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Indent the first line of a paragraph

Applies to: Word for Office 365, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013.

To indent the first line of a paragraph, place your cursor at the start of the paragraph and tap the tab key. After you press Enter to begin the next paragraph, its first line will be indented.

Tip: If you want to alter indentation for established paragraphs, use the tab-key method on the first paragraph, as outlined above. Then move your cursor at the start of the next paragraph. Press Backspace and then Enter. Repeat the process for new paragraphs.

First-line indent by default

If you always want first-line indentation, change the Normal style:

  1. Place the cursor anywhere in the paragraph.
  1. On the Home tab, right-click the Normal style, and select Modify.
Right-click the Normal style, and choose Modify
  1. Click Format, and then press Paragraph.
Select Format, and then choose Paragraph
  1. On the Indents and Spacing tab, beneath Indentation, choose First line.
The First Line Indent option is highlighted in the Paragraph dialog box
  1. Press OK.
  1. Click OK again.

Note: If you always want first-line indentation anytime you begin a new document, select the New documents based on this template option prior to choosing OK.
New documents based on this template - option in Modify Style dialog box

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