In Google Docs, you can easily indent the first line by using the tab key or adjusting the First Line Indent marker from the ruler. It automatically indents the first line by half an inch to the right no matter where you insert the tab key in a paragraph.
But what if you don’t want the first line to be indented? Can you indent the second line specifically while writing a citation or Bibliography that needs to follow a specific format?
As a matter of fact, you can. And, here’s our complete guide on how to do it.
Should You Indent Second Line on Google Docs?
Usually, you use first-line indents to make the paragraphs distinguishable from each other and easier to read.
On the other hand, when writing academic papers like a research paper or thesis, you need to follow a specific structure or format such as APA, Chicago, MLA, or any other. Here, hanging indents are essential to format the document accordingly.
How to Indent Second Line in Google Docs
You can indent a second line on Google Docs using a hanging indent. A hanging indent is also called a second line indent. Thus, indenting a second line is the same as creating a hanging indent. It indents all the selected text except the first line of the paragraph.
There are different ways to indent the second line on Google Docs if you are using a web version. You can use the ruler, indent shortcut, or tweak a few settings.
However, if you are using an app version of Google Docs, you need to go through the settings.
So, let’s get right into the article to learn about the different ways you can create a hanging indent on the Web version and mobile phones.
Manually Adjusting the Markers on the Ruler
Since this method requires markers on the ruler, make sure you have the ruler on display. If it’s not, click on the “View” menu and select the “Show ruler” option. Then, follow the steps below.
- Select the text you want to indent.
- Now, drag the Left indent to the right using the ruler. For your information, the left indent icon looks like a down arrow, and the first indent looks like a horizontal line.
- Next, drag the First Line indent to the left and you have everything indented except the first line.
Using Google Docs Settings
Google Docs itself provides a way to create a hanging indent. Here’s how you can access the necessary settings on both the web version and the mobile app.
On the Google Docs Web version
If adjusting markers is a little inconvenient for you, you can tweak the settings as follows.
- Select all the text you want to indent.
- Then, click on the Format menu and navigate to Align & indent > Indentation options.
- Now, click to expand the dropdown under the Special indent section and select the “Hanging” option.
- Finally, click on Apply.
On the Mobile App
There is no ruler available in the Google Docs mobile app. However, you can use a workaround method. This works for both Android and iPhone devices. Here’s how you can do it.
- Tap and place the cursor at the start of the second line. Alternatively, you can place it anywhere you want to indent.
- Then, tap the return key or enter the key only once.
- Now, tap on the little ‘A’ icon from the top menu, and a pop-up appears from the bottom.
- Tap to the Paragraph tab, and then tap the right-indent icon.
- When done, tap on the tick icon in the top right corner.
Using the Indent Shortcut
You can use the indent shortcut below the Menu bar to indent the second line on Google Docs. For this,
- Place the cursor where you want to indent and press Enter to separate the text.
- Then, click on the Increase indent icon below the Menu bar. Alternatively, you can use the shortcut key Ctrl + ].
How to Indent the Second Line on Microsoft Word?
You can indent the second line on Microsoft Word by using the hanging indent. Here’s how you can do it.
- First of all, select the text you want to indent.
- Then, under the Home tab, click on the dialog box launcher next to the Paragraph.
- Now, below the Special field, select the Hanging option from the dropdown menu.
- Additionally, you can also set the length of the indent in inches under the By field.