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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 30, 2015)

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

Changing Column Width

Do you use columns in your document layout? You may want to modify the widths of various columns, and Word makes the change ...

Discover More

Automatic Periods after a Caption

Word can automatically add captions to certain elements of your documents, such as figures or tables. You can control some of ...

Discover More

Canceling a Command

Tired of waiting for a command to finish running? You can use the same shortcut to cancel a command that you use to dismiss ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Formatting All Headings At Once

If you need to apply a common formatting change to all the headings in your document, a quick way to do it is to use the ...

Discover More

Formatting Differences between Word Versions

Create a document in one version of Word on one machine and then open that document in a different version of Word on a ...

Discover More

Read-Only Embedded Fonts

If you receive a document from somebody else, you might not be able to edit it if the document contains fonts that you don't ...

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 for this tip:

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}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. 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 nine more than 2?

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


Newest Tips
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.

Links and Sharing
Share