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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Dec 15, 2011
    No Automatic Indent in Word for Mac 2011?
    I've been using Word 2008 for the past few years and I've just bought a used MacBook that came with 2011. It seems to be missing several features that were really useful, but I'll just ask about one in this thread.

    In 2008, when you hit a Return, it automatically indents the next line. This is very handy when you're righting a book, saving you several thousand indents. How can I set Word 2011 to do this?

    Thanks for any advice you can give,


  2. #2

    Deckyon's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 06, 2011
    Louisville, KY - USA
    MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM
    You may have to go in to the settings for Paragraph formatting and set it to "Indent First Line." I dont know the exact text - I am not on my Mac. At least on the Windows side, it is in Format -> Paragraph -> Indents and Spacing -> Indentation -> Special -> First Line.
    MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1GB RAM
    MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256MB RAM
    iPhone 5S 64GB, iPad Air 2 128 GB LTE, iPod Nano Gen6 8GB, Apple TV 3 & 2

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Dec 15, 2011
    Thanks for that, Brad. That did restore the automating paragraph indent to the Return key.

    One other issue with this: The preferred publishing format is to have no indent on the first paragraph of a book, chapter, or section, with regular paragraphing thereafter. I have no trouble doing this in Word 2008. However, in 2011, having set the First Line to indent, I can't remove that first paragraph indent without the rest of the document reverting to the No Indent format. Any ideas on that one?

    Thanks again,


  4. #4

    Member Since
    May 20, 2004
    iMac 21" 8GB, MBP 15" 2.5 Penryn, 4 GB/180 GB
    It is better to set up styles so that you can manage such situations. I always have a style named Body Text that forms the basis for all other paragraph styles. Then I set up a style called 1st Paragraph, and it is set to no indent on first line. Then I have it automatically followed by Body Indent; you set that up in the style sheet for 1st Paragraph (under Next style), which has the first line indent set up. This means you can change all 1st Paragraph styles throughout the document and Body Indent throughout the document.

    Learn styles... they will pay dividends.
    Mellel 3, NWP 2, Scrivener 2.3.1, Tinderbox 5.11.2
    LibreOffice 3.6, Accordance 10.0, Adobe CS4, DTP 2.4.3
    OS X 10.8.2

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Dec 15, 2011
    Thanks, Shades. That certainly works. I spent the whole day finding my way around Styles and set up various styles and templates for work. Since Word came with the machine, perhaps whoever owned it before had changed the Normal style to not indent. Thanks for the useful tip. As mentioned up top, I've noticed some other missing or buried features but I'll start another thread for those. Cheers,


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