How do I indent the second line in Word? In this essay offered by MiniTool team, it will teach you two easy methods that you can quickly remember. Also, it will tell you how to do the first-line indent. Those methods apply to Word 2013, Word 2016, Word 2019, and Word for Microsoft 365.

About Indent in Word

The indent styles are applied to a paragraph where sentences are typed to the end without pressing the Enter key. if you press Enter, it will start a new paragraph and the indent style over again. If you want to start another line within the same paragraph that continues the format, just press “Shift + Enter”. It will start a new line without leaving the paragraph.

Second Line Indent vs First Line Indent

In general, there are 2 indent types in a paragraph, First Line indent and Second Line indent (also called Hanging indent).

Second Line Indent

The Second Line indent sets off the first line of a paragraph by positioning it at the margin and then indenting each subsequent line of the paragraph.

Second Line Indent

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First Line Indent

The First Line indent only indents the very first line of a paragraph, while putting the rest of the lines within the paragraph at the margin.

First Line Indent

No Indent

As you can figure out from the Second Line indent and First Line indent, no indent will lie all lines of a paragraph at the margin in the Word document.

No Indent

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How to Indent Second Line in Word?

Then, how to indent the Second Line in Word? Just follow the below guide.

Step 1. Select the content where you would like to add a Second Line indent. Just put your mouse cursor at the start of the target text. Then, hold the left button of the mouse, drag the cursor to the end of the target area, and release your mouse.

Step 2. Under the Home tab of the Word application, go to the Paragraph section. Click the little arrow icon in the bottom right corner of the Paragraph section to open the Paragraph Settings window.

Step 3. In the default Indents and Spacing tab of the Paragraph settings window, under the Special settings, click the down arrow and select the indent type you like.

Set Paragraph Indent

Step 4. Click OK to save changes and exit the settings.

If you choose the First line or Hanging in step 3 above, you are able to further set the indent depth with the By field behind the Special settings.

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How to Make Second Line Indent in Word as Default Format?

If you always want the Second Line indentation, you can modify the Normal style of your Word paragraph.

Step 1. Put your mouse cursor anywhere in the Word.

Step 2. In the Home tab, move to the Styles section. There, right-click on the Normal style and select Modify.

Step 3. In the pop-up Modify Style window, click the Format in the bottom left corner and choose Paragraph in the pop-up menu.

Set Normal Paragraph Format

Step 4. Then, it will open the Paragraph settings window. There, just specify the paragraph indent style like described in the above content.

If you always want the Second Line indent style whenever you create a new Word document, just select the “New document based on this template” option in the above Modify Style window, in the lower part, right above the Format button.

Also read: How to Quickly Remove Watermark in Word in 2021 (Windows 10/11)?

Quickly Set up First Line Indent

Both of the above two ways can also set up the First Line indent for a Word file. Yet, there is another easier way to quickly indent the First Line in a paragraph.

Put your cursor at the very beginning of the target paragraph and press the Tab key. Then, you will see the paragraph turns into the First Line indent style. If you press Enter to start the next paragraph from this paragraph, the first line of the next paragraph is indented automatically.

If you want to set several continuous paragraphs that are already done to the First Line indent style. Just set the first paragraph of them as the First Line indent using the Tab key. then, merge the next paragraph with the first paragraph by putting the cursor at the beginning of the next paragraph and pressing the Backspace key. Then, splitting the two paragraphs by pressing the Enter key, and the new second paragraph will become First Line indent. Use the same way to set the rest of the paragraphs into First Line indent.

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When to Use Line Indent?

You should use the Second Line indent, also known as the Hanging indent, for the additional lines if your works cited entry is longer than 2 lines. The second line indent is widely used in reference lists, works cited pages, as well as formatting bibliographies to make each entry easier to read.

While the First Line indent is the most common way to signal the start of a new paragraph.

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