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 Changing Tab Stops in the Footer.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 22, 2014)
Most of Chuck's documents have footers that have right-aligned information at the right margin. This information is aligned through the use of tab stops. (The footer contains information aligned to the left margin and to the right.) If Chuck changes the margins for the document, the footer no longer aligns at the right margin; it aligns at the old right margin (the one he changed). Chuck wonders if there is a way to have Word change the tab stops in his footer automatically whenever he changes the right margin for the document.
The short answer is that there is no way to do this by using tab stops; they are always calculated as a distance from the left margin. Even if you change the right margin, you aren't changing the distance of the tab stop from the left margin.
The solution is to not use tab stops. Instead, insert a two-column, one-row table in your footer. Set the width of the table to 100% and make sure the information in the right-most cell is right aligned. When you later change the margins of the document, the table automatically adjusts width and your information is correctly aligned.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8513) 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 Changing Tab Stops in the Footer.
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