Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Searching for Tabs.

Searching for Tabs

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 9, 2013)

Word allows you to search not just for text, but also for special characters which normally do not print. If you are working with documents that use tabular material, you will find yourself searching for tab characters quite a bit. To search for tabs, follow these steps if you are using Word 2007:

  1. Press Ctrl+F. Word displays the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  3. In the Find What box, enter the text for which you want to search. To search for a tab character, enter ^t (it is important to use a lowercase t).
  4. Set other searching parameters, as desired.
  5. Click on Find Next.

In Word 2010 and Word 2013 pressing Ctrl+F (step 1) doesn't display the Find and Replace dialog box directly. Instead, it displays the Navigation pane at the left side of your document. You could, if desired, enter the ^t characters into the Search box of the Navigation pane, but you won't be able to set any additional searching parameters. To do this you must display the Find and Replace dialog box. Do this from the Navigation pane by clicking the down0arrow at the very right of the Search box and choose Advanced Find from the resulting options.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9449) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Searching for Tabs.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Editing the Same Cell in Multiple Sheets

When creating a workbook, you may need to make changes on one worksheet and have those edits appear on the same cells in ...

Discover More

Phantom Counts

Two common worksheet functions used to count things are COUNT and COUNTA. Not understanding how these functions treat cell ...

Discover More

Setting a Default File Format

Excel normally saves workbooks using a default file format that is peculiar to your version of the program. You can configure ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

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 ...

Discover More

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 ...

Discover More

Flush Left and Flush Right On the Same Line

Want 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 ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight minus 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.