Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 12
Tab Formatting
In This Chapter
Understanding tab stops
Viewing the ruler
Setting left tab stops
Using right, center, and decimal tabs
Decorating with the bar tab
Working in the Tabs dialog box
Setting leader tabs
Removing tabs and tab stops
The tab is one of the handiest and most overlooked and frustrating things in all of Word. By using
tabs, you can quickly line up text and create lists nice and neat. Yet most folks don’t bother with tabs
because, honestly, Word doesn’t handle them in anything approaching a logical, friendly manner.
Because of that frustration, and even though the tab is a part of paragraph formatting, I decided to create
a special chapter just on the topic of using tabs in Word.
Once Upon a Tab
On my ancient Underwood typewriter, the Tab key is on the right side of the keyboard and is named
Tabular Key. Elsewhere, I’ve seen it named Tabulator. In every case, the root word is table. The Tab
key is used to help build tables or to organize information in a tabular way.
Pressing the Tab key in Word inserts a tab character into your document. The tab character works like
a wide space character, where its size is determined by a predefined location marked across a page.
That location is called the tab stop .
It’s the tab stop that makes the Tab key work: Press the Tab key, and the insertion pointer hops over to
the next tab stop. That way, you can precisely line up text on multiple lines — definitely much nicer
than trying to fudge together columns of text by using the spacebar.
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