Tabs to help you set your lists Image Source: / Celiece Aurea
Tabs to help you set your lists

We often need to create lists in MS Word but as a trainer I all too often see that people just don’t know how to go about this to make their life easier. So I am going to show you how by using Tabs. Old fashioned I hear you say but very effective and can give a different effect to tables without borders.

Here is a list that we are going to create using Tabs. taba

Tabs can be placed anywhere you like along the horizontal between the two margins. There are two ways of placing the tabs. There are 4 main types of tab stops: left aligned, right aligned, centred and decimal aligned. You can have a vast arrangement of different tab stops on the whole document. It is wise to

Using the mouse to place the tab of your choice where you require it

Look closely at the left hand side of the ruler at the top of your page. tab1Here you can see an ‘L’ symbol in a box. Hover you mouse over this and the tip will show you that this is the Left aligning tab stop. To change to a different stop, click once on this L shape. Move your mouse away and you will now see the centre aligning tab stop symbol. Click again and it will change to the right aligning stop, click once more and you will get the decimal aligning stop. There are other options following on in this same area so click 3 times more to return to the left tab stop symbol.

Once you have selected which tab stop you require, move your mouse to the ruler point where you wish that tab stop to be placed. Make sure that the point of the mouse is slightly below half way in the white space of the ruler.

Click once and the tab stop will appear. Here are a few along the ruler. tab6

Move your mouse to the next measurement and click once if you require the same tab stop. If you require a different one click on the symbol as we did at the start to select the correct tab stop then move to the measurement along the ruler and click to place that tab stop there.

Removing stops with the mouse

Move your mouse to the stop you wish to remove. In one smooth motion, click, hold and drag the stop straight down just off the ruler and let go. The tab stop will have disappeared.

Placing tab stops using the Tabs dialog box

On the Home tab move to the Paragraph section where at the bottom right hand corner you will see an arrow. tab2

Click on the arrow, to reveal the paragraph dialog box. tab3

Click on the Tabs button at the bottom left of the box to reveal the Tabs Dialog box. tab4

Type in the first measurement where you wish the tab stop to be placed.

Select the Alignment.

Select the Set button.

In this dialog box you will also see that there is a Leader selection. This is the only place where you can access this selection. Leaders are dots, dashes or a continuous line that leads the eye from the end of the first piece of text to the next tab stop. This can be very useful in a large list such as a table of contents or a menu.

N.B. select the Set button after each tab stop setting.

To remove tab stops in the tabs dialog box

If you need to remove one or more tab stops in the dialog box, select the one for removal and click on the clear button.

Now you have set all the tab stops where you think they need to be you can start typing. If at a later time you think that the layout is wrong, you can easily move the stops to a new position.

Moving stops using the mouse

Firstly, select all the text that has the same stops that will be affected by a tab stop move.

Using your mouse in one motion, click on the stop you need to move, hold down the mouse button and carefully drag the stop to its new position. Let go and the stop has moved as well as all the text that was selected.

N.B. if you lose sight of the stop as you are moving it don’t let go of the mouse button, just move the mouse back into the ruler area and move to the measurement you require.

Moving stops in the tabs dialog box

Firstly, select all the text that has the same stops that will be affected by a tab stop move.

Get into the Tab Dialog box.

Select the tab stop in the list that needs changing.

Over type the measurement and select the Set button.

Delete the old tab stop.

Your list is now revised in layout, and can be changed as many times as you wish. Just remember to only select the text that has the same tabs tops. If you select a mixture, then the first set will override the second and subsequent stops. Use the reveal paragraph marks on the home tab to help you see the paragraphs that hold the same tab stops. tab5

I have this on my quick access tool bar so I can get to is easily at any time.

Here is the link to my previous tip on how to create your own quick access toolbar.



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