Hanging indent on second and subsequent lines of a reference

My client would like to generate a reference list that looks like this:

1.     Zhou, S. and Admon, A. (1995) Title title title title etc etc etc. In “Techniques in Protein Chemistry” (J.W. Crabb, Ed.)

                         Vol., VI, pp. 161-168, Academic Press, San Diego.

I think this is called a “hanging indent”, but I have been into the Style > bibliography > Layout and I have tried all the options for a hanging indent and not been able to arrive at the above arrangement. It always lines up the second or third lines of a reference under the name of the first author.

The only variation of this layout has been where the second and third lines of text line up under the number of the reference.

Can anyone please help?

I am using EndNote X6, Word 2007 and a modified version of the Lancet Style

The hanging indent setting is located in the bottom section of the Bibliography Layout dialog box (see attached image). If you want a “deeper” indent I suspect you’ll need to do that manually

You can generate the bibliography by: 1) changing the bibliography tempates so the bibliography number appears as the first field in each template (see attached image); and 2) deleting the bibliography Layout settting (which starts each reference with the bibliography number followed by a tab); and changing the Hanging Indent setting to “all paragraphs”.

An example of the bibliography resulting from the described changes is attached for your reference.

Thankyou for your help, this is indeed an excellent solution, and not one that I had thought of.

Do you think it would be possible to insert a tab between the Bibliography Number and the first named author?

When I tried to do that the hanging indent disappeared and the reference all lined up unde the author’s name.

I do appreciate your help.



To achieve what CG suggested, you just needed to delete the tab in the bibliography layout and replace with a space, and apply the hanging indent settings.  The reason either works - is that the hanging indent and tab settings are set the same by  Endnote   hang=1st tab. so a space “looks right” to your user, but  putting a tab back in, restores the tab/hanging indent relaitionship. 

The only way I can think of to achieve what you are asking for - is to select the bibliography just before you are going to print/submit and shift the first tab to the right on the ruler.   

Inserting a tab will be problematic as it negates the effect of the hanging indent.  You could substitute blank spaces instead of a tab but this will reduce the width of the hanging indent.  To address these issues here’s a workaround which involves: 1) modifying the EndNote output style’s “Layout” setting; 2) generating the EndNote bibliography then copying it into MS Word and converting it to a .txt file to remove the field codes; then using MS Word to 3) insert the hanging indent as well as spacing between the bibliography number and first author’s name.

See Image 3 for the final result.

Details of the workaround process/steps goes like this (images are noted in the steps). Note that this process provides some flexibility in defining the length of the spacing/indenting which at this time EndNote is unable to offer.

A. EndNote Output Style :

Step 1. [see Image 1, top.]  In the Layout “Start each reference with” section of the EndNote output style, designate the Bibliography Number followed by a period and a symbol - this example uses a hashtag #.  (It can be any symbol but should be one which is unique to the generated bibliography list.)  The idea is to embed a symbol in each reference which will be used in Step 6 to facilitate a global Find and Replace in MS Word to add spacing between the bibliography number and first author’s name.

Step 2. If you previously inserted the Bibliography Number in the Bibliography templates, delete them.  We want the templates returned to their original “bibliography number-less” state.

Step 3. Close the output style and generate the reference bibliography.

B. MS Word:

Step 4. [see Image 1, bottom.]  We need to convert reference bibliography to a .txt file to remove the EndNote field codes so go to the EndNote section of the MS Word ribbon, select: Convert to Plain Text > Continue.  Note the hashtag appears in each reference following the bibliography number.

Step 5. [see Image 2, top.]  Now we’ll format the bibliography to have a hanging indent. Click to select the entire reference bibliography; then click to select:  Line and Paragraph Spacing  >  Line Spacing Options. In the Paragraph dialog box select “Hanging” (Special) and 0.9” (By). (If you prefer a smaller indent, lower the “By” number.) Click Ok which applies the hanging indent which is shown in Image 2. 

Step 6. [see Image 2, bottom.]  Finally we will insert spacing between the bibliography number and first author by performing a Find and Replace to locate each hashtag # and replace it with 10 blank spaces. (Using blank spaces instead of a tab ensures the hanging indent is maintained.)

