Let’s take a look. Here we have a simple budget worksheet. Let’s apply some indentation to make the categories a little more readable. The easiest way to indent is to use the Indent buttons in the Alignment group on the home tab of the ribbon. One button increases the indent by one step, and the other button decreases the indent by one step. Once you reach zero, clicking decrease indent has no further effect. Because indents can be set in steps, Excel allows you to have multiple levels of indentation. For example, we can indent all expenses under the Expense category. And then further indent sub categories under Housing and Transportation. When text is left-aligned, the indent is from the left edge of the cell. However, when text is right-aligned, the indent is from the right edge of the cell. You can also see and set the indent level using the Format Cells dialog box. The current indent setting is displayed next to the Horizontal alignment menu. As you can see in the menu, only certain alignment options support indents. If you switch to an alignment that doesn’t support indents, the indents will be removed. On the other hand, if you add an indent to an alignment that doesn’t support indents, Excel will automatically switch alignment to left-aligned text. We can see this same behavior using the buttons on the ribbon. If we apply an indent to center-aligned text, which doesn’t support indents, it is immediately left-aligned. When cells with multiple levels of indents are selected, you can’t use the decrease indent button to step back to zero. However, in the Format Cells dialog box, you can set the Indent to zero to clear all indentation in multiple cells.

Dave Bruns

Hi - I’m Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.