How to Indent in Excel

Add indentations to some or all contents within a spreadsheet cell

Excel spreadsheets help you organize, manipulate, and share data, but sometimes text formatting is just as important. You may need to indent text in an Excel cell, for example, when using a specific layout or adding a paragraph. Here's how to use Excel's built-in indenting function.

Information in this article applies to Excel for Microsoft 365, Excel Online, Excel 2019, and Excel 2016.

How to Indent the Contents of a Cell or Set of Cells

If your spreadsheet has text elements, adding indents might help readability.

  1. Select the cell or cells containing the content you want to indent.

    Select the cell or cells containing the content you want to indent.
  2. Go to the Home tab.

    The Home tab in Excel
  3. In the Alignment section, select Increase Indent. The icon has four horizontal lines and a right-facing arrow.

    The Increase Indent button
  4. The text in the selected cells is indented. To add more indentation space, select Increase Indent again.

    The text in your selected cells will now be indented.
  5. To remove the indentation space, select the cells and then select Decrease Indent. This icon has four horizontal lines with a left-facing arrow.

    The Decrease Indent button

How to Indent Individual Selections Within a Cell

If your text is too long to fit in a cell, wrap the text to the next line. However, if you want to indent the next line, you cannot use the Increase Indent feature. There's an easy workaround. Here's how it works:

  1. Select the cell containing the text that's too long.

    Select the cell containing the text that's too long.
  2. Go to the Home tab and, in the Alignment section, select Wrap Text.

    The Wrap Text button
  3. The text extends to two lines.

    Your text will now extend to two lines.
  4. Select the text in the cell before the second line of text and press Alt+Enter on a PC or Option+Return on a Mac.

    Click your cursor into the cell just before the second line of text and press Alt-Enter on a PC or Option-Return on a Mac.
  5. Press the spacebar a few times to add a manual indent to the second line of text. Adjust to your preferences.

    Hit the spacebar a few times to add a manual indent to the second line of text.
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