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format a reference list with a hanging indent in Microsoft Word?

Hanging indents are found on reference/bibliography/citation pages in APA, Chicago and MLA formating. Double check with the style guide to make sure you need  to use a hanging indent.

  • Highlight the text you will be formating
  • Open up the paragraph menu. You can open the menu from the home tab of the taskbar at the top of the page by using the small arrow next to the word Paragraph.
  • Alternatively, right click anywhere on the word document. A menu will pop-up; select the paragraph option to open the paragraph menu
  • In the paragraph menu, open the drop box that says Special and then select Hanging. It should automatically default to .5”(half an inch) for the indentation, but double check to make sure the spacing is correct.
  • Click OK to save your changes.
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