How To Create Indents In Canva (Step By Step)

Canva is mainly known for its innovative ways for graphic designers to whip up designs quickly. Beyond image and video creation, Canva is also helpful for creating text documents and adding text to your designs. The one downside is how difficult it is to indent in Canva. Unlike other programs, indenting your text in Canva involves more than just pressing Tab.

As annoying as it is to make indents in Canva, the process itself is relatively easy. You just have to get used to it. This guide will walk you through how to indent your text in Canva and create a hanging indent for those who want to add a little bit of flair to a document or design.  

How To Indent Text In Canva

Yes, it’s true. You can’t use Tab to indent your text in Canva. Thankfully, you can still indent your text, and it’s almost just as easy.  

Step 1: Use Your Existing Document Or Create A New One

Chances are, you already have a document open that needs an indent. If you don’t, then you can create a new text document.

To do this, click the Create A Design button in the top right corner of the screen. Then, select Custom Size.

When the sub-menu pops up, input the dimensions you need, and a new canvas will open in a separate tab.

Step 2: Add A Text Block

Once you have your canvas open, you have a few ways to add a basic text block to your project. You can select the Text tab, then click the Add A Text Box button or choose a size under the Default Text Styles section. Choose Add A Little Bit Of Body Text for a basic text block.

You will now have a blank text block you can work with.

Step 3: Add Your Custom Text

To add your own words to the empty text block, double-click the block, then either type your own words directly into Canva or copy your text from another document and paste it inside the text block.

If you plan on adding a large amount of text, it’s best to copy it from a separate document. That way, you will have a backup copy of your text to edit later.

Step 4: Use The Spacebar To Add Your Indent

Once you have your text ready, double-click the text block and position your cursor at the beginning of your sentence.

To create your indent, tap the Space Bar five times. Five type spaces are equivalent to the same amount of space as hitting the Tab key in a document that allows you to.

Repeat this process as many times as needed for your text to make your document look as professional as possible.

How To Create A Hanging Indent In Canva

If you’re looking for a fancier way to indent your text, you can always create a hanging indent in Canva.

A hanging indent is when the first line of your text extends to the left while the rest of the text indents in the opposite direction.

Hanging indents are perfect for:

  • Making room for photos or other designs.
  • Creating more interesting visuals.
  • Separating each paragraph.
  • Formatting lists.

To create a hanging indent, you will need to break your text block into two text blocks, then adjust the placement of the second block.

Step 1: Duplicate Your Text Block

To start this process, select your text block first, then click the Duplicate button in the Mini Options Bar.

An exact copy of your text block will appear near the original.

Step 2: Prepare The Text That Shouldn’t Move

If you have a large amount of text to work with and want to start your hanging indent toward the middle of the page, you first need to ensure the text at the beginning stays put.

First, move the duplicated text block out of the way, but ensure that it’s still readily available.

In the bottom text block, select the amount of text you want to add a hanging indent to, then press Delete. All of the text above your selection will be preserved.

Once you press Delete, you will have your preserved text. This text will remain untouched.

Your second text block will be the one you edit.  

Step 3: Prepare The Text Block You’re About To Edit

Before editing your second block, you’ll need to prepare it by deleting the text you don’t need anymore.

First, look through your second text block and find all the text that mirrors your first block. Select all of the duplicated text, then press Delete.

From here, you should have two text blocks:

  • The preserved text block that you don’t need to touch.
  • The fully prepared text block for editing.

Step 4: Isolate The First Line

To start your hanging indent, you must create a text block with just your first line of text.

The quickest way to do this is to select all the text under the first line, then cut the text by pressing Contol + X (Win) or Command + X (Mac). This will leave the first line in the text block isolated.

Step 5: Duplicate Your One-Line Text Block

The easiest way to keep your text lined up in the final product is to duplicate your one-line text block first.

To do this, click on the block to select it, then click the Duplicate button in the Mini Options Bar. An exact copy will appear below the original block. This duplicated copy will be perfectly aligned with the original.

Step 6: Paste The Cut Text Into The Duplicated Block

Now that you have your new duplicated text block paste the text you cut in the previous step.

First, double-click the duplicated text block to select the entire line. You should still have the text you cut from before on your clipboard, so you just need to paste your copied text inside the block.

Press Command + V (Mac) or Control + V (Win) to paste your text. The selected line inside the block will be replaced with the text you have on your clipboard.

Step 7: Drag The Left Side Handle

Now, you’ve completed all of your preparations and are ready to form your hanging indent.

First, click on the text block to select it, then drag the middle handle on the left side of the block toward the right of the page. Drag the handle until you have about an inch or so of space open on that side.

The required space depends on your project, so feel free to experiment.

Step 8: Adjust The Size Of Your Text Blocks And Add Elements (Optional)

Your hanging indent is now complete, but you can still make some extra adjustments if you’d like.

If you need white space around your completed hanging indent, you can do this by adjusting the corner handles of the entire design.

To do this, first, you must select all your text blocks. You can do this by dragging your mouse over all the text blocks simultaneously or Shift-clicking each block.

Once each text block is selected, the corner handles will pop up. Drag one of the corner handles toward the middle of the page to shrink the design. Shrink the design until the space around it fits your needs.

Once you have your design down to the size you need, you can use the purple guidelines to help you center your text on the canvas.

Now that your design is complete and the exact size you need, you can add an element inside the space if you wish.

The element you add depends on your design, so you can experiment and have fun with it. For instance, you can add graphics and create vertical text in the space.

Can You Use The Tab Key To Indent Text In Canva?

Unfortunately, using the Tab key does not work with text in Canva.

The only way to make an indent within a text block is to press the Spacebar five times at the start of your paragraph.

Article By

Brendan Williams

Hey, I'm Brendan! I'm a professional photographer and photo retoucher who has spent the majority of his career shooting or retouching outdoor lifestyle and social media campaigns for brands like G-Adventures, xoxo Bella, P&G, Fitbit, Chevy, Tourism California, and more. You can view my photography portfolio here.

These days I primarily focus my efforts on this site, creating guides and tutorials that I wish I had earlier in my career. Each week I publish new tutorials on Photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Canva to help you unlock new skills and bring your creativity to new levels! Everything you learn here is backed by real experience, so you can finally skip the fluff and focus only on what matters.

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