Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Extending a Paragraph into the Left Margin.

Extending a Paragraph into the Left Margin

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 16, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


You probably already know that Word allows you to specify an indent from the left margin on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis, if desired. The indent value you set is added to the left margin value for the page, thereby deriving how far the left side of the paragraph should appear in relation to the left edge of the paper.

For some layout tasks, you may want to set a negative indent for a paragraph. Word allows you to do this, effectively moving the left side of the paragraph into the margin area you defined for your page. To set a negative indent, follow these steps:

  1. Select the paragraph or paragraphs you want affected by the formatting change. (If you want the change to a single paragraph only, you can simply make sure the insertion point is within that paragraph.)
  2. Choose Paragraph from the Format menu. Word displays the Paragraph dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Paragraph dialog box.

  4. Using the Left control, specify a negative value. For instance, if you wanted the paragraph to extend a quarter-inch into the left margin area, you would enter -.25 as the Left value.
  5. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1434) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Extending a Paragraph into the Left Margin.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Font Substitution Problems

When your document uses fonts that are not available on your computer system, Word substitutes other fonts that it feels ...

Discover More

Automatically Inserting Tomorrow's Date

Do you routinely need to work with tomorrow's date? Why not create a template that automatically adds tomorrow's date to ...

Discover More

Converting a PDF File to a Word Document

PDF files seem to be everywhere; they are a standard way of exchanging documents with others. At some point you may want ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Quickly Formatting Multiple Documents

Need to format a bunch of documents so they all look the same? If the documents use styles, doing the formatting is ...

Discover More

Creating See-through Text Boxes

When laying out your document, you may want to use a text box that appears to be positioned over your text, but to be ...

Discover More

Breaking Lines in E-mail

If you are creating an e-mail in Word or are creating text that you will paste into an e-mail document, you may want to ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one more than 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.