Updated: 04/26/2017 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. In many programs, an indent for the first line of text can be created by moving the cursor to the front of the line and pressing the tab key on the keyboard.

Here is an example of indented text.

Tip: Pressing the shortcut key Ctrl+M or Ctrl+> will indent all selected text and pressing Ctrl+Shift+M or Ctrl+< will decrease the indent of all selected text in Microsoft Word and other programs.

How big is an indent?

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

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

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