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How do I create a hanging indent in Word on my Works Cited page?

Last Updated: Jun 24, 2014  |  428821 Views

Was this helpful? 886   143


It's easier done than said:

  1. Place your cursor at the beginning of your second line, before any text
  2. Right click your mouse
  3. Select Paragraph from the resulting pop up menu
  4. Under Indentation, use the Special pull-down menu to select hanging
  5. Use the By menu to select 0.5"
Answered by Kathryn Park

Other Answers / Comments (50)

    by Oh yeah :) on Apr 09, 2013.
  2. WOW! Thank you so much! This was driving me bananas!
    by greyandwednesday on May 28, 2013.
  3. thank you
    by desperate student on Jun 05, 2013.
  4. I checked out 3 other sites to find this info! Thank you for making it so simple. I felt embarrassed to ask in class because I felt like I was the only one who didn't know how to do it!
    by gloria on Jun 07, 2013.
  5. Thank you so much!
    by Quest on Jul 14, 2013.
  6. I also send thanks. I looked at many other sets of directions without success. You made it so easy!
    by KLR on Aug 01, 2013.
  7. Thanks, was trying all types of things to get it to look like this.
    by Chris on Aug 06, 2013.
  8. Thank you sooooo much!!!
    by Shay on Aug 31, 2013.
  9. You have no idea how helpful this was. I was getting SO cranky. You are my hero.
    by m on Sep 27, 2013.
  10. thanks a bunch! Made my life 1000 times more easier :)
    by Pavi on Sep 30, 2013.
  11. Excellent job!
    by AB on Oct 09, 2013.
  12. i love you!!
    by Sam on Oct 13, 2013.
  13. When I highlight the 2nd line and do paragraph , indent, hanging for some reason it is indenting several lines not just the second line that I am highlighting! Please help, what am I doing wrong?
    by Rob on Oct 18, 2013.
  14. Hi-Don't highlight the second line; just put your cursor in front of it, before the text.

    Right click and select paragraph in the drop down menu. From there, you will see a box labelled Special. Select Hanging from the drop down menu. Hope that helps!
    by Erin McDaniel on Oct 18, 2013.
  15. This was a life-saver. Apple (Mac) sure keeps this information nicely hidden. I have been manually doing the hanging indent, and of course it's a mess & has the artificial spaces. This was easy to follow & worked like a charm. Yay!
    by Jill on Oct 24, 2013.
  16. Dear lord...Could've saved myself a semester of rage if I had only found you sooner.

