Answered By: Sara Fillbrandt, Digital Services Librarian
Last Updated: May 07, 2019     Views: 960

What is a hanging indent?

A hanging indent is an APA guideline for formatting your reference page. What does a hanging indent look like? The first line of your reference citation will line up with the left margin and each line after will be indented one-half inch from the left margin. It basically is opposite of a normal paragraph where you indent the first line. Here is an example: 

How do I create a hanging indent using Microsoft Word? 

Microsoft Word has a feature that can be activated to create a "hanging indent."  This feature is particularly useful when creating references page citations. 

1. Highlight the text that you wish to reformat to have a hanging indent (ie, a reference page citation).

2. Locate the "Paragraph" section of the ribbon at the top of the page and click on the arrow in the lower right corner.

3. Locate "Special" in the center of the window that appears.

4. Click on the down arrow and select "Hanging."

5. Click "OK" at the bottom of the window.

6. The window will disappear and your highlighted text will have a hanging indent.

Hanging indent specifications


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