Updated: 05/01/2023 by Computer Hope

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

Example of indented text.


The keyboard shortcut Ctrl+M or Tab indents all highlighted text, and Ctrl+Shift+M or Shift+Tab 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, pressing Tab three times indents a line fifteen spaces from the left side.


Many text programs can remove a line's indent with the keyboard shortcut Shift+Tab.

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