    Thank you.
    by Dakota on Nov 06, 2013.
  17. OMG!!! That was so simple! Thank you!!!!
    by Liz on Nov 07, 2013.
  18. Thank you so much!! I had no idea it was that easy to do!
    by Greg on Nov 17, 2013.
  19. Thanks!!
    by Amy on Nov 19, 2013.
  20. Thanks !
    by Akshay on Dec 01, 2013.
  21. If you are using Mac, simply highlight paragraph and choose format > paragraph and enter .5 in the indention area. Note: The instructions COM Librarian found online state to highlight the text, access the paragraph menu using the Format menu at the top of the screen, select Indents and Spacing, click Special, select Hanging, make sure the indentation is .5, and hit OK. Just want to be sure our bases are covered.
    by D- on Dec 02, 2013.
  22. Thanks so much I forget how to do this every other paper now I have this saved to my toolbar to grab for a quick memory refresher.
    by Nikki on Jan 20, 2014.
  23. Thanks. Why the hell is it hidden like that?
    by Brian on Jan 22, 2014.
  24. thanks so much so easy thought it was gunna be complicated :)
    by chris on Jan 26, 2014.
  25. Hey thanks haha
    by Skyler on Feb 18, 2014.
  26. Yayyyy thank you SO much!! I had gone into rage mode, wish I had found this sooner, haha! Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!
    by YAYYY FINALLY :D on Mar 03, 2014.
  27. Thank you. Was lost
    by Alex on Mar 16, 2014.
  28. Thank you a ton! That was very very helpful. :)
    by Happy Student on Mar 27, 2014.
  29. er-mur-gerd!!!
    We didn't even bring this up in class. THANKS SO MUCH!
    (Computer literacy made easy!!!) :)
    by katyah on Mar 30, 2014.
  30. Thanks for the info!! Very helpful!
    by Happy user on Apr 07, 2014.
  31. THANK YOU! I was having a heck of time trying to figure this out. Now I know and knowing is half the battle...
    by Becky on Apr 09, 2014.
  32. I have been looking at my paper for an hr....thank you!
    by Tommy Rogers on Apr 09, 2014.
  33. You can also make life easier by highlighting the bibliography (as long as there is a line between each entry) and right clicking> paragraph> special (this is in the indentation section above line spacing)> hanging.
    It will automatically format with the hanging indent!
    by Ijaz on Apr 14, 2014.
  34. thankyou!!!
    by liz on Apr 18, 2014.
  35. Thank you so much! I was looking all over for this :)
    by Awesome guy on Apr 18, 2014.
  36. Thank You!!!
    by Rob on Apr 21, 2014.
  37. THANK YOU!!! This was making me crazy!
    by Chelsea on Apr 28, 2014.
  38. I was lost on hanging indentation as well, and you made it SUPER EASY to do! Thanks a lot!!!!
    by Tianna on Apr 30, 2014.
  39. Thank you SO much! This was extremely helpful :) I've been trying to figure this out for months lol.
    by Racheal on Jun 24, 2014.
  40. the simplest is: 1. put your cursor anywhere in the paragraph 2. in the ruler (up) drag the lower corner (triangle) to 5 (or any number you like) 3. Presto, you are indented. Note: Notice your ruler has two triangle and one rectangle. Learn to play with those three bar. Edit by COM Librarian: This is certainly another option. If you can't see the ruler above your document: 1. Select the View tab 2. In the Show area, put a check mark next to the ruler option. 3. You will drag the bottom triangle and the little rectangle underneath it. 4. For instructions from Microsoft w/ an illustration, copy and paste this web address into your browser's address bar:
    by mac on Jul 09, 2014.
  41. So you don't have to do that repeatedly on each new source, start your bibliography on a new page. Then after step 5, above, click "set as default" to automatically format the rest of your citations with a hanging indent! This was great help! I had to roam the web a while before finding this! :P
    by Jen on Aug 07, 2014.
  42. Why can't teachers make it this easy? thanks a lot!!!
    by Caitlin on Sep 08, 2014.
  43. it only worked for one, the other two had the first line moving with them
    by zdgsfi on Oct 12, 2014.
  44. Hi zdgsfi

    It sounds to me like the other citations you tried to format were probably copied and pasted into your Word document, and it probably brought over some formatting with it. You can click the paragraph symbol in the Paragraph section in the Ribbon to reveal formatting. In 2010, it's the symbol on the top right of that area. Remove any unwanted breaks.

    You can also try re-pasting, and choose to merge formatting or keep the text only, and one of those options should eliminate that formatting. If you keep the text only, be sure to change the font, add back any italics, etc.
    by Erin McDaniel on Oct 15, 2014.
  45. Wow~ Thank you very much. That really help. Bless you. ^_^
    by Aiman Halim on Oct 16, 2014.
  46. I'm on a Mac and using Google Chrome. There is no "Special" drop down in the paragraph formatting box.

    My options are indentation before text and after text. Both affect the entire paragraph.

    There is also no ruler at the top of the screen to make any adjustments and there isn't one under the view menu to turn on. (11/16/14)
    by mlitty on Nov 16, 2014.
  47. If you're using the online version of MS Word, it can't be done.
    According to Microsoft, "Word Online will preserve a hanging indent already in your document, but it doesn't yet provide a way to add one."

    FYI: Google Drive/Docs can do this easily and allows downloading as MS .docx.
    by mlitty on Nov 16, 2014.
  48. mlitty, I am assuming you are in Google Docs/Google Drive?

    No, you cannot create a hanging indent in Google Docs they way you would in Word, but there is a work around solution:

    1. After entering you citation, hit enter after the first line.

    2. At the beginning of the second line of your citation, us the increase indent option on the Google docs toolbar.

    3. Your citation will now be both double spaced and have a hanging indent. If your citation has more than two lines, you'll need to hit enter after the second line as well, but the indent will already be there.
    by Kathryn Park on Nov 17, 2014.
    by Paco on Feb 18, 2015.
  50. I have used this at least 20 times, so at least 20 thank yous to you!
    by Jeff on Mar 18, 2015.

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