Tab Stops

Indentation and alignment are very noticeable on a printed page, so you will probably want to set the tab stops in your document precisely how you want them. The following articles discuss the various methods for editing tab stops and how to use them.

Tips, Tricks, and Answers

The following articles are available for the 'Tab Stops' topic. Click the article''s title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.

   Accurately Setting Tabs Using the Ruler
If you try to set tabs by clicking on the Ruler, you may not be able to set them exactly where you want. This is normally due to a setting used for aligning graphics, but you can easily change it.

   Adjusting Dot Leader Spacing
Word allows you to use leader dots with your tab stops. If you want to space out the leader dots, you are limited in what you can accomplish. This tip looks at a couple of workarounds you can try.

   Aligning Decimal Numbers in Tables
Need to align numbers around their decimal point within a table? It's easy to do by using the three simple steps provided in this tip.

   Aligning Digits in a Table
Placing information in your table is only half the battle. You also need to figure out the best ways to format that information so it is accessible and understandable. This tip discusses how to format cells so that numbers are aligned well.

   Aligning Text on a Specific Character
Want to use tab stops to align text according to the position of a certain character? It's easy to do if that character is a decimal point (period), but can also be done for many other characters.

   Automatically Changing Tab Stops in the Footer
If you use a tab stop in your footer to align information at the right margin, you may not get what you expect when you later adjust the right margin. Here's why that happens and what you can do about it.

   Automatically Setting Right Leader Tabs
If you have a constant need to define tabs at the edge of the right margin, you'll love the macro-based technique provided in this tip. You can, just by running the macro, set the requisite tab and include either dot or underscore leaders for the tab.

   Changing Default Tab Stops
If you don't explicitly set tab stops in a paragraph, Word relies upon a default tab stop distance. You can adjust that distance by applying the information in this tip.

   Changing Tabs Using the Ruler
Need to adjust the position of tab stops in a paragraph? One simple way to do it is to just drag them around on the ruler.

   Changing the Color of a Tab's Leader Character
When you set tab stops for a paragraph, you can also specify leader characters to be used with the tab stop. If you want those leader characters to be a different color than the rest of the text, this tip will come in handy.

   Clearing All Tab Stops
Tab stops allow you to modify the horizontal position at which text is positioned on a line. If you want to get rid of all the tab stops that may be set for a particular paragraph, it's easy to do using the technique in this tip.

   Clearing All Tabs in a Document
Need to get rid of all the tab stops in a particular document? It's easy to do when you apply the technique outlined in this tip.

   Deleting All Tab Stops
Tab stops can be helpful when you want to align text within a paragraph. However, you might also want an easy way to get rid of all the tab stops in a document. Here's the quick way to do it.

   Deleting Tab Stops
Need to delete some tabs tops in a paragraph? It's easy to do using the Tabs dialog box, as described in this tip.

   Flush Left and Flush Right On the Same Line
Need to have some text at the left margin and some at the right, all on the same line? It's easy to do if you use your tab stops creatively. Here's how to do the proper formatting.

   Indenting a Paragraph to the Next Tab Stop
Need to indent an entire paragraph from the left margin? It's easy to do using the tool described in this tip, easily accessible from the ribbon.

   Quickly Changing Tab Alignment
Need to change the alignment of some tabs in a multitude of paragraphs? How you approach the problem depends on whether those paragraphs are formatted using styles or not.

   Quickly Displaying the Tabs Dialog Box
Setting tabs in a paragraph is a common task. This is most easily done by using the Tabs dialog box. Displaying the dialog box is most easily done by using the technique in this tip.

   Resetting Tab Stops to the Default
If you get a document that has all sorts of wonky tab stops defined, it is an easy task to get rid of them all and set everything back to the default. This tip walks you through the process.

   Searching for Tabs
Tabs don't normally show up in your printed document, but Word allows you to still search for them. All you need to do is use a special code recognized by Word as a tab character. This tip explains how to utilize that code when searching.

   Setting Decimal Tabs in a Table Using the Keyboard
Most people use the mouse to set tab stops in the paragraphs in a table. If you prefer to not use the mouse, then you'll be interested in the techniques for keyboard tab setting, as described in this tip.

   Setting Tab Stops Using the Tabs Dialog Box
Aligning different lines in your document is easy. Using the tab stops feature in Word, you can set four different types of tab stops. Here's how.

   Understanding Decimal Tabs
Word offers a variety of tabs that define different ways to align text. If you need to align numeric values, you'll become quite familiar with the decimal tab, described in this tip.

   Understanding Default Tab Stops
Ever wonder how Word determines the default setting for each tab stop in your document? This article should satisfy any questions you might have.

   Using Dot Leaders in a Paragraph
Adding dot leaders to your text is easy through the application of tab stops. This tip explains the steps you need to follow to add those dot leaders to your paragraphs.

   Using Leaders with Tab Stops
Tab stops allow you to modify the horizontal position at which text is positioned on a line. Word allows you to preface the tabbed position of your text with a "leader character" of your choosing.

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