How to Indent List Items in the Notes App on the iPhone & iPad

With indentation as easy as it is on a computer, it can be frustrating to realize there's no tab key on iPad or iPhone keyboards. If you're like me and depend on your Notes app to organize your life, you'll want to know the formatting options available. Nested lists in the Notes app make navigation easier and gives the option to mark tasks as partially done, and indenting blocks of text can draw attention to quotes or important items. But without an obvious option on the keyboard, how does one indent text in the Notes app? It's easier than you think.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Related: How to Draw & Sketch in the Notes App on Your iPhone or iPad

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How to Tab on the iPhone

  1. Open your Notes app to the note you wish to format.
  2. If it's a bulleted list, simply swipe right on the bullet you want to indent toward the right.
  3. To undo, swipe left on the bullet.

    Swipe to add a tab on the Notes app
  4. If it's a block of text, press on the part of the text you want indented until the format menu pops up above it.
  5. Hit the side arrow once.

  6. Tap Indentation.

  7. Select Increase.
  8. To reverse this, return to the formatting menu and choose Decrease

How to tab on an iPhone keyboard

It is not currently possible to only indent the first line of a block of text unless there is a line break after the indented line, so this is not exactly the same as using tabs in Notes on an iPad or iPhone, but it does provide indentation where you need it.

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Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both's picture

Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both

Amy Spitzfaden Both is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, an award-winning novelist, and an iPhone enthusiast. Over the past decade, her work in the publishing industry has included live coverage of industry events including the Yale Publishing Course and Magazine Innovation’s ACT 9 Experience, providing editing services for several start-up publishing houses, and acting as newsstand consultant for magazines such as The Old Farmer’s Almanac and The New York Review of Books. She graduated from M.I.U. with a Bachelor’s in Literature and Writing, and has gone on to publish two novels and two short stories. Her debut novel Untold won the 2014 Chelson Award for Fiction.
Writing everything from book reviews to skincare tips, Amy discovered a passion for bringing exciting and useful information to even the most casual researcher. The mix of usability and endless possibilities is what drew her to Apple products originally, and the more she learns, the more she loves.
Amy lives in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter. When she’s not writing or glued to her iPhone, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and creating her own tea blends.