Word has many features that can be used to format professional-looking documents. Earlier, we changed the line spacing. Now we will adjust the margins and modify indents.
Viewing the Ruler
When adjusting text alignments such as margins, tabs, and indents, it is helpful, and often necessary, to utilize Word's ruler.
First we need to view the ruler. The ruler can be activated in the View command tab.
Step 1. To move to the View command tab, on the Ribbon, if necessary,
Click the View tab
Step 2. To show the Ruler, in the Show group, if necessary,
Click the Ruler checkbox
There are several ways to change the margins. We can change them for an entire document, or just for certain sections. We'll use the Page Setup dialog box as well as the ruler to adjust alignment in our document.
The Page Setup dialog box allows the adjustment of the margins, paper size, paper source, and the layout of the document. Adjustments can be applied to specific parts of a document by highlighting sections of text before opening the Page Setup dialog box.
The Page Setup options are located on the Layout command tab.
Step 1. To switch to the Layout command tab, on the Ribbon,
Click the Layout tab
Step 2. To access the Page Setup dialog box, in the Page Setup group,
NOTE for MacOS Users: To open the dialog box, Click , Click Custom Margins...
Step 3. To change the left margin, in the Left field,
Press & Drag across the value, type: 1.5
Step 4. To accept these changes,
Step 5. To see preset margins, in the Page Setup group,
Step 6. To select the Normal margins,
When working in Word, we can use the tab key to indent the first line of a paragraph. However, using an indent will move the entire left side of a selected section of text to the right. Either a tab or an indent will alter the appearance of the ruler.
Let's increase the visual impact of the paragraph in the introduction by indenting it using Word's Increase Indent button.
Step 1. To view the introduction, press:
Control key+Home key
Step 2. To position the cursor,
Click in the introduction paragraph
Step 3. To switch to the Home command tab, on the Ribbon,
Click the Home tab
Step 4. To create an indent, in the Paragraph group,
Step 5. To increase the indent further,
Using Access Keys
Indents can be reduced as easily as they are added. To reduce an indent, we can use theDecrease Indent button or the Undo command.
To complete this task, instead of using the mouse to access commands on the Ribbon, we will use keystrokes. Using the keyboard in this way is called using access keys. Access keys can be helpful for users who have difficulty using a mouse or for those who simply prefer using the keyboard.
NOTE for MacOS Users: Access keys are not available for Word 2016 for Mac. To decrease the indent, Click .
Let's try this method to reduce the indent we just added.
Step 1. Make sure the cursor is still somewhere in the introduction paragraph.
Step 2. To begin using access keys, press:
NOTE: It is not necessary to hold down the Alt key.
Step 3. To open the Home command tab, type:
Step 4. To reduce the last indent, type:
The Increase Indent button on the toolbar defaults to indenting text by half-inches. To indent text by a quarter-inch only, for example, the indent marker on the ruler can be used to manually control the spacing of indents.
Look at the ruler. The following illustration shows the indent marker that corresponds with the spacing of the indent. Notice how it lines up with the first letter of the first word of the introduction paragraph.
We want to add a picture to our report. This picture will go to the left of our introduction. We need to create some space for the image. Let's readjust the alignment of the indent. To help guide us, we'll use the vertical dotted line which appears when we select a marker.
Step 1. Make sure the cursor is still in the indented paragraph.
Step 2. To adjust the indent, on the ruler,
Press & Drag from 0.5 to 2
NOTE: Make sure that the tip of your mouse arrow is on the box at the bottom of the indent marker. The two triangles and box that make up the marker should all move together.
Step 3. To save StateParks.docx, press:
Using Hanging Indents
Another form of indent is the hanging indent, in which every line after the first line is indented, a format often used for bibliographic citations.
There are two ways to add hanging indents. We will begin by adding a hanging indent using the Paragraph dialog box.
Our project sources are at the end of our document. We will need to move our cursor there before adding the indent.
Step 1. To move to the end of the document, press:
Control key+End key
Step 2. To correctly position the cursor,
Click the first bibliographic entry
Step 3. To see your paragraph settings, in the Paragraph group, on the Ribbon,
NOTE for MacOS Users: To see the dialog box, Click , Click Line Spacing Options....
Step 4. To add a hanging indent, on Special drop-down list,
Click , Click Hanging
Step 5. To accept the hanging indent,
Inserting a Hanging Indent with a Keyboard Shortcut
Let's apply the hanging indent format to the next bibliographic entry, but this time we'll use a keyboard shortcut.
Step 1. To correctly position your cursor,
Click the second citation
Step 2. To add a hanging indent using the keyboard shortcut, press:
Step 3. To add a hanging indent to the third source,
repeat the previous steps
Step 4. To save StateParks.docx, on the Quick Access Toolbar,
NOTE: For a walkthrough of working with indents, watch this video.