Why Is the Second Row on a PowerPoint Indented?

Written by rebecca johnson
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Microsoft PowerPoint indents the second row, along with the following rows, on a slide when a bullet is removed. This indent is called a hanging indent and can be fixed by adjusting the indent on the slide. You can choose to fix this indent on one slide, or you can adjust the hanging indent on all slides in the presentation.

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Text Slides and Bullets

All of the PowerPoint slide formats that are text-based default to displaying bullets. However, sometimes you need to type a block of text into a slide, so you turn off the bullet. This causes a hanging indent, placing the first line of the text flush with the text box and leaving the rest of the lines of text indented.

The Ruler

The Ruler displays the hanging indent and needs to be displayed to fix the issue. The Ruler is hidden by default. To turn the Ruler on, select "Ruler" in the "Show/Hide" section on the "View" tab. Indents are displayed on the ruler in three sections -- an upper triangle that adjusts the indent for the top line, a lower triangle that adjusts the indent for all lines except the first line, and a square below both triangles that moves both the upper and lower indents together.

Adjust the Indent for the Slide

Adjusting the hanging indent fixes the issue. To adjust the hanging indent, click the lower triangle and drag it so that it is positioned directly under the upper triangle. Be careful to position your mouse on the lower triangle and not the square. If you accidentally drag the square, undo the action immediately before trying again.

Adjust All Indents for the Presentation

If your presentation is going to contain mostly text versus bulleted lists, you can remove the bullets and adjust the indents for all of the text slides in the presentation. This is done through the Slide Master. To view the Slide Master, select "Slide Master" in the "Presentations View" group on the "View" tab. Remove the bullet from the "Click to edit Master title style" line. Adjust the hanging indent, click the lower triangle and drag it so it is positioned directly under the upper triangle. Be careful to position your mouse on the lower triangle and not the square. If you accidentally drag the square, undo the action immediately before trying again. Once complete, click the "Close Master View" button on the "Slide Master" tab.

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