How to Create a Hanging Indent in Word

Holly Hunt Holly Hunt  |  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). 


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.


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.


5. Enter .5” in ‘By:’ field

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


6. Hit ‘OK’

Afterward, your bibliography should look like this!


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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! 

What more Word Hacks? Check out:

What are some other roadblocks you're running into on Word? I'd love to hear from you. 

Having a hard time getting rid of an extra page after your Works Cited page? Here's how to delete an extra page in Word. And hey, give yourself some space and learn how to double space in Word.


Holly Hunt

Holly is a team lead on the content marketing team. An avid reader and writer, Holly graduated from the University of Missouri with a dual major in Journalism and English. Prior to joining G2, she lived in Madison, WI, ate a horrifying amount of cheese curds, and then found her way to Chicago for a content writing gig. (she/her/hers)

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