first-line indents

Between one and four times the point size

A first-line indent is the most com­mon way to sig­nal the start of a new para­graph. The other com­mon way is with space between paragraphs.

First-line indents and space between para­graphs have the same rela­tion­ship as belts and sus­penders. You only need one to get the job done. Using both is a mis­take. If you use a first-line indent on a para­graph, don’t use space between. And vice versa.

But use your judg­ment—con­sider the width of the text block when set­ting the first-line indent. For instance, nar­row text blocks (3″ or less) should have first-line indents toward the low end of this range. Wider text blocks should have big­ger indents.