Formatting A Hanging Indent Using Google Docs

Working with Google Docs is one of the most common things you might do in your daily life. Nowadays, students often use this in creating their papers, may it be in the form of an essay, poem, article, or the like.

Google Docs

Usually, papers as such require students to achieve a certain format, especially in terms of their citations and references. 

If you still aren’t aware of how references should be formatted, you’ll be able to learn the proper way in this article. It requires to be indented in a way not similar to how you usually indent your paragraphs—this format is called the “hanging indentation.”

To format your references (or any part of your paper) more appropriately and formally, just follow these few steps, and you’re good to go!

1. Navigate to the Google Docs website using your web browser.

To begin, open your web browser (i.e. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, etc.), then go to Google Docs. Check if your account is signed in for you to be able to edit or create your document. If you haven’t logged in to your account yet, then make sure you do so before you proceed to the next steps.

2. Choose and edit one from your previously created documents.

Once you’ve logged into your account, browse through all your documents and select the one that you ought to edit. Open the selected document for you to begin formatting using the hanging indent function. 

3. Highlight the references that you wish to indent.

Select the reference or group of references that you want to format and highlight it. Make sure to highlight the whole reference to avoid mistakes. You can highlight it using your mouse or trackpads, but if you want to make use of your keyboard only, you may do so.

You’ll be able to do this by placing the text cursor (the blinking line which you can see in your document while typing) at the beginning of your paragraph. After that, simultaneously hold the Ctrl and right arrow keys from your keyboard until the entire reference is highlighted. 

4. Click on the “Format” tab on the menu located above.

Now that you’ve selected the reference or group of references that you wish to indent, you’ll notice that it’s entirely highlighted in blue. Navigate your cursor to the upper corner of your document, where the menu bar is located. Click on the “Format” tab to make a drop-down list appear.

5. Navigate your cursor down to “Align & indent” from the drop-down menu. 

On the drop-down list that has appeared, you’ll see various available submenus such as Text, Paragraph styles, Align & indent, Line spacing, Columns, Bullet & numbering, Headers & footers, and Clear formatting. Out of all those, navigate your cursor to the “Align & indent” submenu—where another list will appear.

6. Select “Indentation options” from the list. 

From the new list that appeared upon navigating to the aforementioned submenu, a new set of functions can be seen. Go through all of it, and select “Indentation options” that are located at the bottom of the list. A pop-up window will then emerge. 

7. Choose the “Hanging” option on the drop-down menu.

A drop-down menu can be found under the “Special” category. From there, click on the drop-down menu and select the “Hanging” option. Note that “Hanging” is usually selected as default, so you might not need to click on it anymore. However, just in case it isn’t, you’ll be able to navigate through it easily.

8. Click “Apply” to save the changes made.

Validate if you’ve chosen the options that are required to apply hanging indent to your selected references. If you’re certain that everything is set and is good to go, select the “Apply” button on the bottom-right corner of the Indentation options menu to save the changes you’ve made. 

Working With Google Docs

You should know by now that Google Docs has a lot to offer to make your paper more formal and accurate as possible, particularly if the outputs you’re creating require certain formalities. Can you imagine? With just a few simple instructions, you may step up your game in terms of improving the quality and appearance of your work!