Reason I ask is because every time I use indents the paragraphs end up all on the left side in a straight line but if I space the paragraphs it doesn't.

  • 1
    have you considered adjusting the settings in your word processing software? Commented May 30, 2017 at 20:17
  • I am using google docs.
    – Zp73
    Commented May 30, 2017 at 20:38
  • 1
    Adhere to your publisher's style guide as if acceptance depends on it. Because it does. If your word processor of choice does not support the style required by your publisher, make a different choice.
    – EvilSnack
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 1:15

3 Answers 3


Many publisher will have a format they want material in, conform to it. If you are a writer, I would recommend you fork the money for a local word processor on your own machine rather than the Google editor.

  • Libre Office does not cost money. You can control the styles and even switch style templates.
    – JDługosz
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 10:25
  • But if you do anything funky with Open Office, it does not necessarily translate well to "real Word". Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 12:28

Times may have changed in recent years, but I would think that Google Docs is not at all useful for publication. I've used it to write documents at work, and it offers annoying little control over formatting. Furthermore, there is no feature to “export” to another file format. And any publisher will want a file they can hold locally and manipulate, not a URL that can’t be input into their publishing software.

I suggest getting the free Libre Office. And don't worry about the formatting per se, but rather make sure everything is assigned to a named style, not applied directly. This will let you restyle for nice PDF or ebook, or generate the double-spaced typewriter output that traditional publishers want.


I would highly recommend you follow your publisher's style guide. Often a publisher will have a specific manner in which they would like your manuscript laid out. In fact, some publishers won't even accept you if you don't follow it. It is instrumental that you check if your publisher has a specific manner in which they want you to lay out your work as well as how strict they are on it.

I also suggest you stop using google docs. I almost chuckled when I read that because Microsoft Word is the better and more accessible option. Google docs offers very little flexibility in formatting and in my opinion, is a bit frustrating to work with, perhaps because I have a poor internet connection though.

In short, you should:

  • Consult a style guide

  • Switch programs. Use something better than google docs.

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