Working with Word Tab Stops

Learn about working with Tab Stops – Using the Ruler to create, edit and remove tab stops. Using the Tabs Dialog box to create, edit and remove tab stops. Editing and Removing default tab stops.

Word offers you various functions when working with Word tab stops.  You can work with Words default tab stops or you can create new ones as well as edit tab stops manually or via the ruler.  Below, are the steps by step instructions for creating, editing and removing tab stops manually and via the ruler.  I’ve also included the instructions for removing and changing Words default tab stops.

By default, Word sets tab spacing every half inch.  These default tabs do not appear on the ruler.  The quickest way to set a tab stop is to choose the type of tab stop and click the location for the stop on the ruler.  There are various types of tab stops you can work with.  You can navigate through the various tab stops by clicking on the Tab Selector at the far left of the ruler. Working with Word Tab StopsBelow are some of the options available –

Working with Word Tab StopsLeft Tab – When selected, text is aligned to the right of the tab stop.

Working with Word Tab StopsCenter Tab – When selected, text is centered as you type.

Working with Word Tab StopsRight Tab – When selected, text is aligned to the left of the tab stop.

Working with Word Tab StopsDecimal Tab – When selected, numbers are aligned to the left of the decimal.

Working with Word Tab StopsBar Tab – When selected, a vertical bar is inserted at the tab position.

Working with Tab Stops Using the Ruler

Setting Tab Stops

  1. Make sure the ruler appears at the top of your document by clicking the Ruler check box on the View tab within the Show group.Working with Word Tab Stops
  2. Once clicked, the ruler should appear at the top of your document. Working with Word Tab Stops
  3. Select the type of tab stop you wish to add via the Tab Selector.Working with Word Tab Stops
  4. Click the location on the ruler where you need the tab to appear and the selected tab will be added. Working with Word Tab Stops

    Moving Tab Stops

  1. Navigate to the Ruler.
  2. Click on the tab stop you need to move and drag it to its new location. Working with Word Tab Stops

Removing Tab Stops

  1. Navigate to the Ruler.
  2. Click on the tab stop you wish to remove and drag it off the ruler.
  3. Once you release the mouse, the tab stop disappears and your text move to the tab locations (either one set by you or a default tab stop). Working with Word Tab Stops

Working with Tab Stops Using the Tabs Dialog Box

Using the Tabs dialog box allows you to create very precise tab positions and insert specific character leaders before tabs.

Setting Tab Stops

  1. On the Home tab, click the Paragraph dialog box launcher within the Paragraph group. Working with Word Tab Stops
  2. The Paragraph dialog box will open. Click the Tabs button at the bottom left.Working with Word Tab Stops
  3. The Tabs dialog box will open. From this dialog box, you can set the various options for your tab stops.Working with Word Tab Stops
  4. Tab stop position: Enter the ruler measurement for the tab stop you need to set. Working with Word Tab Stops
  5. Alignment – Set the necessary alignment of Left, Center, Right, Decimal or Bar.
  6. Leader – Set the necessary alignment of 1 None, 2 Dots, 3 Dashes or 4 Underline. When using alignment options 2 through 4, the selected characters appear before the tab. Working with Word Tab Stops
  7. Click the Set button to “set” the tab and its options.Working with Word Tab Stops
  8. At this point, you can add and Set any additional tab stops needed.
  9. Once you have completed setting all necessary tab stops, click the OK button to accept the changes. Working with Word Tab Stops

Removing Tab Stops

  1. On the Home tab, click the Paragraph dialog box launcher within the Paragraph group.Working with Word Tab Stops
  2. The Paragraph dialog box will open. Click the Tabs button at the bottom left.Working with Word Tab Stops
  3. The Tabs dialog box will open. From this dialog box, you can remove the tab stops. Working with Word Tab Stops
  4. To clear a single tab stop, highlight the tab within the Tab stop position list, click Clear and then click OK to accept the removal.Working with Word Tab Stops
  5. To remove all tab stops, click the Clear All button and then click OK to accept the removal.Working with Word Tab Stops

Removing / Changing the Default Tab Spacing

  1. On the Home tab, click the Paragraph dialog box launcher within the Paragraph group. Working with Word Tab Stops
  2. The Paragraph dialog box will open. Click the Tabs button at the bottom left.Working with Word Tab Stops
  3. The Tabs dialog box will open. From this dialog box, you can remove or change the default tab spacing. Working with Word Tab Stops
  4. To remove the default tab stops, highlight the 0.5” in the Default tab stops: box and enter 0. Once set to 0, click OK to accept the removal. Working with Word Tab Stops
  5. To change the default tab stops, highlight the 0.5” in the Default tab stops: box and enter the new default tab stops. Once set, click OK to accept the removal. Working with Word Tab Stops

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