How to Set Auto-Indent in Microsoft Word

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Microsoft Word is all about making good-looking documents for personal or business use. Microsoft Word can even auto indent the first line of every paragraph. This is a very handy feature to learn, because in many applications, simply using the < Tab > key in Word will confuse other programs because it uses special code. The auto-indent feature eliminates this hassle.

  • Start the Microsoft Word application. At the top, in between "Insert" and "Tools," Click on "Format" (blue highlighted section with the blue circle in the caption).

  • Scroll down to "Paragraph" (blue highlighted text with blue arrow in caption) and right click it. This will open up the "Paragraph options" box and allow you to customize a few things, including auto-indent.

  • Go to the "Indentation" box in the second section from the top, and hit the drop-down arrow in the "Special" column (the left option in the red box in caption), and choose "First Line." Then click the drop-down arrow in the "By" column and choose how much indent you wish the document to have--standard is 0.5. Then, click “OK” (located in the green box in caption) and your document will auto-indent by half an inch at the start of every new paragraph.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are submitting a story or article on the Internet, find out beforehand how much indent the editors wish to see for each paragraph.
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