How to Make Hanging Indents in a Google Doc

by Kevin Lee
Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

You may not use hanging indents often in your documents, but you might need to use them if you ever create a Modern Language Association bibliography. Unlike a standard indentation, a hanging indent moves a paragraph's first line to the left and its remaining lines to the right. It's not difficult to add a hanging indent to one paragraph manually, but it could take time to a format a large document. You won't find a "Create Hanging Indent" button in Google Docs, but you will find a control that can help you create this special formatting.

Step 1

Open a Google Docs document containing multiple paragraphs.

Step 2

Click "View" and select "Show Ruler" if you do not see a ruler at the top of the document. Two blue buttons appear on the ruler's left edge. A tiny blue rectangle sits above an inverted triangle.

Step 3

Select the paragraphs you'd like to indent, or press "Ctrl-A" to indent all of the paragraphs in the document.

Step 4

Click the ruler's blue triangle, hold down your left mouse button and drag the triangle to the right where you want the paragraph indentation to begin.

Click the rectangle above the triangle and drag it all the way to the ruler's left edge. When you do that, the first line in each paragraph moves to the document's left edge creating the hanging indent effect.


  • If you want to indent every line in a document, select the document’s text and drag the rectangle to the right. You might wish to do this, for example, to increase the document’s left margin.


Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

After majoring in physics, Kevin Lee began writing professionally in 1989 when, as a software developer, he also created technical articles for the Johnson Space Center. Today this urban Texas cowboy continues to crank out high-quality software as well as non-technical articles covering a multitude of diverse topics ranging from gaming to current affairs.

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