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: Automatically Setting Right Leader Tabs.

Automatically Setting Right Leader Tabs

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 17, 2011)

There are many times when your formatting needs call for setting a right tab at the right margin, and making sure it has either an underscore or dot leader on it. This is done quite often if you are creating "manually" laid-out forms. Setting such tabs can be a hassle, however, since it involves the use of the dialog boxes or the ribbon and repetitive actions.

If you set quite a few such tabs, you may be interested in the RightTab VBA macro shown below. When run, it examines each paragraph you have selected, clears all their tab stops, and sets a single right tab at the right margin with an underscore leader.

Sub RightTab()
    Dim MarPos As Integer, NewPos As Integer
    Dim ThisPar As Paragraph

    MarPos = Selection.PageSetup.PageWidth - _
      Selection.PageSetup.LeftMargin - _
      Selection.PageSetup.RightMargin - _
      Selection.PageSetup.Gutter

    Set myrange = Selection.Range
    For Each ThisPar In myrange.Paragraphs
        NewPos = MarPos - ThisPar.RightIndent
        ThisPar.TabStops.ClearAll
        ThisPar.TabStops.Add Position:=NewPos, _
          Alignment:=wdAlignTabRight, _
          Leader:=wdTabLeaderLines
    Next ThisPar
End Sub

The macro will work even if the selected paragraphs have differing right margins from each other. It also takes into account your current page setup.

If you don't want the macro to remove all the tab stops already set in the selected paragraphs, remove the line that uses the ClearAll method. If you want to use dot leaders on the tab instead of underscores, then change the wdTabLeaderLines constant name to wdTabLeaderDots.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1875) 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: Automatically Setting Right Leader Tabs.

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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