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In essay writing you indent the first line of every paragraph, so that you know where each idea begins. In business, you leave a space between paragraphs instead. What you never want to do is press the Spacebar five times. Word has several tools to manage first line indents. The first is what happened when you actually press the Tab key to indent, so I'm right before my first paragraph and I hit Tab. Now turn on your Show/Hide paragraph marks if you haven't already. In older versions of Word, if you hit the Tab key it would actually physically put a tab character in place and you would see it with a little arrow right here, but in Word 2010, it auto formats on your ruler, automatically indenting the first line of your paragraph.
If for some reason you don't wanted to do that, click on the smart tag that appears and tell it to Change Back to Tab. Now you see an actual tab character, this is what it used to look like. Now I'm going to click on that smart tag again and redo the first line indent. If you have a first line indent that you want to get rid off, I would go up to this upper triangle on the ruler and drag it back to the left margin. Now if you wanted to do this through a dialog box, you would start by selecting the text that you want to have the first line indent on.
Then go to Paragraph launch button and click on it and down here under Indentation, where it says Special, I would then tell it First-line, you can see it indent in the preview and it will indent here as well. The good news is that if you're at the end of a paragraph and you hit Enter, the next paragraph will adapt that same first-line indent. So, once you set it one time, you shouldn't have to keep adding it over and over again. Let's go back to that front page, I want to show you something to watch out for with first line indents.
Let's say I had first line indent turned on for this first page, I'll go ahead and highlight my title and turn on the First Line Indent by dragging the triangle on the ruler. Now keep an eye out for this, this text is centered, but because it also has a First-line indent, it's actually a half inch further to the right from the center. So, I see this on paper sometimes and it's always something to correct, I have to highlight this again and physically move this back. Now I am going to scroll down to the bottom of Page 2 and I'm going to click before Sincerely.
There may be times when you don't want your tab to be replaced with the First-line indent. When you click on the smart tag, there's also an option down here for Stop Setting Indent on Tabs and Backspace, and if I click on that, not only will it put the genuine tab back here, but the next time I hit the Tab, it will do the same thing. Another place to make that correction is up on the File tab, down under Options, and then go to Proofing, and then to AutoCorrect Options, I'll click on the AutoFormat As You Type tab, and down at the bottom, here is the setting for Set left-and first-indent with tabs and backspaces, this checkmark will be on if you do want first-line indents and that is the setting that I generally recommend.
So I will put this back on and I'll click OK, and I'll click OK to close the dialog box. So using First-line Indents instead of tabs will help you maintain consistent formatting across your document and it will save you from having to physically insert tabs at the beginning of every single paragraph.
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