Updated: 12/31/2020 by Computer Hope

When referring to text, indent or indentation is the increase or decrease of space between the left and right margin of a paragraph. To indent text, move the cursor to the front of the line and press the Tab on the keyboard.

Example of indented text.


The shortcut key Ctrl+M or Ctrl+> (Ctrl and greater than) indents all highlighted text and Ctrl+Shift+M or Ctrl+< to decrease the indent of selected text in Word and other programs.

How big is an indent?

A typical indent is five spaces from the left or right side of the page.


Text programs that support a tab also support multiple indents. For example, you could press Tab three times to indent a line fifteen spaces from the left side.

Block indent, First-line indent, Hanging indent, Tab, Typography terms