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MS Word: Paragraph Formatting With Your Keyboard

We all know that if we want the first line in a paragraph to be indented you simply use the Tab key.

In addition, many of us are familiar with the alignment shortcuts:

Ctrl + L will left align a paragraph

Ctrl + E will center a paragraph

Ctrl + R will right align a paragraph

Ctrl + J will justify a paragraph

But what about hanging paragraphs where it’s everything after the first line that’s indented?

Any way to use the keyboard to create one of these?


Yep – you bet – with your cursor anywhere in the paragraph simply use Ctrl + T.

Looking to put the paragraph back to the left margin?

No problem. Use Ctrl + Shift + T and it will revert from a hanging paragraph to the usual.

If you’re looking to indent the entire paragraph from the left then use Ctrl + M. As you may suspect Ctrl + Shift + M will reverse the indent.

Here’s the big one – ready?

Use Ctrl + Q to remove all the paragraph formatting.

Now by “all” I do mean ALL…


…hanging paragraphs

…line spacing

…spacing before / after a paragraph

Even justification will be returned to the left with Ctrl + Q!

Simple key combinations for some pretty powerful formatting – definitely good information to know.

~ April