How to Indent on Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Indenting on Google Docs is a breeze once you know how! You can give your document that polished, professional look with just a few clicks. Whether you’re working on an essay, a report, or any other document, learning to indent correctly is crucial. So let’s get started and make your document look its best!

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Indent on Google Docs

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand what these instructions will help you achieve. Indenting text in Google Docs can help organize your content, create a visual hierarchy, and make your document easier to read. Follow these steps, and you’ll be indenting like a pro in no time.

Step 1: Open your document in Google Docs

The first thing you need to do is open the Google Docs document you want to work on.

Once you have your document open, you’ll see the toolbar at the top of the page. This is where you’ll find all the tools you need to indent your text.

Step 2: Place your cursor where you want to indent

Click at the beginning of the line of text where you want to create the indent.

It’s crucial to place the cursor correctly, otherwise, you might end up indenting the wrong part of your document. Make sure the blinking cursor is exactly where you want the indent to start.

Step 3: Use the ruler to create the indent

If the ruler is not visible, click "View" in the top menu and check "Show ruler." Then, use the ruler at the top of the page to set your indent.

The ruler is a handy tool that gives you control over how much you want to indent your text. You can use the left indent marker (the light blue rectangle) for standard indents or the first line indent marker (the blue triangle) for paragraph-first-line indents.

Step 4: Drag the indent marker to your desired position

Click and drag the indent marker on the ruler to the right to create an indent.

As you drag the indent marker, you’ll see your text move to the right as well. The ruler is marked in inches, so you can be precise about how much you want to indent.

After completing these steps, your text will be indented to the position you selected. You can adjust the indent at any time by dragging the marker again or using the other tips provided below.

Tips for Indenting on Google Docs

  • If you want to indent the entire paragraph, use the left indent marker.
  • For a first-line paragraph indent, use the first line indent marker.
  • To quickly indent without the ruler, you can use the Tab key on your keyboard for a standard 0.5-inch indent.
  • If you need to undo an indent, simply drag the indent marker back to its original position or press Shift + Tab.
  • Customize your indent by dragging the indent markers to your desired measurement on the ruler.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I indent the second line of a paragraph for a citation?

To indent the second line of a paragraph, like for citations in a bibliography, drag the hanging indent marker (the inverted triangle) on the ruler to the right.

Can I indent text in Google Docs using the menu instead of the ruler?

Yes, you can go to "Format" > "Align & indent" > "Indentation options" and set specific values for your indents.

Is there a shortcut key for indenting?

Yes, the Tab key acts as a shortcut for a standard 0.5-inch indent. To decrease an indent, use Shift + Tab.

How do I remove an indent I’ve made by mistake?

Drag the indent marker back to its original position or use the undo command (Ctrl + Z or Command + Z).

Can I set different indentations for different paragraphs?

Absolutely! Just place your cursor at the beginning of each paragraph and set the indent markers individually.


  1. Open your document in Google Docs.
  2. Place your cursor where you want to indent.
  3. Use the ruler to create the indent.
  4. Drag the indent marker to your desired position.


Indenting text in Google Docs is an essential skill that can enhance the readability and organization of your document. Whether you’re a student writing a paper, a professional crafting a business report, or anyone in between, understanding how to indent on Google Docs is crucial. With the steps and tips provided in this article, you’re now equipped to create documents that are not only informative but also visually appealing.

Remember, the key to indenting is precision and consistency. Use the tools Google Docs provides, such as the ruler and indent markers, to customize your indents to fit the style and requirements of your document. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different indent sizes to find what works best for your needs. And if you ever make a mistake or change your mind, it’s easy to adjust or remove indents as necessary.

Indenting might seem like a small detail, but it can make a big difference in the overall presentation of your work. So go ahead, open up Google Docs, and give it a try. Happy writing, and happy indenting!