Indenting and Aligning Text in WordPerfect Office 2002 - dummies

Indenting and Aligning Text in WordPerfect Office 2002

Pressing the Tab key isn’t the only way to shove text across the page. You can also use WordPerfect’s indent and justification options to change the way that text fits between the left and right margins of your page.

Indenting the first line of your paragraphs

If you want to indent the first line of each paragraph in your document, use indents instead of tabs. Why? Suppose that you use a tab to indent every paragraph in a long document. Then you decide that you don’t want to indent those paragraphs after all. If you use tabs, you must remove the tab from every paragraph. If you use indents, on the other hand, all you need to do is change the indent setting to zero.

If you apply a first-line indent without any text selected, WordPerfect indents the first line of every paragraph after the insertion marker, up to the point where you apply another indent or you previously indented a paragraph. If you select text before applying a first-line indent, only the selected paragraphs are affected.

The quickest way to bump in the first line of your paragraphs is to drag the first-line indent control on the ruler. Like the margin controls and left and right indent controls, the first-line indent control sports a new design in WordPerfect 10. The first-line indent control is still a black triangle, as in years past, but it’s now easily distinguishable from the left indent control, which is the gray thingy just below.

If you have trouble using the control — grabbing that tiny triangle can be a challenge, no matter how easy it is to spot — follow these steps instead:

1. Choose Format –> Paragraph –> Format.

WordPerfect displays the Paragraph Format dialog box.

2. Enter the amount of the indent in the First Line Indent option box.

3. Click OK or press Enter.

To remove first-line indents, just change the First Line Indent value back to zero.

Indenting entire paragraphs

You can also indent the entire paragraph from the left margin, indent the paragraph from both the right and left margins (called a double indent), and indent all but the first line of a paragraph (called a hanging indent). In addition, you can create what WordPerfect calls a back tab, which shoves the first line of a paragraph one tab stop to the left.

To apply these indents, first select the paragraphs you want to indent. If no text is selected, the indenting is applied from the current paragraph forward, up to the point where WordPerfect encounters any previously set indents or you establish a new indent. Then choose Format –> Paragraph and choose an indent option from the Paragraph submenu. Or, to bypass the menus, use the keyboard shortcuts shown in Table 1 or drag the paragraph indent controls on the ruler bar.

Thanks to the new ruler design, the left and right indent controls are easier to distinguish from the margin and first-line indent controls than in days gone by. The indent controls are the gray shapes at either end of the ruler bar. The black triangle above the left indent control adjusts the first-line indent, while the double vertical bars on either end of the ruler control the left and right page margins.

With the exception of the first-line indents, WordPerfect indents your text according to the tab stops you set. To change the amount of indent, you have to change the tab stops.

To remove an indent, place the insertion marker at the beginning of the paragraph (press Ctrl+Up Arrow to get there quickly). Press Backspace once to remove a standard indent, double indent, or back tab. Press Backspace twice to remove a hanging indent.

Table 1 Indent Options and Shortcuts

Indent Type


What It Does

First Line Indent


Indents the first line of a paragraph.



Indents all lines of a paragraph one tab stop to the right.

Hanging Indent


Indents all lines of a paragraph except the first line one tab stop to the right.

Double Indent


Moves all lines of a paragraph inward one tab stop from the left margin and an equal distance from the right margin.

Back Tab


Moves the first line of a paragraph one tab stop to the left.

Using QuickIndent

You can use the Tab key to create standard and hanging indents if the QuickIndent feature is turned on, which it is by default. To verify that QuickIndent is enabled, select Tools –> QuickCorrect to open the QuickCorrect dialog box, click the Format-As-You-Go tab, and look at the QuickIndent check box. A check mark means the feature is turned on; click the check box to turn QuickIndent off.

To create your indents using QuickIndent, move the insertion marker to the beginning of any line in the paragraph except the first line.Pressingthe Tab key then delivers the following results:

  • If the first line in the paragraph doesn’t begin with a tab, WordPerfect gives you a hanging indent. Press Tab a second time to shove the whole paragraph one tab stop to the right. Press Shift+Tab to shove the hanging-indent lines (all but the first line) one tab stop to the left.
  • If the first line does begin with a tab, the tab is simply converted to a standard indent. Press Tab again to apply a hanging indent, moving all lines but the first line one tab stop to the right. Now the Tab and Shift+Tab combination work as described in the preceding bullet point.