Using Tab Stops in Microsoft Word 2010: Video
This video shows using tab stops in Microsoft Word 2010.
Using Tab Stops in Word 2010: Overview
Tab stops can be useful when creating an organized list in a Word document. For example, suppose that you had to create a document that listed the names of the people in your company and also in which department they worked. In this case, it may be helpful to create a document that contains two columns of information: one for the names of the people, and another for the names of the departments. Using tabs in your Word document can allow you to easily accomplish this type of task.
While you often insert tabs into a document before writing its lines of text, you can insert tabs either before or after writing text. Tabs can also change from section to section within a single document. Actually, each line in a document can have its own unique set of tab stops. So, in summary, tabs do not have to be placed in a strictly uniform fashion throughout your entire document.
Before you add tab stops to a line in your document, ensure that you have the ruler enabled. Once you have the ruler turned on, you will be able to see the tab toggle button at the far left end of the horizontal ruler. It is called a “toggle” button because when you click the button, you toggle between the various types of tabs that are available for use: “Left,” “Center,” “Right,” “Decimal,” and “Bar.” In addition to these buttons, you will also have buttons that allow you to set the “First Line Indent” and the “Hanging Indent.” Since these last two buttons are redundant and have already been discussed in Introductory Word, we will focus in this lesson on the use of the tab buttons.
To insert a tab into a line of text, first click into the line, or select the lines of text to which you want to insert tabs. Then click the tab button in the horizontal ruler until its face displays the type of tab that you want to insert. To see the currently selected tab type , hold your mouse pointer over this button to show the name of the tab type in a screen tip. Next, click in the horizontal ruler at the position at which you want to place a tab of the currently selected type.
The type of tab that you insert affects the way in which text will align when entered next to the tab. Therefore, left tabs will left-align adjacent text, right tabs will right-align adjacent text, center tabs will center-align adjacent text, and the decimal tab aligns numbers by their decimal points. The bar tab, which you often use in conjunction with the other tabs, simply draws a vertical bar when you tab over its position within the line. It does not in any way affect the placement of text. It is purely for aesthetics.
To remove a tab from the ruler for a selected line (or lines), first click into the line of document that you wish to change, or select the lines that you wish to change. Next, click and drag the tab stop that you wish to remove from the horizontal ruler and drop it into the document area. That will remove the tab stop from the selection.
You can reposition tabs that you have added to the horizontal ruler by simply clicking and dragging the small black icons of the tabs shown within the ruler to a new location within the ruler.
Note that if you set tabs for a line of text at the end of your document, those tab stops will automatically appear on the next line when you press the “Enter” key to start a new line. If you no longer want to have the same tabs stops, you will need to remove them from the new line.