• anonymous
I want the first sentence of a paragraph to be non-indented, the second indented, and the rest non-indented, but my computer won't let me. Suggestions?
  • Stacey Warren - Expert
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  • katieb
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  • jagatuba
There are a few problems with what you want to do. First of all you are trying to use a standard writing convention in an unconventional manner. While there may be many reasons to do this, it is something that most word processors are not set up to do by default. Another issue is that are you sure that your second sentence is going to start on a new line? If you write a paragraph in Times New Roman and indent the second sentence manually, the line on which that indentation occurs will certainly be different if you were to change the font to say Arial. This would not be too big a deal to fix if it were only one instance, but if you have several instances of this it could be a huge pain in the rear if you have to go in and change them all to fit the format. Third, and this ties into my second reason, many documents these days are submitted and read electronically, so the only way you would solidify such a format is by printing it. If the document is submitted electronically or is otherwise going to be read on a computer screen rather than on paper, you special format is likely to fly out the window unless it is done right. For example, one of the first things that I do when I receive a paper electronically is increase the font size to about 20pt so that I don't need to squint to read it or put on my glasses. This would completely screw up your indent. There are, however, workarounds and depending on what you are doing you would want to use the easiest one that you can get away with. So with those problems outlined let me ask, what specifically are you trying to do? Why exactly do you need the second sentence indented in the first place? Are you going to print out and submit the final draft or will it be submitted electronically? And what is this document for? With the answers to these questions I can better assess how to help you in what you are doing.

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