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: Selecting Tabs in Dialog Boxes.

Selecting Tabs in Dialog Boxes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 30, 2017)

This definitely isn't a Word-only tip, but it can come in handy if you simply don't want to remove your hands from the keyboard. Many of the dialog boxes used in Word (and other Windows programs) utilize the concept of tabs. These days, tabs can look one of two ways in Word, depending on the dialog box you are using.

The traditional look for tabs is along the top of the dialog box. A good example of this look is visible in the Page Setup dialog box, which has three tabs (Margins, Paper, and Layout) in it. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Page Setup dialog box.

The other type of layout for tabs is along the left side of the dialog box. A good example of a dialog box that uses tabs at the side is the Word Options dialog box. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Word Options dialog box.

Regardless of whether the tabs are across the top or down the side, navigating through those tabs is essentially the same. The typical way is by using the mouse—simply click on the tab you want. If you prefer leaving your hands on the keyboard, Word provides helpful shortcuts. To move forward through the available tabs, simply press Ctrl+Tab. To move backwards, use Shift+Ctrl+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 (9721) 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: Selecting Tabs in Dialog Boxes.

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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