How to Set the Hanging Indent in OpenOffice

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A hanging indent is the opposite of a traditional indent. In a traditional indent, the first line of a paragraph is shifted to the right of the entire body of the paragraph. In a hanging indent, the first line is shifted to the left of the entire body of the paragraph. A hanging indent is most commonly found in the bibliography section of a paper, with the author of the reference's name making up all or a portion of the hanging indent. OpenOffice allows you to adjust the indentation of your paragraphs, which allows you to create a hanging indent.

  • Open the OpenOffice document in which you would like to use the hanging indent.

  • Click "Format" at the top of the window. Select "Styles and Formatting."

  • Select the "Default" style.

  • Right-click a blank space in the Styles and Formatting window and then select "New" from the context menu.

  • Enter a new name for the style, such as "Hanging Indent."

  • Click the tab labeled "Indentations and Spacing."

  • Enter ".25" in the field labeled Before Text.

  • Enter "-.25" in the field labeled "First Line."

  • Click "OK" to save the style.

Tips & Warnings

  • To insert the hanging indent into your document, click "Format" and then click "Styles and Formatting." Place the cursor in the location that you would like to insert the hanging indent and double-click the name of your newly created style.

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