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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Specifying a Delimiter when Saving a CSV File in a Macro

You can, within a macro, save a workbook in several different file formats that are understood by Excel. However, you may ...

Discover More

Printing Columns and Rows

If you want to print just the contents of a number of rows and columns, it can be challenging to get the output you want. ...

Discover More

Recording a Macro

One of the most common ways of creating macros is to use Word's macro recorder. This tip shows how easy it is to use the ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Displaying a Single Page

When displaying the information in your document, Word is rather flexible. It can, if you so choose, display multiple ...

Discover More

Automatically Updating Fields and Links

You can update fields and links automatically when you print your document, but what if you want them updated when you ...

Discover More

Avoiding the Update Links Message

Word allows you to establish links from one document to another. When you open a document containing these links, you may ...

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 2 + 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.