Adjust indents and spacing

When you want to make precise changes to your indents and spacing or you want to make several changes all at once, open the Paragraph dialog box and click the Indents and Spacing tab.

  1. Select the text you want to adjust.

  2. Click the Paragraph dialog box launcher on the Home tab or on the Page Layout tab.
    Paragraph dialog box launcher

  3. If necessary, click the Indents and Spacing tab.

  4. Choose your settings and click OK.

Dialog box options

The dialog box contains the following options. At the bottom of the dialog box, you can see a Preview of how the options will look before you apply them.



ChooseLeft to align text to the left with a ragged right edge (or use the keyboard shortcut, CTRL+L).

Choose Center to center text with a ragged left and right edge (CTRL+E).

Choose Right to align text to the right with a ragged left edge (CTRL+R).

Choose Justify to align text both left and right, adding space between words (CTRL+J).

Outline level

The level at which the paragraph appears in Outline view. See Create a document outline in Outline view to learn more.

Choose Collapsed by default if you want the document to open with headings collapsed by default. See Collapse or expand parts of a document to learn more.



Moves in the left side of the paragraph by the amount you choose.


Moves in the right side of the paragraph by the amount you choose.


Choose First line > By to indent the first line of a paragraph. To quickly create a first line indent using the ruler, see Create a first line indent.

Choose Hanging > By to create a hanging indent. To quickly create a hanging indent using the ruler, see Create a hanging indent.

Mirror indents

When you choose this, Left and Right become Inside and Outside. This is for book style printing.



Adjusts the amount of space before a paragraph.


Adjusts the amount of space after a paragraph.

Line spacing

Choose Single to single-space text. To quickly single space your entire document, see Single space lines in a document.

Choose 1.5 lines to space text one-and-one-half times that of single spacing.

Choose Double to double-space text. To quickly double space your entire document, see Double space lines in a document.

Choose At least > At to set the minimum amount of spacing needed to fit the largest font or graphic on the line.

Choose Exactly > At to set fixed line spacing, expressed in points. For example, if the text is in 10-point font, you can specify 12 points as the line spacing.

Choose Multiple > At to set line spacing as a multiple expressed in numbers greater than 1. For example, setting line spacing to 1.15 will increase the space by 15 percent, and setting line spacing to 3 increases the space by 300 percent (triple spacing).

Don’t add …

Choose Don’t add space between paragraphs when you don’t want extra space between paragraphs.

If you want to save settings as your default, click Set as Default.

Clicking Tabs … opens the Tabs dialog box where you can precisely set tabs.

Was this information helpful?

Great! Any other feedback?

How can we improve it?

Thank you for your feedback!