PowerPoint 2013: Indents and Line Spacing

Indents and line spacing are important formatting options in PowerPoint that allow you to organize and structure your text for better readability and visual appeal. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on using indents and adjusting line spacing in PowerPoint 2013.

What are Indents?

Indents allow you to inset text from the slide margins. This creates a hierarchical structure and groups related information visually. Common uses of indents include:

  • Creating nested bullet points or multi-level lists
  • Setting paragraphs apart to differentiate ideas
  • Hanging indents for works cited pages

There are three main types of indents in PowerPoint 2013:

  • First Line Indent – Indents the first line of text in a paragraph
  • Hanging Indent – Indents all lines of text except the first line
  • Left Indent – Indents the entire paragraph from the left margin

Adjusting Indents in PowerPoint 2013

There are two main ways to adjust indents in PowerPoint 2013 – using the ruler or the Paragraph dialog box.

Using the Ruler

To display the ruler, go to the View tab and check the Ruler box. Once visible, you can use the indent markers on the ruler to set indents:

  • First Line Indent – Drag the top triangle marker
  • Hanging Indent – Drag the middle triangle marker
  • Left Indent – Drag the bottom rectangle

Using the Paragraph Dialog Box

To fine-tune indent values with precision, use the Paragraph dialog box:

  1. Select the text you want to change
  2. Go to Home > Paragraph Dialog Box Launcher > Indentation section
  3. Set Before text to adjust left indent
  4. Use Special > First Line or Hanging to adjust those indents

Tip: Use the preview pane to visualize indents before applying.

Line Spacing Options in PowerPoint

Adjusting line spacing, or the space between lines of text, is an important formatting option to optimize readability. PowerPoint 2013 provides several line spacing options:

Standard Line Spacing Values

  • 1.0 – Single spaced (default)
  • 1.5 – 1.5 lines spaced
  • 2.0 – Double spaced
  • At least – Sets a minimum spacing
  • Exactly – Sets an exact spacing
  • Multiple – Spaces lines by a multiple

Tip: Use larger line spacing values for titles and headings.

Customizing Line Spacing

For more precision, use the Line Spacing Options dialog box:

  1. Select text to adjust
  2. Go to Home > Line Spacing Options
  3. Set spacing Before/After paragraphs
  4. Change Line spacing > At to a custom value

Tip: Try different spacing values and use the preview pane.

Formatting Lists and Nesting Indents

Applying indents allows you to format nested lists and multi-level bullet points for better organization.

Formatting Bulleted Lists

To adjust list indentation and spacing:

  • Use indent markers on the ruler
  • Click the Increase/Decrease List Level buttons
  • Set custom values in the Paragraph Dialog Box

Tip: Change bullet color, size, and style for visual interest.

Formatting Numbered Lists

You can customize numbered lists in similar ways:

  • Adjust indentation using the ruler
  • Change numbering scheme (1, 2, 3 or letters/roman numerals)
  • Set custom starting number value

Tip: Use different numbering styles to differentiate list levels.

Common Indent and Spacing Issues

Applying consistent indents and spacing ensures your text is easy to read. Some issues to look out for:

Inconsistent Indents

Make sure indents are aligned properly between different levels of nested bullets and numbered lists. Use the ruler indent markers or the Paragraph dialog box to align.

Uneven Line Spacing

Carefully review line spacing, especially if text size changes. Set consistent spacing with Exactly or Multiple options.

Text Not Fitting in Placeholders

If adding more text causes fonts to shrink or spacing to condense, AutoFit may be reducing text size. Turn off AutoFit if needed.

Final Tips and Tricks

Here are some additional tips for working with indents and line spacing in PowerPoint 2013:

  • Use the Format Painter to copy indent settings between paragraphs
  • Set default tab stops to easily align columns of text
  • Combine custom spacing and font sizes to create unique layouts
  • Experiment with spacing values for ideal readability
  • Keep line spacing consistent within sections

Careful use of indents, spacing, fonts, colors, and styles allows you to format readable, polished text in your PowerPoint presentations.