InDesign tip: Indents

You don’t need to use the space bar for paragraphs

William Love, Sandpoint High School

Is pressing the space bar a set amount of times the method your staff uses for indenting paragraphs in InDesign?

An issue that I come across regularly for student journalists designing pages is how they format paragraphs. In some cases, students tap the space bar five times for each paragraph before they place the copy into InDesign. In other cases, they will select the tab key.

InDesign has a couple of ways to format paragraphs. Here’s the quickest way.

You can format text in several ways using the controls at the top of your page. In this case of paragraph indents, you want to look for the “First Line Left Indent” option. This is located to the right of the alignment options.

Paragraph Indent 3

A standard paragraph indent is 1 pica, so you need to change this from 0p0 to 1p0.

Paragraph Indent 4

If you have already set your text in the text box, make sure you select all of the type (Command + A) before changing the dimension.

Paragraph Indent 2

When you have changed the indent size, your text should look like this.

Paragraph Indent 5

You can save this format for other stories on your page by saving it in your Paragraph Styles (Window > Styles > Paragraph Styles or Command F11). In this case, this will be the text formatting for stories so I saved it as Body Text 1.

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 8.29.28 AM