In this article I will show you how to customize paragraph formatting to allow to you call out one paragraph of text in Google Docs.  We also have a Microsoft Word version of these steps. We are going to start with a sample document created using the Lorem Ipsum Text Generator found here.

Google Docs custom paragraph formatting
Generic doc starting point

First lets select the entire paragraph we would like to format. The easiest way to do this is to Triple Click a word inside the desired paragraph. Triple Clicking the word will select the entire paragraph. You can also use the click and drag method if you prefer. The triple click trick works in Google Docs as well as Microsoft Word.

Paragraph Indentation in Google Docs

With the paragraph selected click the Format Menu item then Align and Indent then choose the Indentation Option choice. Choosing this option will give you the ability to have an indentation on both sides of your paragraph.

Google Docs Align and Indent options
Align and Indent Options

Set the indentation amounts to 1 inch on both the left and the right side of the paragraph as seen below.

Google Docs Indentation options
Set the Left and Right to 1 Inch

Your paragraph should now look like the screen shot below. This may be enough to pull readers attention to this paragraph but we are going to explore some additional custom formatting option in Google Docs.

Google Docs Indented Paragraph
Paragraph with 1 Inch Indentation

Add a Border to a Paragraph in Google Docs

Above we indented the paragraph using the Indentation Options. We will now add a border to the paragraph. With the paragraph selected click the Format Menu item then Paragraph Styles then Borders and Shading.

Google Docs border and shading
Google Docs Paragraph Styles

This will bring up the options windows to customize the Google Docs Formatting for the selected paragraph.

Google Docs Border and shading options
Border and Shading Options

Select the icons at the top of the window to select which sides of the paragraph you would like to apply a border. Select a Border Width and a Border Color as you desire. I like to also select a Paragraph padding amount of about 3 pt so the border is not touching the text inside. Your paragraph should now look like the below screen shot.

Border added to Google Docs paragraph
Border added to paragraph

Change the Paragraph Background Color

It is also very easy to change the background color of a paragraph in Google Docs. As we have done above select the paragraph with which ever method you prefer. With the paragraph selected click the Format Menu item then Paragraph Styles then Borders and Shading again.

Paragraph Background Color
Change the Background Color

Select a Background Color to your liking and click the Apply button. Your paragraph now should look like the below screen shot.

Custom Background Color Applied
Custom Background Color Applied

There are countless ways to customize your text and paragraphs is Google Docs. For my students, I hope this quick tutorial is a good start to help you with your customized Google Docs Formatting.

Read the similar article on how to perform these steps in Microsoft Word. and check out our other Google Docs Tips.

Please leave comments below with questions or other Custom Google Docs tips you would like to see.