In Google Docs, is it possible to preserve the indentation depth of text that is being typed (so that tab characters won't need to be typed repetitively at every line)? I'm trying to create a list like the following, so that the indentation depth will be kept when a new line is started:

To do list
    Routine tasks
        Charge iPod Touch
    JavaScript projects
        Project 1
        Project 2
        The tab characters should be automatically inserted before this line (so that they won't need to be typed manually)

By default, many text editors, including Geany, preserve indentation when pressing the "Enter" key at the end of a line. Is there an option to preserve the indentation in Google Docs as well?

  • Google Docs might have a "number list" or "bulleted list" feature for this purpose, but I haven't found it yet. – Anderson Green Feb 10 '13 at 7:13

Yes, there are ways to control the indentation of paragraphs in Drive, and there are ways to create itemized lists. All of these options are available in the text formatting icons at the top of your document (shown in image)

enter image description here

Here is advice on both:

For paragraph indentations:

You can increase or decrease the paragraph indents by using the icons on the right:

enter image description here

This will increase the indent, and keep it there until you change the indentation levels.

You can also access these options by going to Format > Paragraph styles

Update - adding info on keyboard shortcuts

A keyboard solution is to use the Tab key. If you hit Tab at the beginning of a line that already contains characters, it will indent the text and preserve the indentation level on subsequent lines (Shift + Tab at the beginning will decrease the indent). Any tabbing done in the middle of a line or at the start of a new line without existing characters will produce the regular Tab without preserving the indentation level on future lines.

For bulleted and numbered lists

You can get there by using the icons in the text formatting bar found at the top of the page. Look for the little numbered or unnumbered list icons next to the paragraph indentations.

enter image description here

Some keyboard shortcuts are:

  • For a numbered list, the keyboard shortcut is Ctrl + Shift + 7
  • For an unordered (bulleted) list, the keyboard shortcut is Ctrl + Shift + 8
  • Are there any shortcuts for increasing and decreasing the paragraph indentation? – Anderson Green Feb 10 '13 at 15:54
  • I couldn't find any. Documentation I found said that tab is the only way to indent text, but you already know that it doesn't save the indentation level if you hit Enter – OnenOnlyWalter Feb 10 '13 at 16:37
  • Actually, it is possible to increase the indent, and keep the indentation. Maybe you could add this to your answer: productforums.google.com/d/msg/docs/NdQmVpis6gE/OrfCJCKNkJkJ – Anderson Green Feb 10 '13 at 17:43
  • Good catch! I'll add this bit to my answer. – OnenOnlyWalter Feb 11 '13 at 1:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.