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Google Sheets Tips

How to Indent Texts in Google Sheets: Explained

In this article, you will learn how to add indent to texts in Google Sheets. Adding indentation to your texts helps make your list, table, and data set easy to follow and understand.

What is the indenting of text?

Indentation means you insert whitespace(s) ahead of texts to clarify which item is categorized to which group or chunk in a data set. For example, look at the screenshot below and compare the left and right tables.

Don’t you think the right table is much easier to follow in terms of quickly understanding the critical information (i.e., Revenue, COGS, SG&A, and Profit) and its breakdown?

How indented texts look like in Google Sheets 


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How to add indent to texts in cells

I. Inputting spaces manually

The easiest way is to add intents to texts manually. You can take this approach when the number of texts you want to add indent is relatively small.

  • Open a cell containing the text you want to indent and put the cursor next to the first letter to the left.

  • Press the “Space” until the number of spaces you want to add is inserted.

  • Repeat this process for other cells whose texts you want to indent.


II. Using multiple columns and adjusting their widths

You can do indentation by using multiple columns and adjusting their widths. This approach is practical when you are going to input a relatively large number of texts, and when you can categorize the texts by group or layer.

This method does not give any spaces to the beginning of texts but makes them look like those with whitespaces. You can adjust the degree of the indent by adjusting the columns’ widths.

  • Input texts by layers in columns.

  • Adjust the width of the columns.

  • Add texts according to their group in the adjusted columns.

How to add indent to texts by adjusting columns’ widths

III. Using customized number formatting

In this approach, you create new customized number formattings and apply them to the field you want to give indentation. This measurement is effective when you already have a series of texts you want to add indent on the sheet because you can apply the formattings to the cells without moving a value from one cell to another.

  • Select a range or array you want to add indentation.

  • Go to the “Format” tab → “Number”“Custom number format”.

  • Click the text box at the top of the pop-up window.

  • Press the “Space” until the number of spaces you want to insert is added (e.g., two times).

  • Input the “@” mark at the end of the space(s).

  • Click the “Apply” button.

  • If you still have another range of texts, you want to add a different degree of indent, create another custom number format with a different number of spaces, and apply the design to the range.

How to open the  “Custom number format” window from the menu bar

How to input a custom number format in the pop-up window

Do Google Sheets have indent?

Unfortunately, Google Sheets does not have any indent function. You need to use one of the ways we introduced in this article according to the volume and format of data you process.

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