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.

Entering Tabs in a Table

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 26, 2013)

13

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.

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

Files Open in Word 2003, but not Word 2000

If you have some documents that open in Word 2003, but not in Word 2000, it may mean that you are running into some strange ...

Discover More

Cropping Graphics

Excel makes it easy to place a graphic in a worksheet. Once there, you may want to chop off a side (or two) of the graphic. ...

Discover More

Spotty Recalculation

Does your worksheet or workbook not always recalculate like you expect? If so, then some of the ideas in this tip may help ...

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)

Deleting Tab Stops

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 Text on a Specific Character

Want to use tab stops to align text according to the position of a certain character? It's easy to do if that character is a ...

Discover More

Using Leaders with Tab Stops

Tab stops allow you to modify the horizontal position at which text is positioned on a line. Word allows you to preface the ...

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:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 - 7?

2016-12-05 21:03:56

Katheryn

My tab key quit working and won't create a now row.


2016-11-30 01:54:06

Nicki

Thank you! Previously I was creating a tab outside the table and cutting and pasting that tab into the table.


2016-09-02 04:52:25

chakravarthy

worked like a charm. thank you very much.


2016-06-10 11:50:59

Bill

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?


2016-04-03 13:22:13

Harold

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.


2015-12-08 09:14:06

Julie

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


2015-12-08 09:07:23

Julie

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


2015-09-19 01:25:22

Nedeljko

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...


2015-08-19 21:33:45

MD

Resolved: on my machine there needs to be a space between the last character and where you want the ctrl+tab tab


2015-08-19 21:25:26

MD

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


2015-02-07 02:48:49

JACOB

Thank you so much. It works! It works for MS Word 2010 too!


2014-12-17 21:07:20

Ewald

CTRL-TAB only moves the paragraph left indent over. It doesn't insert a tab in the text.

I am using Word 2013.


2014-11-14 16:36:56

Jacob

Thank you! Both work for Word 2007


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.

Newest Tips
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