Answered By: Jeffrey Orrico
Last Updated: Feb 01, 2017     Views: 612

  A “hanging indent” is the opposite layout from the familiar “first line indent” commonly used to begin paragraphs.  The first line of a paragraph with a hanging indent is flush-left, at the left margin; other lines are indented a number of spaces, e.g. 5 spaces, as shown in the second example below (in Chicago style).  This format is used in bibliographies for many citation styles, such as MLA, APA, and Chicago.  It’s also one of several ways to visually separate content in a list and call attention to the first word of each paragraph.

To have the items in your list formatted automatically, click on the arrow in the lower right corner of the “Paragraph” section of the “Home” ribbon in Microsoft Word®.  This opens a dialog box which includes options for “Indentation”.  Click on the drop-down menu labeled “Special”, then select “Hanging”.  The format will be applied to all subsequent paragraphs or the portion of the text you had selected.  (see image below).

Ask Us

Your Question
Your Info
Fields marked with * are required.