Answered By: Shawna Burtis
Last Updated: Feb 19, 2024     Views: 3939


Hanging Indents in MS Word 2016

A hanging indent is also known as a second line indent, which means the first line is flush left, and all subsequent lines are indented ½ inch to the right. All references have a hanging indent. 

Follow these steps to create a hanging indent for your reference list. 

Step 1:

After creating your references, highlight the text you want to add a hanging indent to by using your cursor to click and drag over the text.

Step 2:

In the Paragraph section of the Home Ribbon, click the Paragraph Settings dialogue box launcher  in the lower right corner (you can also right-click on your mouse and select "Paragraph" from the menu). This will open a new window with Paragraph Settings.

Select Paragraph Icon to open settings

Step 3

In the Indentation section of the  Indents and Spacing Tab, there is a "Special:" drop-down menu. Click on the down arrow to open the options. Select "Hanging" and click "Ok"

Select "Hanging"


Your highlighted text has now been formatted with a hanging indent. 


Shortcut Tip: You can also highlight your references and use the keyboard command "Ctrl" and "T" to add a hanging indent. 

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Download these instructions as a PDF: 

 MS Word: Hanging Indents for Reference List

Office 365/MS Word 2016

Walden students have access to both Office 365 and the desktop version, MS Word 2016. Office 365 does not offer the full functionality of MS Word so we recommend students use the desktop version of MS Word (Word 2016). The Customer Care Team offers Technology Support for Office 365 and instructions for downloading Office 2016 to your computer.

For more help: 

  • In addition, the Writing Center provides Walden Templates that are pre-formatted for you with hanging indents in the reference section. 
  • If you are having issues formatting the coursework template, or for any other MS Word questions, Ask OASIS.
  • If you are having issues formatting the doctoral capstone template, email [email protected].

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