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: Quickly Displaying the Tabs Dialog Box.

Quickly Displaying the Tabs Dialog Box

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 13, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


A handy shortcut to quickly display the Tabs dialog box is to double-click on the ruler just below the markings appearing there. Make sure you double-click at the bottom of the ruler, not at the top. (If you double-click at the top, the Page Setup dialog box appears.) (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Tabs dialog box.

You should note that when you double-click on the ruler, you may also inadvertently set a tab stop. If you want to delete the newly placed tab stop, you can do so at the Tabs dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13322) 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: Quickly Displaying the Tabs Dialog Box.

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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