How to Indent in Excel: Best Methods and Shortcut (2024)

So, you want to know how to indent in Excel? Let me tell you in advance that you can’t use the Tab key to indent text in Excel 🙅‍♂️

You can change the alignment of your content by using the indent options in Excel aside from the commonly known left, center, and right text alignment options.

Learning how to indent in Excel will help you present your data better. And you’ll learn the best methods (and shortcuts) in this tutorial 😀

Make sure you download this practice workbook we’ve prepared for you to work on before you scroll down. Let’s do it!

Indent from the ribbon menu

By default, when you enter text in a cell, Excel aligns it to the left. When you enter a number, Excel aligns it to the right.

Aside from that, any data you enter in a cell, whether text or number, sticks too close to the cell border.

how to indent in Excel

And if you don’t like the contents to be too close to the cell border, the best option you can do is indentation. You can indent text to the left or to the right in a cell 😊

The most obvious method how to indent in Excel is by using the indent buttons in the Alignment group of the Excel ribbon menu.

Let’s do it 👇

  1. Select the cell you want to indent.
  2. Click the Home Tab.
click cell and then Home Tab
  1. In the Alignment group, click the Increase Indent icon as you like, depending on how you want the content to be newly aligned.

The Increase Indent icon moves your content farther away from the cell border, from left to right.

increase indent button

One indent is equivalent to three spaces. The more you click the button, the more indentation applies.

indented text of the selected cell
  1. To decrease the indent already present in a cell, click on the Decrease Indent icon.

The Decrease Indent button moves your content closer to the cell border.

decrease indent

Indentation is mainly used for text. If you use it for numbers, it may be a little confusing. Only that it’s not.

Numbers align to the right by default. But when you apply indent, it follows the same process as you indent text.

Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist

Let’s apply indent to a number.

As you observed, it moved farther away from the right. This alignment is the same as when you applied indent to text 😀

indent numbers

If you want to move your content closer to the cell border, just click the decrease indent icon.

If there are multiple lines in the selected cells, all the lines will be indented together as indentation is applied to the entire cell.

Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist

Indenting with a shortcut key

You can quickly indent text in a cell just like what you did above using the keyboard shortcuts ⚡

The keyboard shortcut for right-indent is Alt + H + 6.

The keyboard shortcut for left-indent is Alt + H + 5.

Let’s try it.

  1. Select the cell you want to indent.
  2. Press keys Alt + H + 6. Make sure to press the keys one by one.
select the next cell

This is the result. It moved spaces to the right, right?

If you want to move the content more to the right, you can repeat pressing the keyboard shortcut 😊

indenting text
  1. If you want to indent text to the left, click on the cell again and press the keyboard shortcut for left indentation:

Alt + H + 5.

undo indent

The text moves to the left.

how to indent in Excel

You can even apply indentation to one or more cells by highlighting the cells you want to indent and using the shortcuts to right indent or left indent text.

adding indents

It looks organized! 🙌

What if you have multiple lines in a cell and need some individual lines indented? 🤔

Say, you want to indent text in the second line and the third line.

multiple lines

To do that, just double-click the cell to put the cell in Edit mode.

  1. For our example, double-click on the second line of the cell.
indenting individual lines
  1. Manual indent text by adding space characters. Press the Space key three (3) times.
indent new line
  1. Do the same method on the third line. Add space characters to indent the line.

This is now the result 😊

how to indent in excel

By indenting text, you elevate the content in the cell, helping you and others view and interpret data better.

That’s it – Now what?

Nice work! Now you know how to indent in Excel. It may be simple and easy to do but learning how helps you visually organize your data so that it will be easier to view and interpret, for you and for others 👍

Excel is not just about calculating and performing operations with your data. You can also use Excel to organize your data for better presentation and interpretation.

Learn how to organize and calculate your data faster and easier by making Excel functions work for you. Functions like the IF, SUMIF, and VLOOKUP. Plus, learn how to effectively clean your data in Excel so you can focus on data that matters! 😉

Sign up for my free Excel Advanced Training ✍ to learn all these.

Other resources

Learning never ends. We have more high-quality Excel tutorials in store for you! 😀

If you want to know more about how to visually organize your data in Excel, then learning how to add bullet points in Excel is definitely your next best read.

If not, check out how adding active checkboxes in Excel ✅ can change how you organize and manage your data.