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: Aligning Decimal Numbers in Tables.

Aligning Decimal Numbers in Tables

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 13, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


When working in tables, there is no documented way of aligning decimal numbers. You can, if desired, add a decimal tab stop in a cell and then press Ctrl+Tab to align the number to the tab stop, but there is an even easier way. All you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Select the cell or cells whose contents you want decimal aligned. (Don't select the entire table; make sure you only select cells.)
  2. Make sure the cell alignment is left. (If the cells are centered or right aligned, you cannot get the decimals to align.)
  3. Click repeatedly on the tab stop marker at the left edge of the ruler, stopping when you see the symbol for a decimal tab. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. You can control the type of tab stop by clicking here.

  5. Click on the ruler above the selected cells, at the location where you want the numbers aligned.

Presto! The numbers get aligned as per the tab stop. You should note, however, that this is the only tab option (decimal) that works in this manner.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11852) 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: Aligning Decimal Numbers in Tables.

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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