Answered By: Elaine M. Patton
Last Updated: Apr 08, 2022     Views: 1574

There are ways to manually create a hanging indent, but you should always go for the built-in tool if it's available* (and it usually is). You'll want to look for paragraph settings relating to indentation.

In Google Docs, highlight your citation(s), then go to Format > Align & indent > Indentation options.

Google Docs Format menu, highlight the alignment and 'more indentation' options to select


In the Indentation options window that pops up, select "hanging" under Special Indent. Make sure it says "0.5" in the field next to that dropdown, then click Apply.

Indentation options box with special indentation "hanging" selected, set to 0.5 inches. Nothing is filled in for left or right indentation.


Voila! You should have a lovely (or several lovely) citation(s) with the indentation.

Example MLA citation formatted with size 12 Times New Roman, with a hanging indent. The page is titled with Works Cited, centered at top.


  • It's ultimately faster -- the tool can do all your citations at once.
  • It's more accurate, because it takes care of the alignment for you.
  • If you have to edit your citation, you won't have to redo any of the line breaks -- your citation will grow/shrink but still flow in the hanging indent shape.

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