How To Do a Block Quote in Google Docs

Need to insert long pieces of text in an article? You should consider using block quotes in Google Docs.

To do this, open your Google Document, then go to “Format” > “Align & indent” > “Increase indent.”

While the method described above works, there are better and more accurate ways to do it. So follow along as we discuss how to do a block quote in Google Docs.

1. Inserting a Block Quote in Google Docs Using the Ruler

An intuitive way to insert a block quotation in Google Docs is by using the ruler feature. You must adjust the indentation marker as far to the right as you like! As you can see, it’s easy to create a block quote in Google Docs:

  1. Go to Google Docs and open your document.
  2. If you haven’t set up your ruler before, select “View” > “Show ruler.”
How to do a block quote in Google Docs—where to find the "Show ruler" option


  1. Highlight the text you want to format.
  2. Click and hold the “Left Indent” marker.
Where to find the Left Indent marker in Google Docs ruler


  1. Drag to your preferred indentation distance (i.e., 0.5 inches).
  2. Release your cursor, and your block quote should now be properly formatted. (You do not need to edit the right indent of your block quote.)
Adjusting the indentation of a paragraph using the ruler


Note: If the ruler isn’t visible in your document, you can enable it by clicking on “View” > “Show ruler.”

2. Use the Tab Key to Create a Block Quote in Google Docs

Perhaps the simplest way to make your Google Docs block quote is to use the “Tab” key on your keyboard. Although it requires some initial setup, it proves to be the fastest method afterward:

  1. Open your Google Docs document and right-click on the ruler (located at the top of your screen).
  2. Select “Add left tab-stop” from the options displayed.
Where to find the "Add left tab-stop" option in Google Docs


  1. A right-facing arrow should appear. Drag this arrow to the desired indentation distance (typically around 0.5 inches).
Dragging a tab-stop in the Google Docs ruler


  1. To create your block quotes, highlight the text you want to format and press the “Tab” key on your keyboard.

3. Using Indentation Options to Do a Block Quote in Google Docs

Google Docs has dedicated tools for indenting block quotes. To include block quotes in Google Docs using the built-in indentation options:

  1. Open the document and highlight the text you want to format.
  2. In the toolbar, click “More” () and select Increase indent, denoted by a paragraph icon with an arrow pointing to the right.
Where to find the "Increase indent" option in Google Docs


  1. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + ] on Windows (or Command + ] on Mac) to increase the indentation.

Tip: You can also access the indentation options by clicking on “Format” > “Align & indent” > “Increase indent.”

Increase indent option in Google Docs

4. How To Insert a Block Quote in the Google Docs App

If you’re using the Google Docs mobile app on your smartphone or iPad, you can format block quotes in the Google Docs app:

  1. Launch the Google Docs mobile app on your device and open your document.
  2. Tap the “Edit” button, represented by a pen icon located (at the bottom-right area of your screen).
Where is the edit button in Google Docs mobile app


  1. Highlight the text that you want to format as a block quote.
  2. Tap on the “Format” button, represented by the capital letter “A” (with lines at the sides).
The "Format" button in the Google Docs app


  1. Switch to the “Paragraph” tab, locate the “Increase indent” option, and tap to indent the selected text.
  2. To save your changes, hit the check button at the top-left of your screen.
Increase indent option in the Google Docs app


Related: How to Indent on Google Docs App [2 Minute Guide]

When To Insert Block Quotes in Google Docs

In all honesty, you can use block quotes whenever you find it suitable. There are two primary scenarios where it’s recommended to insert them:

1. Excerpts from Influential People

Block quotes are a common way to emphasize and highlight statements made by influential people. These can be newspaper quotes, customer testimonials in advertisements, interviews, or speeches.

2. Directly Citing Extensive Texts in Academic Writing

Block quotes are often employed in academic writing when directly citing a passage or text that exceeds a specific word count (more on that later). This helps to differentiate the quoted material from the rest of the content and provides proper attribution to the original source.

Block Quote Formatting Rules

When using block quotes in academic writing, there are some formatting rules that you must adhere to, depending on the chosen citation style. Here are the requirements for block quotations in the three most commonly used formatting styles:


In Chicago formatting, block quotes are used for text that spans five lines (or approximately 100+ words). The general Chicago block quote format includes the following:

  • Free from quotation marks
  • 0.5-inch left-margin indentation
  • Single-spaced format


In MLA formatting, block quotes should be used for text longer than four lines. Format your block quote with the following:

  • Free from quotation marks
  • A half-inch indentation from the left margin
  • Double-spacing format

Related: How to Do MLA Format on Google Docs [Step-by-Step Guide]


In APA style, block quotes are only used when citing text consisting of 40+ words. The APA style guidelines for block quotes are similar to MLA:

  • Free from quotation marks
  • 0.5-inch indentation from the left
  • Double-spaced
  • Lacks blank spaces on the top and bottom of the quoted text

Note: Your professor or advisor may have specific formatting requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Add a Line Break to a Block Quote in Google Docs?

If your block quote consists of multiple paragraphs, including a line break is important to separate them. To do this, press the “Enter” or “Return” key on your keyboard twice after the first paragraph.

Additionally, certain academic writing styles may have specific indentation requirements for the second paragraph. For example, in MLA style, you should indent the second paragraph with an additional 0.25 inches. In APA style, the second paragraph should be indented by an additional 0.5 inches.

What Is a Block Quote in Google Docs?

A block quote in Google Docs helps highlight certain parts of a text. You can use it to quote the words of a renowned individual, incorporate an excerpt into your document, or cite lengthy passages in academic papers.

How Do I Indent a Block Quote in Google Docs?

To format a block quote in Google Docs, follow these steps:

  1. Highlight the text you want to format as a block quote in Google Docs.
  2. Then, choose “Format” > “Align & indent” > “Increase indent.”
  3. Alternatively, to increase the indent, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + ] on Windows (or Command + ] for Mac).

Final Thoughts

You can always use block quotes when including someone’s words or citing lengthy texts in academic papers. Just follow any of the methods we’ve discussed on how to do a block quote in Google Docs, and you’re good to go!

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