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How to Create a Hanging Indent in Word

November 16, 2018

Hanging indents can drive you nuts.

You’re already nervous you used italics incorrectly in your Works Cited page in Microsoft Word, and now you can’t figure out the stupid indent for the second line.

Don’t worry – I got you.

Hanging indent in Word

I suggest writing out your entire bibliography, highlighting it all at once, and then following the above 6 steps. Easy-peasy.

If you’re more of a visual person, following are screenshots of each step.

1. Highlight your entire citation

Here's a version of a bibliography I created for an old Spanish essay (it still needed edits at this time, don't judge me). 

hanging-indent-word

2. Right-click your mouse

Or if you're using a Mac laptop, press +ctrl+mouse click. 

3. Select ‘Paragraph’

In the menu that appears after you have clicked, select 'Paragraph' about two-thirds of the way down.

microsoft-word-hanging-indent

4. Under ‘Indentation,’ in the ‘Special:’ field select ‘Hanging’

In the pop-up window that appears, look to the fields under 'Indentation.' In the 'Special:' field, select 'Hanging' from the drop-down menu.

how-to-do-a-hanging-indent

5. Enter .5” in ‘By:’ field

Sometimes, after you select 'Hanging' the 'By:' field will automatically populate with .5". If not, fill it in.

word-hanging-indent

6. Hit ‘OK’

Afterward, your bibliography should look like this!

how-to-indent-second-line

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Hanging indents made easy!

Now your Works Cited page is clean and correct. No points will be knocked off for those indents!

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