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: Clearing All Tabs in a Document.

Clearing All Tabs in a Document

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 8, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


If you received a document from someone else, you may be charged with the responsibility to format the document. One of the first steps you may want to take is to remove all the tab stops in the document, thereby returning all paragraphs to their "pristine" state where only default tabs are in place.

If you want to remove all the tabs stops in a document, the quick way is to follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+A. This shortcut selects the entire document.
  2. Select the Tabs option from the Format menu. Word display the Tabs dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Tabs dialog box.

  4. Click on the Clear All button.
  5. Click on OK.

That's it. You can now go through the document, on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis, and set any tab stops desired.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1427) 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: Clearing All Tabs in a Document.

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. ...

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