How to Indent Text in Google Docs

Google Docs has a bundle of in-built functionalities for fulfilling the demands of editors as well as authors. These demands may include highlighting text, changing the font color, and indenting text left or right in Google Docs. Among these, text indentation plays a key role in formatting the text. In this Google Docs guide, we will provide numerous methods to indent text to beautify the document’s content. This post serves the following learning outcomes:

Method 1: Using Tab Button to Indent Text

The method is most famous for indenting the text in Google Docs. In this method, the “Tab” button is employed to indent the text towards the right. Let’s see how it can be carried out:

Firstly, write some text or open the existing document in Google Docs. For instance, the following is the document on which the text indentation will be applied:

Move the cursor to the specific text to indent that word. In the following image, the cursor is placed before the text of the first line. When we pressed the “Tab” key, you can see that the line followed by the cursor is indented towards the right:

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The above output shows that the first line of text is indented towards the right side.

Method 2: Using Indent Button to Indent Citation

The “Indent” button is utilized from the toolbar of Google Docs. The toolbar supports two types of indentation, i.e., “Increase indent” and “Decrease indent”. The “Increase indent” and “Decrease indent” buttons intend the text in the right and left directions, respectively. Let’s see how they work:

Right Indent the Text

The text is selected first. After that, the indentation is performed by clicking on the “Increase Indent” button, as shown below.

Before applying the indentation:

After applying the indentation:

The output shows that the paragraph is moved towards the right side.

Left Indent the Text

The selected text moves towards the left by pressing the “Decrease indent” button. Here, we have selected the following text (which is currently right indented):

Before indentation:

After clicking the “Decrease indent” button:

It is observed that the paragraph is moved towards the left side.

Method 3: Using Ruler to Indent Text in Google Docs

This method considers the “Ruler” to indent the text in Google Docs. The “Ruler” tool can be used to indent a specific line or the whole paragraph of text. Let’s see how it works.

The “Ruler” is employed to indent all the text of a selected line/paragraph from the left margin at a specific distance. You can adjust the ruler to indent text towards the right or left based on your needs.

Usually, the “Ruler” is at the “0.00” position, as shown below:

To move the “Ruler”, you need to click and hold its icon. Here, the “Ruler” is moved towards the right side until the measurement reaches “0.50”:

After doing so, the selected text moves toward the right side, as shown above.


The “Tab” button, “Ruler” and “Indent” buttons are employed to indent the selected text in Google Docs. The “Tab” button indents the text towards the right side by placing the cursor before any text and pressing the “Tab” key. Secondly, the “Ruler” is utilized to adjust the selected text by moving the ruler towards the left or right side. In the end, the “Indent” buttons are applied to the selected text from the “Format” tab to move the text left or right with the “Increase Indent” and “Decrease Indent” buttons.