See Image 3 for the final result.  Now just copy and paste the bibliography into the original document.

Just remember, that once you perform the process described, converting to plain text, you cannot use that version for any further modifications that will affect the citations.  Endnot cannot read that document any longer.  I like my solution better, albeit temporary (That is, you will need to do it again if you edit that paper in any way and Endnote runs thru to see if it needs to update any citations).  

Leanne, thankyou for this assistance. I have tried your suggestion and it works equally as well. So I will pass this on to my client, as it is a simpler option.

I must admit that I still do not really understand the relationship between the tab after the bibliography number and the settings for the hanging indent. I thought that the “hanging indent” referred to what was going to happen not on the first line of a reference, but on subsequent lines if the text flowed over to a 2nd or 3rd line. I also find the terminology of “paragraphs” in the options for the hanging indent quite confusing. Do you know what “paragraph” refers to? I could find no explanation of these choices in the Help at all.

Kind regards, Julie

A paragraph is anything that ends in a carriage return (as opposed to a line break or wrapped text).  So each reference is a paragraph.  If you view hidden “characters” (by clicking on the backwards P in the word menu - which is also the “paragraph” end of line symbol - you can see these in the word document, as well as the spaces which are little dots.  If it is a line break, it is a little “enter” type symbol like what appears on the enter key on a keyboard.  (usually entered in word by shift return) but I digress.  


     Hanging indent just refers to the first line, which “hangs outside” the rest of the paragraph, as opposed to being indented, as most people usually indent the first line of a paragraph (like this one is).  But it is usual that the second line would line up with the first tab if the first line starts with a number followed by the tab.  What your client is asking for is highly unusual in “typesetting” circles.

Leanne, thankyou for your response and explanation. Much appreciated.


Hi all

I’m using Research Notes to enter information to use in an annotated bibliography. 

I’ve got the hang of the hanging indent but I’d like to request an additional function that hangs the first line of the first paragraph but then also indents subsequent paragraphs there after. Is there a way to currently do this with Endnote X7.2? If there is, your help would be appreciated, otherwise perhaps EndNote could think about adding something that enabled this in the Bibliography/Layout section when editing an Output Style.

It could go something like this:

Paragraph Indent dropdown:

  • None
  • Hang all paragraphs
  • Hang first paragraph only
  • Hang first paragraph, indent rest
  • Hang second paragraph only
  • Hang all paragraphs but first 

as another user,  that is a pretty complicated request for a very specific reason?  Perhaps I  am not exactly clear on what you want or why though.  

My problem is that if I have more than 1 reference from the same author, then the ones after the 1st, lose the hanging indent. Once it’s a new author, the hanging indent comes back.  See the screenshot I included. You can see that when the names are different it’s fine, but when Kerr repeats, it loses the hanging indent.

I’ve configured my style in MS Word to include the hanging indent as well. Even if I manually change it, once there is an update, it loses it again. This has been a problem through many versions. I’m presently using version X8. I’ve been using Endnote for over a decade, since version 6 and am a very advanced uer of both Endnote and MS Word. I use the American Antiquity style for my endnotes. 

Thanks in advance, 


If you look at the output style layout options (see attached), there are hanging indent options “none”, “all paragraphs”, “First Paragraph only”, “second paragraph only”, “all paragraphs but first”.  The last is what is selected, which confused me, as I would expect that to just hang everyone but the first, and that  “all paragraphs but first” to be equivalent to “second paragraph only” or that those would apply in a way that makes no sense.  to the whole of the bibliography.  But anyway –  

When I look at that output style, I notice that the setting for hanging indent are for “all paragraphs but first”.  Since that first paragraph doesn’t appear in the second bibliography listing for the same author, this means the “but first” is now applying to the “second”.   But, if you change to all paragraphs, then the long list of authors will now also appear as hanging, which is incorrect.  second paragraph only has the same problem as all paragraphs but the first.  


The only other option, would be to leave the setting of hanging indents the same, and ensure there is an empty paragraph whether an author is listed or not.  Visually, this is not as disturbing as the other two options.  

To do this you would place a | character before and after each of the authors in each of the bibliography templates.