7 Easy Ways on How to Indent in Google Sheets

indent has been added in google sheets

To make things a little bit easier to read, you can indent by adding some empty spaces before the text within a cell. Here’s how to indent in Google Sheets.

In word processing worlds, you can indent normally by pressing the Tab key on your keyboard or by directly using its indentation feature, which is also available in Excel. Unfortunately, Google Sheets doesn’t have the same feature.

Indentation is useful to farther the first text away from the closest cell’s border. It’s usually used by someone to farther a list of something away from the cell’s border to distinguish it from the title of the list.

While Google Sheets doesn’t have the bullet point feature, you can use the same method of indenting to create bullet points by using some modifications which we’ll talk about later.

How to indent in Google Sheets by adding empty spaces before the text

This is probably the most obvious method to indent in Google Sheets. This currently works on Google Sheets at this time of writing, and you can do it just like writing regular text in a cell.

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To do it, simply click the cell where you want to add indentation. Then, press the space bar for some time depending on how many empty spaces you want to add to the indent. Write the first text and press Enter.

That’s it. Indentation is easy in Google Sheets. While this is possible, you can do alternative methods if you want something more advanced or a little complicated indents.

Indenting by creating a custom number format in Google Sheets

In Google Sheets, there are options to choose from for number formatting, and you can also create custom number formats if you want. This method can be used to indent by adding empty spaces as the format.

To do this, select which cells you want to indent. You can multi-select cells by pressing CTRL and click on each cell at the same time. Then simply click Format. Choose Number. Select More format. Click Custom number format.

how to indent in google sheets

Here, type the first empty spaces (you can add spaces as many as you want) before the @. Click Apply once it’s done.

add space in google sheets cells

Now, those cells will be immediately indented with the empty spaces you’ve added.

google sheets column with indent

How to autofill indented cells in Google Sheets to indent faster

If you already have indented cells in your spreadsheet and want to create indented cells with the same empty spaces, you can spread them by using the autofill feature to the bottom or the right.

You can autofill it just like you autofill anything in Google Sheets the normal way. Simply put the mouse cursor at the bottom-right corner until it changes to the plus icon (+). Click it, and drag it to the bottom/right or anywhere you want.

autofill indent in google sheets

The result will be like this. It will have the same indentation you added in the cell you autofill from.

indent has been added in google sheets

Then, you can edit those cells with any new text quickly.

changing google sheets text

How to indent with symbols to create an impression of bullet points

The previous method before can be modified to add any symbol you want creating an impression that the cell is part of a bullet list. This method exists because Google Sheets doesn’t have a built-in feature about it.

Simply click the cell you want to indent and want to add a symbol before the text. Head to Format > Number > More format > Custom number format.

Now, put one of these symbols you want to add as the cell’s symbol as if it was a bullet point:

  • ⦿
  • >>

Put it before one empty space before the @. The @ is the first text you would see on the cell. Click Apply to save.

apply button

The result will be like this:

add symbol to the indent in google sheets

Copy and paste indented cells to make new ones faster

There’s another method to make new cells with the same indentation than autofill it. You can copy and paste them anywhere in your spreadsheet by using a special method.

Simply click the cells you want to copy. Press CTRL+C to copy. Then, paste them anywhere by right-clicking it, select Paste special > Paste values only.

paste indent in google sheets

Now, your job is simply to replace the text with a new one.

How to remove indents in Google Sheets

If you wish to stop using indent for those cells, you can remove the indents by simply removing the empty spaces.

If you manually added empty spaces, simply remove it by double-clicking the cell, and then remove the empty spaces before the text. Press Enter.

If you added empty spaces within the Format menu, you can remove it by accessing the Format > Number > More Format > Custom number format. Here, remove the empty spaces. Click Apply.

remove indent in google sheets

Alternative methods to indent in Google Sheets

These methods might not be practical enough, but for those who want different methods, then there they are.

You can align horizontally the text to the center to make it look different than the cell without the indent. You can do that by clicking the Horizontal align button below the menu.

text align center in google sheets

You can also indent by putting non-indent cells in the previous column and the “indented” cells afterward. This might not really “indent” those cells, but it works to create an impression of doing one.

add indent by using more column


While Google Sheets doesn’t have built-in features that let you increase indent, you can still do a similar kind of indent by using the above methods as the alternative.

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