Although you can use the tab key to indent the first line of a paragraph, if you want Microsoft Word to automatically indent a new paragraph when starting a new line, you only need to change a few settings.
Just follow these steps to automatically indent new paragraphs.
- In your document, highlight the paragraphs you want to format.
- In the ribbon on the Home tab, find the Paragraph group, then click the launcher . The Paragraph dialog box opens.
- Click the Indents and Spacing tab.
- In the Indentation group under Special, Select First Line.
- Under By, select the desired indent. The default is .5″.
- Click OK.
I like to add some breathing room between paragraphs. In the figure above, you can see that I added 15pt spacing before each paragraph. This looks nice with a 12pt font that is single-spaced.
Once this paragraph formatting is applied, pressing Enter will start the next paragraph 15pt below the current line, with the first line indented half-an-inch.
If you want the same paragraph indent in every document, in the Paragraph dialog box, change the settings as desired, click Default, then click OK. These new settings become your default settings for every new Word document until the default is changed again.