Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Understanding Decimal Tabs.

Understanding Decimal Tabs

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 15, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Word offers several types of tab stop alignment that you can use. One of those types is a decimal tab. If a tab stop has been designated as a decimal tab, then text is aligned according to a decimal point or period in the text. As you have probably already ascertained, decimal tabs are used most frequently to align columns of numbers. You can use them, however, to align anything that contains a period. If the text does not contain a period, it is right-aligned to the tab stop. If the text contains two periods, it is aligned based on the first period.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10220) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Understanding Decimal 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

Pasting a Hyperlink

When you paste information into a document, you can specify that it be inserted as a hyperlink rather than as normal ...

Discover More

Forcing a Page Break Before a Paragraph

There are times that you just want to begin a paragraph (perhaps a heading) at the top of a new page. Word allows you to ...

Discover More

Determining a Value of a Cell

Cells can store all sorts of information that can be formatted and displayed in a myriad of ways. If you want to quickly ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Quickly Displaying the Tabs Dialog Box

Setting tabs in a paragraph is a common task. This is most easily done by using the Tabs dialog box. Displaying the ...

Discover More

Using Leaders with Tab Stops

Tab stops allow you to modify the horizontal position at which text is positioned on a line. Word allows you to preface ...

Discover More

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 ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 six less than 9?

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.

Videos
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.