Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 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: Entering Tabs in a Table.

Entering Tabs in a Table

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 9, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


1

When you are entering text in a table, some of the keyboard keys don't function as they do when you are working in the body of your document. One of those keys is the Tab key. If you press Tab, the insertion point moves to the next cell in the table, or if you are at the end of the table, it creates a new row.

There may be times, however, when you want a tab character in the table's text. In order to insert a tab, you can use either of these methods:

  • Press Ctrl+Tab.
  • Hold down the Alt key as you type 0009 on the numeric keypad.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12932) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Entering Tabs in a Table.

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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What is 8 + 4?

2021-03-22 13:06:58

Annie Collenette

Hello,

I have tried both the options you suggest but neither work. What am I doing wrong?
I'm on Windows 10 and using Microsoft Word version 2019. I have created a table with 2 columns and lots of rows. I type at the beginning of the first column, then press the tab key and it takes me to the beginning of the second column. Great so far. Then I want to type at a point further along the second column. I use the space bar to get to the point where I want the tab. I then tried both your suggestions (Press Ctrl+Tab. and hold down the Alt key as you type 0009 on the numeric keypad). However, in both cases, when I tested them and pressed tab, it just took me from the start of the second column straight to the beginning of the first column of the row below.

Please help! Thank you.


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