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I'm working on a paragraph in Word 2010 and I can't insert space at the beginning of a line. When I press spacebar, the cursor just stays there and doesn't move. If I press tab, the whole paragraph is indented.

I have no idea what is wrong with Word. How can I fix it?

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You might be able to do it by turning of some or all of Word's AutoCorrect features. – martineau Nov 16 '12 at 1:42
What happens if you type some printable character (e.g., ‘X’), type one or more spaces, and then delete the ‘X’? – Scott Nov 16 '12 at 18:33

I can’t see what makes Word behave that way, but you could try Ctrl+Shift+Space, which adds a no-break space. Looks like a space, but Word treats it differently.

If you just want the first line of each paragraph indented, specify that in your style settings. Or to do that for a single paragraph, see the answer from @DanielRHicks.

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Highlight the paragraph, right mouse, select "Paragraph" and the "Indents and Spacing" tab.

Where it says "Special", in the Indentation section, select "First line", and specify in the adjacent box how much indentation you want. Save.

(I find this very odd -- it's an exceedingly hard function to find, yet one that many people want to use.)

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See my “answer”. – Scott Nov 16 '12 at 23:24
@Scott: Comments can always have links to images; those are what I use. – Karan Nov 17 '12 at 22:39

I am making a resume, and couldn’t get it formatted the way I wanted because of this issue. I tried copy and pasting spaces, and the shortcut for adding spaces. These actions did add space, but a bigger space than I needed. So I decided to make the first letter white so it wouldn’t show up, and I could then format my resume appropriately. I know it is cheating, but it worked!

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Are you sure you are actually at the start of a paragraph and not just a line break? Turn on non printing characters and take a look.

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I find that where it says "Special", in the Indentation section, select "HANGING", and save. I used that in a RE: line that looked like this:

RE:  Here is what I mean
     by hanging indentation.
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How does this answer the question? – Scott Sep 11 '13 at 15:24

I fixed this frustrating problem under Preferences. Locate the "Cut and paste options" and either turn off the "Use smart cut and paste" option or uncheck the option to "Adjust sentence and word spacing automatically" under the settings for smart cut and paste.

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I fixed it by: - Click on the Page layout - Go to breaks - Now select Text wrapping. Problem solved. Now you can use space bar to insert space at the beginning of the sentence.

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When selecting the whole paragraph, head to Paragraph in right-click menu or ribbons. In Indents and Spacing tab you can set indent (space before paragraphs).

Select First Line in Indentation menu and set the indentation value.

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