Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.
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Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Adding Tabs at the Beginning of a Line.
One of the annoying features of Word is that the program assumes that if you press the Tab key at the beginning of a line, you want to indent the line. The program then proceeds to adjust the left margin by the distance of a normal tab stop. While this can be helpful in some circumstances, I can think of many times when I really want the tab character inserted in the document instead of adjusting margin information.
If you want to make sure that Word inserts a tab character, simply press Ctrl+Tab. This will work any time in Word, but is of the most use at the beginning of lines. As an alternative, you can turn off the indent feature completely by following these steps in Word 2002 or Word 2003:
Figure 1. The AutoFormat As You Type tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.
If you are using Word 97 and Word 2000 you should follow these steps:
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1075) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Adding Tabs at the Beginning of a Line.
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