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Google Docs

This article will show you how to alter paragraph alignment, how to change paragraph indentation and how to apply paragraph styles to text in Google Documents.

A convenient feature of word processor applications is the ability to apply special paragraph formatting options to text. This capability enables authors to make documents easier to read and have a professional appearance. Google Documents is a free web based application that comes as part of the Google Docs Suite and allows users to create document files. Many of the formatting and editing features are less sophisticated than those found in commercial word processors, however the features are more than adequate for most users.

If you are using Google documents a write-in in your report there are requirements for how the report paragraphs must be format so you will change line spacing and text alignment, indentation and apply paragraph styles.

The Google Docs main page provides a quick overview of our existing Google Docs files. We have been working on the annual report file, but now we need to apply some styles to it. Let’s open it to get started. We are going to begin by changing our heading alignment. In Google documents, text can be aligned along the left or right margins or centred between them.

Since the insertion point is already at the beginning of the first line, we can centre the first line by using the centre align button on the document toolbar. 


Now we need to change the next heading – School overview, by setting it’s style. Paragraph styles are preset heading styles to the fact font size and style of text for an entire paragraph. Style choices and documents include normal text in six additional options. To emphasize this setting lets choose a style that makes the font bold and fourteen points. We can begin by clicking before the line of text which is its own paragraph. The styles list box is located to the left of the font list box in the toolbar. To access available paragraph styles let’s take a look by clicking the down arrow.


There we can see a drop down list of styles. The style we want to use is called Heading 3. As you can see the first paragraph is not a real fourteen point bold and it really stands out from the rest of the text.


We are ready to continue formatting our paragraphs by double spacing the first block of paragraph text, but before we can modify the line spacing will need to select the text we want to change. The line spacing button is located on the far right side of the document toolbar. It’s the button with the up and down pointing errors. We can now see a drop down menu with several line spacing options. This is also where we can add a line before or after each paragraph, so we don’t have to add extra spaces manually. Let’s just apply double spacing to the selected paragraph.


The next task is to change the first line indentation. We can apply indentation to individual paragraphs or all of the text, depending on how much text is selected when each change is made. The small blue rectangle above the blue arrow on the left of the roller is used to adjust the first line indent to increase the indentation. Let’s click and drag the small rectangle to the first one half-inch mark on the roller. Notice how the text shifted over to begin at the mark we specify.


Now that you know several ways to format paragraphs in a report you have some of the skills you need to produce professional looking document using Google Docs.

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