Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Clearing All Tab Stops.

Clearing All Tab Stops

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 15, 2020)

1

There may be times when you want to clear all tab stops for a certain paragraph. For instance, you may decide that you want to reset all the tabs—it is just easier to start with a clean slate, so to speak. To clear all the tab stops for a paragraph, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the insertion point is in the paragraph whose tab stops you wish to clear.
  2. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Paragraph group. Word displays the Paragraph dialog box.
  4. Click the Tabs button (lower-left corner of the dialog box). Word displays the Tabs dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Tabs dialog box.

  6. Click on Clear All.
  7. Click on OK.

For those who like to stick to keyboard commands, you can also use Ctrl+Q to remove tabs. Either place your cursor in the paragraph that you want to adjust, or select the whole document with Ctrl+A to remove the tabs from everything. Just note that this command will remove all direct formatting to your paragraphs and reset it to the formatting defined by the style. (If the style contains tabs, then those will not be removed). This approach will not remove any character-level formatting.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7335) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Clearing All Tab Stops.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is two less than 7?

2020-09-15 17:39:05

David C

Ctrl-Q seems to revert to some sort of "normal" tab spacing when done in header/footer, not remove them. For me, that keyboard shortcut creates a center-align tab at 3" and a right-align at 6". Not sure why Word (a) won't remove them with that shortcut, and (b) seems to think those two tabs are useful.


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