Backspace doesn't control indent

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Regular Visitor

Hi,

I'm having this weird issue where Word won't let me remove an indent using backspace in certain scenarios. I have the "set left and first indent with tabs and backspaces" option turned on under the AutoFormat as you type turned on because it's convenient especially when I'm starting a new paragraph and it's already set to a first indent. My problem is that if, for example, I am on a new paragraph and I would like to remove the indent, backspace doesn't work at all, not only will it not change the indent but it won't even delete the new paragraph and seems to not do anything at all. The only way to remove the indent is to expand the paragraph setting and manually change the special indentation from "first" to "(none)" or use the ruler and drag the first line indentation point all the way over . To delete the new paragraph I have to select it and then hit back space or go to the end of the previous paragraph and hit delete key. I can't figure out for they life of me why it's doing this. Here's the part I find interesting; when if I go to the beginning of a paragraph containing text that has no special indentation and is set to "none" and then hit tab, it comes up with the little lighting bolt/auto-format box, and at that point I can hit backspace and it will remove the indent, but as soon as I change the insertion point, I can not put the insertion point back at the beginning of that paragraph and hit backspace, additionally the auto-format/lightning bolt box is no longer there. Also, if it has any significance, the auto-format/lightning bolt box only appears on the initial press of the tab key, not on any of the paragraphs following that one, I believe I remember that box showing up at the beginning of every new paragraph in the past. Does anyone know how to fix this? Any and all help is appreciated. Thanks!

2 Replies
The best thing to do is define Styles for each of the paragraph formats that you want to use and then apply the appropriate Style in each situation.

@brock_b 

 

Tabbing and backspacing won't work for very first level 1 paragraph in a multilevel list. In fact, there is a big chance that you will break the indents for the whole list. 

 

As Doug wrote, the long-term solution, to ensure that you get a stable list, is to set it up so that each level is associated with a unique paragraph style. See https://shaunakelly.com/word/numbering/numbering20072010.html.