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Entering Tabs in a Table

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: Entering Tabs in a Table.

When you are entering text in a table, some of the keyboard keys don't function as they do when you are working in the body of your document. One of those keys is the Tab key. If you press Tab, the insertion point moves to the next cell in the table, or if you are at the end of the table, it creates a new row.

There may be times, however, when you want a tab character in the table's text. In order to insert a tab, you can use either of these methods:

  • Press Ctrl+Tab.
  • Hold down the Alt key as you type 0009 on the numeric keypad.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1087) 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: Entering Tabs in a Table.

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Comments for this tip:

Katheryn    05 Dec 2016, 21:03
My tab key quit working and won't create a now row.
Nicki    30 Nov 2016, 01:54
Thank you! Previously I was creating a tab outside the table and cutting and pasting that tab into the table.
chakravarthy    02 Sep 2016, 04:52
worked like a charm. thank you very much.
Bill    10 Jun 2016, 11:50
This behavior seems backwards to me. Is there a way to reverse it so TAB always enters a tab character, and CTRL+TAB inserts a row?
Harold    03 Apr 2016, 13:22
Using Word 2013:
>If< all other Word dialogs are closed, then the Ctrl-Tab does work, just like with old versions of Word.

>But<, if another dialog is open, such as "Find and Replace", then, yes, Ctrl-Tab will just cycle you between dialogs.
Julie    08 Dec 2015, 09:14
Apologies, I hadn't read the comment from Nedeljko, posted 19 Sept 15.

OFFICE TAB is the reason Ctrl+Tab doesn't work in table cell. So, as the advice, I've turned off the option and now Ctrl+Tab works as it did before. I've still got Office Tab too, working well. :)

Many thanks, Nedeljko
Julie    08 Dec 2015, 09:07
Unfortunately, Ctrl+tab switch programs/windows for me. I haven't assigned this combination to another shortcut. It's always worked until I got Word 2010.

I'd be very grateful of any advice. Thanks
Nedeljko    19 Sep 2015, 01:25
Combination CTRL+TAB doesn't work if you using add-in OFFICE TAB. This shortcut is reserved for changing tabs with documents. Turn off that option in OFFICE TAB -> Options -> Option center...
MD    19 Aug 2015, 21:33
Resolved: on my machine there needs to be a space between the last character and where you want the ctrl+tab tab
MD    19 Aug 2015, 21:25
Ewald 17 Dec 2014, 21:07
 CTRL-TAB only moves the paragraph left indent over. It doesn't insert a tab in the text.

1 agree
JACOB    07 Feb 2015, 02:48
Thank you so much. It works! It works for MS Word 2010 too!
Ewald    17 Dec 2014, 21:07
CTRL-TAB only moves the paragraph left indent over. It doesn't insert a tab in the text.

I am using Word 2013.
Jacob    14 Nov 2014, 16:36
Thank you! Both work for Word 2007
 
 

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