How to Do a Hanging Indent in Google Slides

Master this tricky formatting option

Using hanging indents in a Google Slides presentation is required for certain kinds of citations and it's also a nice option for making text look good. How you do this isn't obvious. There's no menu option to add a hanging indent. This article shows how to do a hanging indent in Google Slides using two different methods.

What Is a Hanging Indent?

A hanging indent is a text formatting style, like bullet points. It gets its name because the first line of the formatted text has a normal indentation, while all other lines are indented more than the first. Because of that, the first line "hangs" out over the rest.

Hanging indents are often used for academic citation formats (including MLA and Chicago style) and bibliographies. They can also be a good way to add an eye-catching text effect that emphasizes certain material. Here's an example of a hanging indent from a word processing document:

screenshot of a hanging indent

Hanging indents are more common in text documents created using Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or other similar programs than they are in presentations like those made in Google Slides. Still, in some cases you may want to use the feature in presentations to cite sources or for visual effect.

Want to use this feature in Google Docs? Learn how by reading How to Do a Hanging Indent Google Docs. We also have instructions for Microsoft Word.

How to Do a Hanging Indent in Google Slides

To add a hanging indent to your Google Slides presentations, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Google Slides and create a new presentation or open an existing one.

  2. Make sure the ruler is visible by clicking View > Show ruler.

    Google Slides with View and Show ruler highlighted
  3. Add the text you want to use the hanging indent with, if it's not already there.

    Screenshot of adding text to Google Slides
  4. Highlight the text that will contain the hanging indent. In the ruler area, click and drag the indent control. It looks like a downward-facing triangle. Let it go when you have the text indented to where you want it.

    Indent control highlighted in Google Slides

    Make sure you don't accidentally grab the margin control instead.

  5. Grab the left indent control (it looks like blue bar just above the triangle) and drag it back to the place where you want the first line of text to start.

    Left indent control in Google Slides
  6. When you let go of the left indent control, you'll have created the hanging indent.

    Screenshot of a hanging indent in Google Slides

How to Do a Hanging Indent in Google Slides With the Keyboard

Using the steps from the previous section is the best way to create a hanging indent in Google Slides because the indents you create that way stay in place no matter how much text you add. That type of hanging indent can also be applied to multiple sentences or paragraphs.

There's another way to create a hanging indent that's quick and is handy if you only need to indent a single line. Here's what to do:

  1. In your Google Slides presentation, insert your cursor at the beginning of the line you want to indent.

  2. On the keyboard, press the Return (or Enter) and Shift keys at the same time.

  3. Click the Tab key to indent the line by one tab.