How to Do Hanging Indent on PowerPoint

A hanging indent is an indentation format where the first line of a paragraph is aligned to the left margin and subsequent lines are indented. Hanging indents help organize information visually, making your PowerPoint presentation more polished and professional.

Benefits of Using Hanging Indents

  • Improve readability and comprehension
  • Create clear visual hierarchy
  • Save space by fitting more text on slides
  • Maintain consistency in formatting

Steps to Create a Hanging Indent in PowerPoint

Creating hanging indents in PowerPoint only takes a few simple steps:

  • Turn on Ruler
    • Go to View > Ruler to display the ruler at the top of the slide
  • Select Text
    • Highlight the text you want to apply the hanging indent to
  • Adjust Indent Marker
    • On the ruler, drag the hanging indent marker to your desired indentation
  • Set Special Indent
    • Go to Home > Paragraph Dialog Box > Indentation > Special > Hanging
  • Adjust Before Spacing
    • In the Paragraph dialog box, set Before spacing to 0.5 inches

Tip: The default hanging indent is 0.5 inches. Adjust to fit your preferences.

Pro Tip: Use the ruler method for more precision; use the dialog box for quick indents.

Customizing Your Hanging Indents

Once you’ve created a basic hanging indent, customize it to suit your presentation:

  • Indentation Amount – Increase/decrease indent distance
  • Text Size – Enlarge or shrink font size
  • Text Color – Change color for emphasis
  • Spacing – Adjust line height and paragraph spacing



Text starts here and subsequent lines are indented. You can customize the look by changing the indentation amount, text size, color, spacing between lines, etc.

Troubleshooting Common Hanging Indent Issues

Having trouble getting your hanging indent to look right? Try these tips:

  • Check Text Box Settings – Formatting issues may be caused by text box settings
  • Remove Bullet Points/Numbering – These can interfere with proper indent formatting
  • Start Fresh – Copy text to new slide and remove prior formatting
  • Use Ruler Precisely – Ruler allows total control vs dialog box

Pro Tip: If first line indent won’t budge, check text box internal margins.

Using Hanging Indents Effectively

Follow these best practices when using hanging indents for optimal results:

  • Be consistent across all slides
  • Emphasize key points with larger/colored text
  • Leave plenty of space between paragraphs
  • Balance text density with readability
  • Set internal text box margins to 0

Key Takeaway: Hanging indents improve comprehension and aesthetics. Master them to take your PowerPoints up a notch!

Hanging Indents for Bulleted Lists

Hanging indents work great for bulleted lists too!

  • Remove bullets first – Indents don’t apply properly otherwise
  • Highlight list & apply hanging indent using steps above
  • Customize as needed – Adjust spacing between bullet and text


  • First bullet line aligned left
    Indented bullet line
  • Next bullet
    Indented bullet line

Using Hanging Indents for Citations

Hanging indents help citations stand out. To apply:

  • Remove hyperlinks
  • Highlight citation text
  • Apply hanging indent steps
  • Adjust Before spacing – 0.5-0.75 inches is standard


Johnson, A. (2020). How to indent in PowerPoint (1st ed.). Publisher.

Smith, J. (2022). Hanging indents for dummies. Publisher.

Final Tips for PowerPoint Hanging Indents

  • Use consistent indent amounts throughout
  • Set internal margins of text boxes to 0
  • Avoid overcrowding text
  • Emphasize key points with fonts/colors
  • Balance white space and content density

Implementing hanging indents properly takes your PowerPoint slides to the next level. Follow this guide to create clear, organized, and aesthetically pleasing presentations.