Indents and tab stops help you align text on a slide. For numbered and bulleted lists, preset indents exist for five levels of bullets or numbers and body text. When you type plain paragraphs (paragraph: Text that has a carriage return (hard return) at the end of it, such as when you press ENTER. Each item in a bulleted or numbered list is a paragraph; a title or subtitle is also a paragraph.) (not using bullets or numbers), an initial indent and default tab stops help you indent the text. You can change and add to indent and tab stop positions.
Indents and tab stops appear on the horizontal ruler. When you display a new slide and either click the text area in a placeholder (placeholders: Boxes with dotted or hatch-marked borders that are part of most slide layouts. These boxes hold title and body text or objects such as charts, tables, and pictures.) or click a text box (text box: A movable, resizable container for text or graphics. Use text boxes to position several blocks of text on a page or to give text a different orientation from other text in the document.) you've added, the default indents and tab stops appear.
First-line indent marker
This shows the position of the first line of a paragraph, or, in a bulleted or numbered list, the position of the bullet or number for an item in the list.
Left indent marker
This shows the position of the second line of a paragraph, or for a bulleted or numbered list, the indent of the text next to the bullet or number.
Default tab stops
These appear as small gray markers underneath the numbers on the ruler. You can drag these to new positions. Use them for text that's not in a bulleted or numbered list.
Customized tab stops
A typical example of changing an indent is when you want to adjust the space between a bullet in a list and the text it goes with — moving the first-line indent and left indent either closer together or farther apart. For a special tab stop, you might have numerical data in a list that you want to line up by the decimal point. Use the decimal tab to do this.