[Quick Answer: Modify MS Word Normal Style to have a first line indent of 1 px.]
As we discussed in previous articles, the Kindle will impose a first line indent only on those paragraphs where the user has not specified a first line indent.
The answer for most of the people, most of the time. is to "Modify" the paragraph style for "Normal" style so that it has the correct first line indent.
That has two advantages:
Your paragraphs will have the indents you want... not the indent assigned by the Kindle.
Anyone who reads and edits your file -- can now see first-line indents on the computer screen, so won't be adding the tabs and spaces that mess up the formatting.
But there is a little fly in that ointment.
Because Normal Style is the "parent" Style of other Styles in your file, that same first line indent that you (or the Kindle) assigned to Normal Style, will filter down to all other styles in your file.
For most files, that's perfectly okay... every paragraph has the same indent.
That's the reason that Kindle's imposed first line indent was probably the best idea for most of the people most of the time.
But, for a file with a lot of short lines and centered quotes or poems, that imposed first line indent may not be right.
If your file is like that, or you have other reasons for wanting to defeat that first line indent, here's how:
Modify Normal Style so that it behaves just as Microsoft designed it to behave:
That is... it has no first line indent, and imposes no first line indent on its "children styles".
To make the Kindle ignore Normal Style when it assigns its automatic first line indent, assign a value... any value.. to the Normal Style first line indent.
That value should be 1 px... not 0 px. If we assign a zero indent, MS Word thinks we made a mistake and changes it to 48 px.
To see how to do it, follow the steps in the previous article to display the Format Paragraph box.
Enter "1 px". to assign a value.
You might think that a value of zero would be right, but the MS software, user-friendly, as always, will think you made a mistake and change it to 48 px..
So, 1 px, while not quite zero, will do the trick, and is so small that it is not noticeable on the Kindle display.
You have disabled the Kindle's automatic first line indent from Normal Style, so it displays on the Kindle in block Style, just as Microsoft designed it.
You can now assign the indent you want to every paragraph in your file.
You "can" do that with the tab key and the space bar... but that will give inconsistent results.
A much better way is to set up "Body Text" Style to format every paragraph of the body text in your file
How to Modify MS Word Body Text Style is next.