When you're writing a letter in a word processor, some programs feature automatic paragraph indenting. If your word processor doesn't, then the "Tab" key provides manual indents. The problem is that these indents don't transfer to email messages. If you're composing a message directly into the body of an email, or pasting the email from a word processor, "Tab" indentations don't always show up. Even when the "Tab" key works within your email, you shouldn't use it for indenting, because it may not display properly on the recipient's email account, according to "E-Mail User's Handbook: A Beginner's Guide."
Open your email message or word processor document.
Click on the place where you want to indent. In most email programs, a blinking line shows you what area of text is selected.
Press your keyboard's "Space Bar" five times. The guidebook "Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL Test" explains that five spaces are used in academic writing when the "Tab" key does not work. If you prefer to have shorter or longer indents, you can use a different number of spaces.
- "E-Mail User's Handbook: A Beginner's Guide"; Grant Burns; 2002
- "Cambridge Preparation for the TOEFL Test"; Jolene Gear, Robert Gear; 2006
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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