How To Create A Hanging Indent In Google Docs with Video Demo

A Hanging Indent is a section of text where the second and subsequent lines are all indented farther than the first line. In this post, I’ll explain how to create a hanging indent in Google Docs. I have also included a video that I created especially for this post which may be preferred by people who are visual learners.

While having a hanging indent may not be required for everyday writing tasks, it is expected in the following types of written content:

  • Cited Works
  • Pages of Reference
  • Bibliographies
  • Entries in Dictionaries
  • Footnotes
  • Scripts

If you are writing papers containing citations, then you’ll indeed be expected to use hanging indents. Certain legal documents will require this format and universities will also assume this style from their students.

What Does a Hanging Indent Look Like?

Here is an example:

Hanging Indent Example Image

Create A Hanging Indent In Google Docs.

#1 On opening your Google Docs worksheet, you’ll first need to ensure that the Ruler is showing. On my Google Docs document it appears by default and looks like this:

Google Docs Hanging Indent Ruler Image

In the diagram above you can see the ruler beneath the main toolbar.

If the ruler is not showing by default when you open your document, you can open it by going to the menu at the top-left of the screen and select: View then Show Ruler.

#2 Next, Highlight the entire section where your citations have been written.

Example of Highlighting All The Citation Text:

Highlight Text Image

#3 The next step is to move the small, blue triangle on the toolbar to the right, as shown below:

Slide The Blue Triangle On The Ruler To The Right Image

#4 The fourth and final step is to slide the small, blue rectangle on the toolbar to the left, as shown below:

Slide The Blue Rectangle On The Ruler To The Left Image

For people who prefer watching a video instead of reading instructions, I have created this short video for you:

How To Create A Hanging Indent In Google Docs Video (Duration: 42 seconds) No Sound

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