Paragraph Indents

Indenting your text on the left and/or right is appropriate in the following situations:

  • To indicate a quoted passage of text or extract. Typically the type will be 1 point smaller than the body text with an even amount of paragraph spaceusually a half-line spaceadded before and after.

  • To indicate hierarchy. Especially in tables of contents or technical documents, indenting signifies a lower level of the hierarchy.

  • Bibliography entries should be set with a hanging indent of 1 em space.

Figure 9.14. A table of contents using indents.

Text Insets

Text insets are an inner margin on your text frame. They give you the same result as applying left and/or right indents, but might be more convenient if you are working with type in a framed or colored rectangle.


If you use a rounded rectangle or any kind of custom text frame shape you will only be able to specify a single dimension for the text inset.

Figure 9.15. Text Frame Options.

Figure 9.16. A sidebar text frame using Inset Spacing.