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: Setting Decimal Tabs in a Table Using the Keyboard.

Setting Decimal Tabs in a Table Using the Keyboard

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 29, 2015)

If you love using the keyboard, you may wonder if there is a way to set decimal tabs in a table using the keyboard. Unfortunately, there is no simple, fast keystroke to set the decimal tabs. The best way is to use the regular accelerator keys that Word uses. You would follow these steps:

  1. If you want to set the tab stop in each cell of the current table, press Alt+A, C (Word 97) or Alt+A, C, T (later versions of Word). This selects the table.
  2. Press Alt+O, T. This displays the Tabs dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Tabs dialog box.

  4. Type the measurement for where the tab should appear.
  5. Press Alt+D to indicate this is a decimal tab.
  6. Press Alt+S to set the tab.
  7. Press Enter to dismiss the Tabs dialog box.

If you would rather not go through such an easy-to-remember process (grin), then you can also create a macro that will do the trick, and assign the macro to a shortcut key. The following is an example of a simple VBA macro that would do the job:

Sub SetDecimal()
    Dim MyTab As String

    MyTab = InputBox("Location (inches):", "Set Decimal Tab")
    If Val(MyTab) > 0 Then
        With Selection.ParagraphFormat.TabStops
            .ClearAll
            .Add Position:=InchesToPoints(Val(MyTab)), _
                Alignment:=wdAlignTabDecimal, _
                Leader:=wdTabLeaderSpaces
        End With
    End If
End Sub

This macro, which should be run after the cell or column is selected, clears all the existing tabs in the selection, and then prompts the user to enter a value for the new tab stop.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1912) 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: Setting Decimal Tabs in a Table Using the Keyboard.

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

Word Operates Backwards

What is someone to do when all of a sudden Word starts displaying text from right to left instead of left to right? The ...

Discover More

Limiting Document Page Count

Do you need to have your document fit within a certain number of pages? This can be close to impossible to do within Word; ...

Discover More

Template Changing On Its Own

When you attach a template to a document, you expect that template to stay attached. When you share the document with others, ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 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 all ...

Discover More

Searching for Tabs

Tabs don't normally show up in your printed document, but Word allows you to still search for them. All you need to do is use ...

Discover More

Flush Left and Flush Right On the Same Line

Need to have some text at the left margin and some at the right, all on the same line? It's easy to do if you use your tab ...

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 8Mpixels. 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 5 + 0?

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.