Changing Paragraph StyleParagraph Format
Although most of the time, using styles to control formatting is preferable, occasionally you will wish to change something without handling styles. In that case, you can change paragraph formatting by going to Type > Paragraph.... The same dialog used when altering styles will appear, where you can change indents, spacing, and alignment, along with a few other features such as widow and orphan control.Paragraph Tool Bar
There are three indent options: left, first, and right. Right indentation is fairly self explanatory, but it is important to be aware of the difference between left and first. It's important to note that if you put in the same value for First and Left indentation, the first line of the paragraph will be indented double the value, as both functions are applied at the same time. First affects only the first line of a paragraph (a paragraph is defined as a block of text offset by carriage returns, which are inserted when you press the key). Left, on the other hand, affects the entire paragraph.
You may also insert preset spaces or ruler lines above or below each paragraph. This is especially helpful for defining the amount of white space that is to surround text, as carriage returns merely insert the amount space defined by the current font. As you may realize, fonts each have their own specifications, so having a ruler length of space defined is helpful if several fonts are being used. Rule lines can be inserted by clicking the Rules... button, after which you can choose the line style, color, and indent. Ruler length may also be set in the Options dialog.
The issue of hyphenation is a tricky one. Some people prefer to never see words hyphenated, while others prefer to avoid the whitespace often caused by not using hyphens. It's always a good idea to investigate the hyphenation styles preferred by your department or work organization.
To change hyphenation settings for your document, go to the Hyphenation dialog accessible through the arrow menu on the Paragraph palette. You may choose to fully turn off hyphenation or use it only under certain circumstances. Remember, however, that grammatical rules always have exceptions, so expecting InDesign to always perfectly hyphenate is unrealistic.