Tuesday, 6 August 2013

SETTING TABS - MS Word 2007 Tutorial

Author: Navin Kumar

Tab stops are locations on each line of the Microsoft Word document placed at regular intervals (usually half an inch) at which the cursor stops after the Tab key is pressed. MS Word has default tabs at 0.5 inch intervals and their locations are displayed as tiny vertical lines below the horizontal ruler. Each press of the Tab key moves the cursor to the tab stop immediately right of it.

There are five types of tab stops:
  1. Left Tab: Left aligns the text at the tab stop
  2. Centre Tab: Centres the text around the tab stop.
  3. Right Tab: Right aligns the text at the tab stop.
  4. Decimal Tab: Aligns numbers using the decimal point.
  5. Bar Tab: Draws a vertical line at the tab stop.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to set tabs in a MS Word 2007 document and how to remove them.

Task-1: Setting Tabs

Set left tab stop at 0.5”, bar tab stop at 1.25”, 2.75” and 4.25”, centre tab stop at 2”, right tab stop at 3.5” and decimal tab at 4.75” in a new MS Word 2007 document. Then type the following text, taking care to press the ‘Tab’ key before typing each entry:
Step-by-Step Instructions

Setting Tabs

Method-1: Using Ruler
  1. Click the ‘Tab Selector’ located to the left of the horizontal ruler until the left tab is displayed then Click at 0.5” on the ruler (see Figure 1). The left tab marker will appear on the ruler.
Note that repeated clicking of ‘Tab Selector’ of MS Word successively displays the left tab, centre tab, right tab, decimal tab, bar tab, first line indent and hanging indent.
  1. Click the 'Tab selector' until bar tab is displayed. Now click the ruler at 1.25”, 2.75” and 4.25” marks on the horizontal ruler. The bar tab marker will appear at the three points on the ruler and vertical lines will appear below them in the first line of the document.
  2. Display centre tab on ‘Tab Selector’ and click on the ruler at 2” mark. The centre tab marker will appear on the ruler.
  3. Display the right tab on ‘Tab Selector’ and click at 3.5” position on the ruler. The right tab marker will appear on the ruler.
  4. Display the decimal tab on ‘Tab Selector’ and click at 4.75” position on the ruler. The decimal tab marker will appear on the ruler.
Tab Selector and Tab Markers in MS Word 2007
Figure 1: Tab Selector and tab Markers

Method-2: Using Tabs Dialog Box
Tabs Dialog Box of MS Word 2007
Figure 2: Tabs Dialog Box
  1. Click ‘Home’ tab and then click ‘Paragraph Dialog Launcher’. MS Word 2007 launches the Paragraph Dialog Box.
  2. Click the ‘Tabs’ button at the bottom of the ‘Paragraph Dialog’ box. This launches the ‘Tabs’ Dialog (see Figure 2).
  3. In the box below ‘Tab Stop Position’, enter 0.5”.
  4. Under ‘Alignment’ section, click ‘Left’.
  5. Click set button.
  6. Enter 1.25 in ‘Tab Stop Position’ box, click ‘Bar’ in ‘Alignment’ section and click set button.
  7. Enter 2  in ‘Tab Stop Position’ box, click ‘Centre’ in ‘Alignment’ section and click set button.
  8. Enter 2.75 in ‘Tab Stop Position’ box, click ‘Bar’ in ‘Alignment’ section and click set button.
  9. Enter 3.5 in ‘Tab Stop Position’ box, click ‘Right’ in ‘Alignment’ section and click set button.
  10. Enter 4.75 in ‘Tab Stop Position’ box, click ‘Decimal’ in ‘Alignment’ section and click set button.
  11. Click OK button. You will see that all the tab markers have appeared on the ruler.

Method for Typing Text
  1. After tab stops have been set, press ‘Tab’ key. The cursor will move to the left tab position.
  2. Now type the first entry “Name” The text will appear left aligned at the left tab.
  3. Press ‘Tab’ key. The cursor will jump across the bar tab to the centre tab.
  4. Now type the second entry “City”. The text will appear centred below the centre tab.
  5. Press ‘Tab’ key. The cursor will jump across the bar tab to the right tab.
  6. Type the third entry “Payment”. The text will appear right aligned below the right tab.
  7. Again press the ‘Tab’ key. The cursor will jump across the bar tab to the decimal tab.
  8. Type the final entry “Receipt”. The text will appear right aligned below the decimal tab.
  9. Press ‘Enter’ key. The cursor will jump to the beginning of the next line.
  10. Type the rest of the text following the steps above.
After you have finished, the text will look like this:
Note that in the fourth column, MS Word has aligned the decimal point of the numbers at the decimal tab to facilitate easy computation. On the other hand, no such alignment has occurred in the third column as you have used the right alignment tab there.

Task-2: Removing Manual Tab Stops

Step-by-Step Instructions

Method-1: Using the Ruler
  1. Select the entire text by clicking in the left margin by the side of the first line and, while keeping the left mouse button pressed, dragging the pointer to the last line.
  2. Drag the tab stop marker off the horizontal ruler and release it. The tab stop will be removed.
  3. Repeat the operation for each tab stop created manually. After you have removed all manual tab stops, the default tab stops are restored.

Method-2: Using the Ribbon
  1. Select the entire text by clicking in the left margin by the side of the first line and, while keeping the left mouse button pressed, dragging the pointer to the last line.
  2. Launch the ‘Tabs’ dialog box.
  3. In the box under the ‘Tab Stop Position’, click the tab stop entry, which is to be removed and click the ‘Clear’ button.
  4. Repeat the operation for each tab stop that is to be removed.
  5. Click OK button. The selected tab stops will be cleared.
  6. If you wish to clear all manual tab stops, then instead of clearing individual tabs just click the ‘Clear All’ button and then click ‘OK’ button. All manual tab stops will be cleared.

TIP!
  • If you wish to indent text or set tab stops in several paragraphs, you need not repeat the steps separately for each paragraph. Select all paragraphs at the same time and then follow the steps outlined above. The changes made will apply to all selected paragraphs.
  • Remember that pressing the Tab key creates a first line indent when the cursor is at the beginning of the first line of the paragraph and a Tab when the cursor is at any other location in the paragraph.
  • When you create a new tab stop in a MS Word document, all default tab stops left to it are removed. However, the default tab stops to the right of the last manually created tab stop continue.
  • When manual tab stops are removed, the default tab stops are restored.

Recap
  • In MS Word 2007 documents, tabs may be set by choosing the desired type of tab on the ‘Tab Selector’ and clicking on the horizontal ruler. Alternatively, you may use the ‘Tabs Dialog’ to set tabs.
  • To remove manually set tabs, drag them off the horizontal ruler. You may also use the ‘Tabs Dialog’ to clear tabs.
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To view a downloadable version of this tutorial, go to the MS Word 2007 Tutorials page
and click the link [W] against this tutorial.
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