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How To Indent on Google Docs App

Google Docs App

Paragraph indenting can help us quickly differentiate one paragraph from another one. They can also be the standard way of a writing presentation, for example, in academic writing where references and citations require indentation. You could also often encounter projects or reports that require indentations in the document.

Quick Answer

You can indent a paragraph on Google Docs on your Android, iPhone, or PC using the format button on the application. Shortcut keys are also available on your PC for quickly making indentations on documents.

This article will explain using this format button to make indentations on your texts or paragraphs. It has also included ways to make hanging indentation necessary for academic citations.

How Do You Indent on Google Docs App Using an iPhone or Android?

On Google Docs, an Android or iPhone indentation has the same procedures. To indent on any of these phones, you should follow the steps below.

  1. Open your document in editing mode.
  2. Move your cursor to the line that you want to indent, and place the typing cursor at the beginning of the line.
  3. Press the Enter key. The document will move the words after the indentation line to the following line.
  4. Place the cursor on the indentation line. This time, you can put the cursor on any word in the line you want to indent.
  5. Tap the Format (A) button.
  6. Click “Paragraph“.
  7. Tap on the right indent icon.
Google Docs Paragraph Right Indent

Following step 3 above, you may have something like the image below. When such happens, the words in the indentation line can’t contain the line allotted to them. Hence, to remove these excessive words on the first line, you should move the cursor one or two words less, or as the case may be, and click Enter.

How Do You Indent Bullets in Google Docs?

To indent bullets in Google Docs, you should indent them the way you would indent a paragraph.

Here is how to indent a bullet point, especially when we have branching points under a list writing format.

  1. Move your cursor to the bullet point you want to indent in your bullet list.
  2. Click on the Format (A) button.
  3. Click on “Paragraph” and the right indent icon.
Format Button For Number List

You can efficiently perform steps 2 and 3 using the shortcut provided by Google Docs. You can do this when you tap the right index button in the extreme right corner of the formatting buttons just above your keyboard. The indent option is always directly available on bullet list points.

How To Indent Google Docs Using a PC

On your PC, you can use the Tab key, ruler button, or the indent shortcut keys to indent lines on Google Docs.

Here is how to indent Google Docs using a PC.

Method #1: Using the Tab Key

The Tab key is located on your PC keyboard and is the fastest way to indent lines on a PC.

Take a look at the easy steps.

  1. Move your cursor to the line you want to indent.
  2. Press the Tab key on your keyboard above the Caps Lock key.
Tab Key

Method #2: Using the Ruler Format Button

If your Tab key is nonfunctional on your keyboard, you should use the ruler button to indent a line on Google Docs.

Google Docs Ruler

Here is how to use the ruler on Google Docs to indent a line.

  1. Highlight the text you want to indent.
  2. Click “View” on the toolbar.
  3. Select “Show Ruler“.

Here, a horizontal bar and an inverted arrow will appear. The horizontal bar is for the first-line indentation, while the inverted arrow is for the left indentation.

First Line Indentation

  1. Drag the horizontal bar left or right. While dragging it, the bar will show the number of inches/space of indentation.
  2. When you reach your desired indentation length, stop dragging the horizontal bar.

Now, the document will indent your first line appropriately.

Left Indentation

  1. Drag the inverted arrow to the right.
  2. Stop dragging the pointer when you have reached your desired space of indentation. 

The inverted arrow allows you to indent all the lines in the paragraph at once, and, unlike the horizontal bar, it only indents the first line of the section.

Method #3: Using Shortcuts

You can use shortcut buttons for left and right indentation on PCs.

Right Indentation

  1. Go to the line that you want to indent.
  2. Press Ctrl + ] to apply or increase the indentation.

Left Indentation

  1. Move your cursor to the line of indentation.
  2. Press Ctrl + [ to decrease the indent.

How To Perform Hanging Indents

A hanging indent is also called a reverse indent because the indented line in the hanging indent is opposite the standard indent. In hanging indent, the indented line is not the first line but other lines apart from the first line.

This type of paragraph format is helpful for academic writings, for instance, when making academic citations and references.

Method #1: How To Make Hanging Indents on Android or iPhone

Making a hanging indent on Android or iPhone is simple. In this case, you need to indent other lines – for instance, the second line instead of the first line.

Here is how to make hanging indents on Android or iPhone.

  1. Move your cursor in front of the word where your indented line will begin.
  2. Tap the Enter or Return key to move your anticipated indented line to the following line.
  3. Tap on the Format (A) button.
  4. Under “Paragraph“, click the right indent icon.

Method #2: How To Make Hanging Indents on a PC

On your laptop or computer, the inverted arrow (full indentation) and the horizontal bar (first-line indentation) allow you to make hanging indents.

Here is how to make hanging indents on a laptop or computer.

  1. Highlight the paragraph or texts that you want to indent.
  2. Move all the highlighted paragraphs/texts to the right using the inverted arrow. Also, adjust it to the indented space you want to create.
  3. Using the horizontal bar, drag the first line to the left.

By now, your first line will be at the start of the line. On the other hand, the remaining line of your paragraph will start after the indented space making a hanging indent.


Making indentations on documents is non-complicated. This article has started the format buttons to use to make indentations. It has also included the ways to make indents on documents using your smartphones or your personal computer.

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