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: Quickly Changing Tab Alignment.

Quickly Changing Tab Alignment

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 28, 2012)

Word allows you to insert tabs of all types in your paragraphs. If you use styles, changing the alignment of tab stops in a particular type of paragraph is very easy. It can be more difficult if you use explicit (non-style) formatting, however.

For instance, let's say you have a hundred different paragraphs in your document, and each of them has a left-aligned tab stop at 2.25 inches. What if you want to change that tab stop so it is centered instead? Well, you could select each paragraph and manually make the change, or you could follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  3. Make sure the insertion point is in the Find What box and that it contains no text.
  4. Click on the Format button. (You may need to click on More before you can see the Format button.) Word displays a list of format options.
  5. Choose Tabs from the options presented. Word displays the Find Tabs dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The Find Tabs dialog box.

  7. In the Tab Stop Position dialog box, type 2.25.
  8. Click on Set.
  9. Click on OK. The text Tabs: 2.25" now appears below the Find What box.
  10. Move the insertion point to the Replace With box and make sure it contains no text.
  11. Click on the Format button. Word displays a list of format options.
  12. Choose Tabs from the options presented. Word displays the Replace Tabs dialog box. (See Figure 3.)
  13. Figure 3. The Replace Tabs dialog box.

  14. In the Tab Stop Position dialog box, type 2.25.
  15. In the Alignment area, choose Center.
  16. Click on Set.
  17. Click on OK. The text Tabs: 2.25" Centered now appears below the Replace With box.
  18. Click on Replace All.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (855) 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: Quickly Changing Tab Alignment.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Making Common Functions Available to Others

When you use macros to create functions, you might want to share those functions with others—particularly if they ...

Discover More

Counting Document Lines

Need to know how many lines are in your document? Word provides a quick and easy way you can determine the information.

Discover More

Insert a TOC without Upsetting Pagination

Insert a table of contents in your document, and your page numbering may get thrown for a loop. If you want the page ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Searching for Non-Black Text

Searching for text having (or not having) specific formatting is generally pretty easy. It is more difficult to search for ...

Discover More

Searching for Optional Hyphens

If you have a document that contains optional hyphens (special characters that mark where a word can be split between lines), ...

Discover More

Searching for Footnote and Endnote Marks

Do you want to quickly search for any footnote or endnote marks in your document? Word makes it easy using the standard Find ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

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.

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share