bit differently on MacOS, but you can still create hanging indents with the right steps. Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Start by highlighting the specific paragraph or list that you want to have a hanging indent.

Step 2: Right-click on the highlighted text and choose the Paragraph… option from the menu.

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Step 3: This will open the paragraph menu, which is similar to the PC version’s menu. Look for the Indentation section.

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Step 4: Within the Indentation section, find the Special dropdown menu, which is initially set to None. Select it and choose Hanging.

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Step 5: Hanging indents will now be automatically applied. The section on the left of Special indicates the depth of the hanging indent, starting at 0.5 inches. You can manually adjust this length to your preference. Once done, select OK to save the changes.

Step 6: If you want hanging indents to be the default setting for all your work, you can choose Set as Default. However, this option is unnecessary if you only require hanging indents for specific documents.

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How to Enable Hanging Indents in Chrome OS

For Chromebook users, we recommend utilizing the lightweight Microsoft Word web app, which can be accessed by signing in with your Microsoft account. This will save space while still allowing you to create hanging indents.

Step 1: Open a Word document through Microsoft’s online services and highlight the text you wish to convert into a hanging indent.

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Step 2: On the upper menu options, look for the three-dot icon (more settings) on the right side and select it.

Step 3: From the dropdown menu, choose Special Indent, and then select Hanging. The indent will be applied to the selected text.

Step 4: Remember that documents created in this web app are saved to OneDrive and can be easily accessed from other computers.

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