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: Setting Decimal Tabs in a Table Using the Keyboard.

Setting Decimal Tabs in a Table Using the Keyboard

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 10, 2017)

If you love using the keyboard, you may wonder if there is a way to set decimal tabs in a table using the keyboard. Unfortunately, there is no simple, fast keystroke to set the decimal tabs. The best way is to use the regular accelerator keys that Word uses. You would follow these steps:

  1. If you want to set the tab stop in each cell of the current table, press Alt+5 to select the entire table. (That's the 5 key on the numeric keypad, provided Num Lock is not engaged. You can also, if desired, press Alt+A, C, T.)
  2. Press Alt+O, T. Word displays the Tabs dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Tabs dialog box.

  4. Type the measurement for where the tab should appear.
  5. Press Alt+D to indicate this is a decimal tab.
  6. Press Alt+S to set the tab.
  7. Press Enter to dismiss the Tabs dialog box.

If you would rather not go through such an easy-to-remember process (grin), then you can also create a macro that will do the trick, and assign the macro to a shortcut key. The following is an example of a simple VBA macro that would do the job:

Sub SetDecimal()
    Dim MyTab As String

    MyTab = InputBox("Location (inches):", "Set Decimal Tab")
    If Val(MyTab) > 0 Then
        With Selection.ParagraphFormat.TabStops
            .ClearAll
            .Add Position:=InchesToPoints(Val(MyTab)), _
                Alignment:=wdAlignTabDecimal, _
                Leader:=wdTabLeaderSpaces
        End With
    End If
End Sub

This macro, which should be run after the cell or column is selected, prompts the user to enter a value for the new tab stop, clears all the existing tabs in the selection, and then sets the desired decimal tab stop.

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 (11758) 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: Setting Decimal Tabs in a Table Using the Keyboard.

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

Understanding WordArt

One of the small graphical features provided with Word is the ability to apply artistic treatment to words or phrases. ...

Discover More

Creating a Table of Authorities

In legal documents a table of authorities is a common element. Creating the table is easy to do if you apply the ...

Discover More

Reformatting a Document with Messed-Up Styles

If there are lots of hands that touch a document, there are lots of ways those hands can mess up the document. You may be ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Deleting Tab Stops

Need to delete some tabs tops in a paragraph? It's easy to do using the Tabs dialog box, as described in this tip.

Discover More

Quickly Changing Tab Alignment

Need to change the alignment of some tabs in a multitude of paragraphs? How you approach the problem depends on whether ...

Discover More

Understanding Decimal Tabs

Word offers a variety of tabs that define different ways to align text. If you need to align numeric values, you'll ...

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 8?

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.