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: Precisely Adjusting Tab Stops.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 9, 2016)
Tab stops allow you to quickly and accurately align information on a line in your document. If you are familiar with typewriters, then you are already familiar with the concept of tab stops. (Truth be told, I think that fewer and fewer people each year are still familiar with typewriters.) Word goes far beyond the rudimentary tab stops in typewriters, however. It allows you to set four different types of tab stops, as has been detailed other tips.
Once you have set your tab stops, you can adjust them easily. There are two ways you can do this. One of these ways is with the ruler, as described in a different tip. The other way is with the Tabs option, available from the Format menu. To adjust tab stops using this method, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Tabs dialog box.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1007) 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: Precisely Adjusting Tab Stops.
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Need to adjust the position of tab stops in a paragraph? One simple way to do it is to just drag them around on the ruler.Discover More
Need to delete some tabs tops in a paragraph? It's easy to do using the Tabs dialog box, as described in this tip.Discover More
Aligning different lines in your document is easy. Using the tab stops feature in Word, you can set four different types ...Discover More
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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.