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For Word 2007 and later, click the Home tab, then click the little “Change Styles” arrow, as shown in Step 7 above, then click the down arrow for Normal style (assuming you’re using the Normal style for your body, as we recommend), then click Modify, then click Format in the lower left corner, then click Paragraph.

The screen you see now will look something similar to what follows:

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Once you’re at the screen to modify your paragraph style (this screen is essentially the same for all versions of Word), you can define a first line paragraph indent for the body of your book by selecting Special: First line: By: [enter .25 or .3 inch. Don’t do indents greater than .5 inch]. When you desire a first line indented paragraph, make sure the Spacing section, marked by the red oval below, doesn’t define a Before or After space. They should be set to 0pt, otherwise you’ll make the mistake of mixing the first-line indent style with the block style. Once your settings match the image below, click OK then Apply.

After you apply first line indents to the entire document, you’ll go back later and review your document to clean up any anomalies. For example, you’ll want to modify your front matter (title and copyright pages) with custom styles so they’re the block style and centered, because that looks the most attractive. You may also need to manually remove the first line indent from other paragraphs or lines that don’t need them, such as chapter headings.

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