How to Do Hanging Indent on Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide


Michael Collins

Creating a hanging indent in Google Docs is easier than you might think. With a few clicks, you can format your document just the way you want it. Whether you’re writing an essay or creating a bibliography, a hanging indent can give your work a polished, professional look. Let’s dive into how you can achieve this formatting feature on Google Docs.

Step by Step Tutorial for Hanging Indent on Google Docs

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand what we’re aiming for here. A hanging indent is when the first line of your paragraph is not indented, but the following lines are. It’s commonly used in bibliographies and works cited pages.

Step 1: Highlight the text

Highlight the paragraph or text you want to apply the hanging indent to.

Once you’ve selected the text, you’re ready to start formatting.

Step 2: Right-click and select “Paragraph”

After highlighting your text, right-click and look for the option that says “Paragraph”.

The Paragraph window is where you’ll find all sorts of formatting options, but we’re here for the indents!

Step 3: Under “Indentation”, select “Hanging”

Find the drop-down menu under “Special indent” and choose “Hanging”.

You’ll notice there’s an option to set the size of the indent; the standard is 0.5 inches.

Step 4: Click “Apply”

Once you’ve set your hanging indent to the desired size, click “Apply”.

Voila! You should now see your text formatted with a hanging indent.

After you’ve completed these steps, your document will have a sleek hanging indent that makes your text easy to read and visually appealing. This format is particularly useful for academic papers where citation styles, such as MLA or APA, are required.

Tips for Hanging Indent on Google Docs

  • If you’re working on a bibliography, apply the hanging indent after you’ve finished inputting all your sources.
  • Using the ruler at the top of the page can also help you create a hanging indent by dragging the indent markers.
  • Remember that a hanging indent only affects the lines after the first one, so it shouldn’t be used for a paragraph indent.
  • You can use the “Increase indent” and “Decrease indent” buttons on the toolbar, but they won’t give you a true hanging indent.
  • Always save your document after formatting to ensure you don’t lose your work.

Frequently Asked Questions on Hanging Indent on Google Docs

Can I apply a hanging indent to multiple paragraphs at once?

Yes, you can. Just highlight all the paragraphs you want to format before right-clicking and following the steps.

What size should I set my hanging indent to?

The standard size for a hanging indent is 0.5 inches, but you can adjust it according to your needs or guidelines provided by a style manual.

Will my hanging indent be saved if I download my Google Doc as a PDF?

Yes, the formatting you apply in Google Docs will be retained if you download the document as a PDF.

Is there a keyboard shortcut for creating a hanging indent in Google Docs?

Unfortunately, there’s no direct keyboard shortcut for creating a hanging indent, but you can use the menu or ruler method.

Can I create a hanging indent on the Google Docs mobile app?

Creating a hanging indent on the mobile app is not straightforward, but you can adjust indents using the app’s formatting options.


  1. Highlight the text.
  2. Right-click and select “Paragraph”.
  3. Under “Indentation”, select “Hanging”.
  4. Click “Apply”.


There you have it! A straightforward guide on how to do a hanging indent on Google Docs. This simple formatting tool can make a huge difference in the appearance of your document, giving it a professional and organized look. Whether you’re a student, an academic, or just someone looking to improve their document formatting skills, mastering the hanging indent is a valuable addition to your writing toolkit. Keep practicing, and soon you’ll be able to do it with your eyes closed! If you’ve found this guide helpful, why not share it with fellow Google Docs users? Happy formatting!