Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Deleting Tab Stops.

Deleting Tab Stops

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 3, 2016)

2

There may be times when you don't want to clear all the tab stops in your document—you only want to clear a few of them. To clear individual tab stops for a paragraph, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the insertion point is in the paragraph whose tabs you wish to clear.
  2. Display the Tabs dialog box. (Display the Home tab of the ribbon, click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Paragraph group, then click Tabs.) (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Tabs dialog box.

  4. In the tab list below the Tab Stop Position box, select the tab stop you want to clear.
  5. Click on Clear.
  6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each tab stop you want to clear.
  7. Click on OK.

If you have the ruler displayed on-screen, then you can also delete tabs by following these steps:

  1. Make sure the insertion point is in the paragraph whose tabs you wish to clear.
  2. Use the horizontal scroll bar to scroll left or right until you can see the offending tab on the ruler.
  3. On the ruler, click on the tab indicator and drag it off the ruler. When you release the mouse button, the tab should disappear from the ruler.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each tab stop you wish to clear.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12694) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Deleting Tab Stops.

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

Adjusting a Range's Starting Point

Select a range of cells, and one of those cells will always be the starting point for the range. This tip explains how to ...

Discover More

Deleting a Toolbar

After a time you may not need one of the custom toolbars you've created. This tip explains how to free up resources in ...

Discover More

Beginning a Mail Merge

Performing a mail merge can be intimidating to some people. It needn't be; Word provides a handy step-by-step wizard that ...

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)

Understanding Default Tab Stops

Ever wonder how Word determines the default setting for each tab stop in your document? This article should satisfy any ...

Discover More

Changing Tabs Using the Ruler

Need to adjust the position of tab stops in a paragraph? One simple way to do it is to just drag them around on the ruler.

Discover More

Flush Left and Flush Right On the Same Line

Need to have some text at the left margin and some at the right, all on the same line? It's easy to do if you use your ...

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 more than 5?

2016-05-04 17:47:44

Peter Kirkpatrick

@Christina, It depends what you mean by "clear the tab". To take the example in the screen shot above, the 2.6" tab is selected. But if you 'clear' it by hitting the delete button, that won't remove the tab. You need first to click on the 2.6" tab in the list BELOW the Tab stop position field. THEN click the Clear button. (See step 3 in the instructions above.)


2016-05-03 11:37:16

Christina Vigil

I have 2007 Word, and the first set of directions don't work for me. I am in the same paragraph, do exactly as directions say, clear the tab, hit clear, hit okay. Nothing happens. Stays exactly the same.


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.