Creating a hanging indent

Monday 13 February 2012 @ 5:00 am

Sometimes there are text blocks on your reports that contain more then one line of text (notes, memo fields, comments, etc.).  When you format any multi-line text field, you have a tab of options called  ‘paragraph’ formatting. The first 3 settings on this tab allow you to determine how far the text block should be indented. Your indent options are “Left”, “Right” and “First Line”. This can be misleading because “Left” and “Right” are calculated from the left and right edge of the object, while “First Line” is calculated from the indent set in the “Left” position.

Take this example: You want the first line of text to be indented 1.0 from left while all other lines in the block are indented .5 from left. You might try putting 1.0 in ”First Line” and .5 in Left indent.  What you would get is an indent of 1.5 on the first line.  This is because it adds the 1.0 in ”First Line” to the .5 in “Left”. If instead you put .5 in both places, then the first line will indent .5 + .5 or 1.0 inches.

And what if you want a ‘hanging indent’ where the first line is not indented but the rest of the paragraph is indented .5? For this you would put in .5 for the “Left” indent and -.5 (a negative number) for the “First Line”. The negative number added to the positive nets to zero so that the first line has no indentation, while the rest does.

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