Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Removing Tabs Used to Indent a Paragraph.

Removing Tabs Used to Indent a Paragraph

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 8, 2020)

1

If you frequently convert documents from a different word processor to Word, there is a good chance you must remove tabs inserted at the beginning of paragraphs. Some word processors require tabs in order to indent the first line of a paragraph; Word does not.

About the only way to remove the unnecessary tabs is to go to the beginning of each of the paragraphs and press the Del key. You could, however, use Find and Replace in order to search for tabs and remove them. (Actually, you would search for a paragraph mark followed by a tab; this would then be replaced with a paragraph mark, thereby deleting the tab.)

A quicker way to take care of this problem is to develop a macro to do it for you. The following macro, TabsOut, searches for any hard return/tab combinations in your document (or your selected text) and removes the tab.

Sub TabsOut()
    If Selection.Type <> wdNoSelection Then
        Selection.HomeKey Unit:=wdStory, Extend:=wdMove
    End If
    Selection.Find.ClearFormatting
    Selection.Find.Replacement.ClearFormatting
    With Selection.Find
        .Text = "^p^t"
        .Replacement.Text = "^p"
        .Forward = True
        .Wrap = wdFindContinue
        .Format = False
    End With
    Selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll
End Sub

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8958) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Removing Tabs Used to Indent a Paragraph.

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 one more than 8?

2020-02-10 10:20:22

Andrew

Similarly, to remove all whitespace at the beginning of every line would be to search for ^p^w and replace it with ^p. And to remove all whitespace at the end of every line to the same with ^w^p.

But if you use "Replace all" you have to watch out for underlined whitespace you may not want to delete, such as signature lines and tab-formatted tables. But since I usually am using these to reformat OCR'd documents, this is not so much of an issue.


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