Tabs and tab stops in the Word document

Word 365
Aligning words and sentences in contracts, agreements, and other formal documents using multiple spaces and default tabulations is an ill practice. In proportional fonts, like Times New Roman symbols have different widths, and it is hard to align numerous lines with spaces or tabs precisely. Defining a custom tab stop in Microsoft Word is a precise and straightforward alternative to counting spaces and tabs.

The Tab key or Tabulation key moves the cursor to a fixed horizontal position in the document, marked with a tab stop.

You can use tab stops in two different ways:

I. Use the tab stops as they are pre-defined in Word

By default, the tab stops set at every half-inch from the beginning of the line.

So, when you press the Tab key or insert the Tabulation symbol, the cursor moves to the next half-inch position of the line. The distance between tab positions does not need to be equal for all tabs stops in the document:

Tab or Tabulation in Word 365

You can change the pre-defined half-inch distance for the tab stops. For example, the 1-inch tab stops:

Tab or Tabulation 2 in Word 365

To customize the positions of tab stops, follow the next steps:

   1.   On the Layout tab, click the dialog box launcher:

Paragraph Launcher in Word 365

   2.   In the Paragraph dialog box, click the Tabs... button:

Tabs in Paragraph Word 365

   3.   In the Tabs dialog box:

Tabs dialog box in Word 365

In the Default tab stops field, instead of the pre-defined tab stops 0.5’’, type or choose the number you prefer.

   4.   Click OK to close the Tabs dialog box.

II. Set your tab stops

For example:

See also this tip in French: Tabulations et taquets de tabulation dans le document Word.

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