WORD: Indenting a paragraph on both left and right

Microsoft Word and other applications provide simple ways to indent paragraphs from just the left margin by using easily available buttons on menu that look like .  Easy to use and quite trivial.

But there are times where you may want the paragraph to be indented from both the left and the right hand side so that the paragraph stands out, such as if you were inserting a quote.  See below for example:

As you can see above, the middle paragraph has both left and right indents. 


To make your life easier do one of the following:-

  1. Type the paragraphs you want to be indented, then press enter, then type a word or two for the next normal paragraph.  Then select the text you want to indent and apply the settings below
  2. Press ENTER a few times to leave a few lines of “normal” settings, then press the UP ARROW a few times to get to where you want the indented paragraph to be

(This should prevent you from making the last paragraph in the document indented.  If you do this, then every new paragraph you add will also be indented and annoy you!  If this happens, on the paragraph that is indented which you want to be normal, follow the steps below but apply “0” indent)

Making Indent Settings

After reading above, either highlight the paragraph you want to indent and RIGHT CLICK the selection, or simply RIGHT CLICK where you want the indent to start.  A menu will appear like the one below


Select “PARAGRAPH”  and then you will see a load of options you can change on the paragraph settings


Change the numbers in the indent as you see fit.  1.5cm for left and right is about right. 

Once changed click OK and the indent will be applied.  If you are trying to remove the indents, use “0 cm” for both left and right indents.

Advanced tip

If you are going to use this method a lot, you can try and define a “Style” that matches these settings and simply apply the style each time you want it. This is outside the scope of this document!