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: Removing Tabs Used to Indent a Paragraph.

Removing Tabs Used to Indent a Paragraph

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 5, 2015)

If you frequently convert documents from a different word processor to Word, there is a good chance you must remove tabs inserted at the beginning of paragraphs. Some word processors require tabs in order to indent the first line of a paragraph; Word does not.

About the only way to remove the unnecessary tabs is to go to the beginning of each of the paragraphs and press the Del key. You could, however, use the Replace option from the Edit menu in order to search for tabs and remove them. (Actually, you would search for a paragraph mark followed by a tab; this would then be replaced with a paragraph mark, thereby deleting the tab.)

A quicker way to take care of this problem is to develop a macro to do it for you. The following macro, TabsOut, searches for any hard return/tab combinations in your document (or your selected text) and removes the tab.

Sub TabsOut()
    If Selection.Type <> wdNoSelection Then
        Selection.HomeKey Unit:=wdStory, Extend:=wdMove
    End If
    Selection.Find.ClearFormatting
    Selection.Find.Replacement.ClearFormatting
    With Selection.Find
        .Text = "^p^t"
        .Replacement.Text = "^p"
        .Forward = True
        .Wrap = wdFindContinue
        .Format = False
    End With
    Selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll
End Sub

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1174) 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: Removing Tabs Used to Indent a Paragraph.

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

Jumping to a Relative Footnote

Footnotes can be a great addition to any document that needs detailed referencing of citations. You can navigate from one ...

Discover More

Saving Documents as Read-Only by Default

When you save your documents, you can specify that they be saved in a "read-only" format so that they cannot be changed ...

Discover More

Making Columns the Same Length

Balancing the length of each column in a multi-column page layout can be a challenge. Here's a quick way to get Word to ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Clearing All Tab Stops

Tab stops allow you to modify the horizontal position at which text is positioned on a line. If you want to get rid of ...

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 ...

Discover More

Changing Default Tab Stops

If you don't explicitly set tab stops in a paragraph, Word relies upon a default tab stop distance. You can adjust that ...

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

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 2 + 3?

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.

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.