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Using Tab Stops in Word: Overview
This tutorial is about creating and using tab stops in Word documents. Using tab stops in Word helps you create organized lists in Word documents. For example, suppose you had to create a document that lists the names of people in your company. Assume you also need to show within which department they work. In this case, it may be helpful to create a document that contains two columns of information. One column contains the names of the people and another column contains the names of the departments. Using tabs stops in Word lets you easily accomplish this type of task.
Many users often insert tabs into Word documents before writing the document’s text. However, you can also add them to existing paragraphs. Tabs can also change from paragraph to paragraph within a single document. Each paragraph, which may be no longer than a single line of text, can have its own unique set of tab stops. So, in summary, you do not need to place tabs in a strictly uniform way throughout a document.
How to Enable the Ruler to Add Tab Stops in Word
Using Tab Stops in Word- Instructions: A picture of a document showing the different types of tabs stops for selected paragraphs in Word within the horizontal ruler.
How to Add Tab Stops in Word
The Different Types of Tab Stops in Word
The type of tab stop you insert affects the way text aligns when entering text after pressing the “Tab” key on the keyboard to arrive at the tab stop. Left tabs left-align adjacent text, right tabs right-align adjacent text, center tabs center-align adjacent text, and decimal tabs align numbers by their decimal points. The bar tab, often used in conjunction with the other tabs, draws a vertical bar wherever you place it within the ruler. It does not affect the alignment of text or act as a tab stop. It is purely for aesthetics.
How to Remove or Reposition a Tab Stop in Word
If you set tab stops for a paragraph, when you press the “Enter” key on your keyboard to create a new paragraph, the tab stops you created for the previous paragraph continue to the next paragraph. If you no longer want to have the same tabs stops, you must remove them from the new paragraph.
How to Use Tab Stops in Word
After adding tab stops to a new paragraph, press the “Tab” key on your keyboard to indent the line to the tab stop. Any text you then type aligns itself using the alignment of the tab stop type.
Using Tab Stops in Word: Instructions
Instructions on How to Enable the Ruler to Add Tab Stops in Word
Then check the “Ruler” checkbox in the “Show” button group.
After the ruler is turned on, you can see the tab stop toggle button appear to the far left of the horizontal ruler and above the vertical ruler in the corner of the screen.
Instructions on How to Add Tab Stops in Word
To insert a tab stop in Word, enable the ruler, if needed.
Alternatively, select the paragraphs to which to add tab stops.
Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you have placed all the desired tab stops for the selected paragraph(s) onto the horizontal ruler.
Instructions on How to Remove or Reposition a Tab Stop in Word
Alternatively, select the paragraphs to change.
If the tabs stops appear grayed out or faded in the horizontal ruler, that means you have selected paragraphs with mis-matching tab stops and should reselect the text again to ensure you only select text with the same tabs stops
Instructions on How to Use Tab Stops in Word
To use the tab stops you created in Word, press the “Tab” key on your keyboard to indent the line to the tab stop you inserted.
Any text you then type aligns itself to the tab stop using the alignment of the associated tab stop type.
Using Tab Stops in Word: Video Lesson
You can watch the following video lesson, titled “Using Tab Stops,” to see how to use tabs stops in Word. This video is from our complete Word tutorial, titled “Mastering Word Made Easy v.2019 and 365.”
There are several ways you can indent text in Word; however, it’s important to use these tools appropriately to indent correctly each time. This helps the editing process go smoothly, thus saving you time.
In this lesson, you will learn how to use the tab selector and the horizontal ruler to set tabs and indents, as well as how to use the Increase Indent and Decrease Indent commands.
Indents and tabs
Indents and tabs are useful tools for making your text more readable. Indenting text adds structure to your document by allowing you to separate information. Depending on your needs, you can use tabs and indents to move a single line or an entire paragraph.
Optional: You can download this example for extra practice.
In many types of documents, you may want to indent only the first line of each paragraph. This helps to visually separate paragraphs from one another. It’s also possible to indent every line except the first line, which is known as a hanging indent.
To indent using the Tab key:
A quick way to indent is to use the Tab key. This will create a first-line indent of 1/2 inch.
Place the insertion point at the very beginning of the paragraph you want to indent.
Press the Tab key. On the ruler, you should see the first-line indent marker move to the right by 1/2 inch.
To create or adjust a first-line indent or hanging indent:
Place the insertion point anywhere in the paragraph you want to indent, or select one or more paragraphs.
To adjust the first-line indent, drag the first-line indent marker on the ruler.
To adjust the hanging indent, drag the hanging indent marker.
To move both markers at the same time, drag the left indent marker. This will indent all lines in the paragraph.
To use the Indent commands:
If you want to indent all lines in a paragraph, you can use the Indent commands on the Home tab.
Select the text you want to indent.
Make sure you are on the Home tab.
If you would prefer to type your indent amounts, you can use the Indent fields on the Page Layout tab.
Tabs are often the best way to control exactly where text is placed. By default, each time you press the Tab key, the insertion point will move 1/2 inch to the right. By adding tab stops to the ruler, you can change the size of the tabs, and you can even have more than one type of alignment in a single line. For example, you could left-align the beginning of the line and right-align the end of the line by adding a right tab.
Pressing the Tab key can either add a tab or create a first-line indent, depending on where the insertion point is. Generally, if the insertion point is at the beginning of an existing paragraph it will create a first-line indent; otherwise, it will create a tab.
The tab selector
The tab selector is above the vertical ruler on the left. Hover over the tab selector to see the name of the type of tab stop that is active.
Types of tab stops include:
Left Tab : Left-aligns the text at the tab stop
Center Tab : Centers the text around the tab stop
Right Tab : Right-aligns the text at the tab stop
Decimal Tab : Aligns decimal numbers using the decimal point
Bar Tab : Draws a vertical line on the document
First Line Indent : Inserts the indent marker on the ruler and indents the first line of text in a paragraph
Hanging Indent : Inserts the hanging indent marker and indents all lines other than the first line
Although Bar Tab, First Line Indent, and Hanging Indent appear on the tab selector, they’re not technically tabs.
To add tab stops:
Select the paragraph or paragraphs you want to add tab stops to. If you don’t select any paragraphs, the tab stops will apply to the current paragraph and any new paragraphs you type below it.
Place the insertion point where you want to add the tab, then press the Tab key. The text will jump to the next tab stop.
To remove a tab stop, drag it off of the Ruler.
Open an existing Word document. If you want, you can use this example.
Practice using the Tab key to indent the first line of a paragraph.
Select some text, and use the Increase Indent and Decrease Indent commands to see how they change the text.
Explore the tab selector and all of the tab stops. Practice using each one.
If you’re using the example, add tab stops and tabs in the Work History section so all of the jobs line up with the most recent one.
Button Drop-Down – Ctrl Key Result
This index page last revised: 28 Mar 2021 15:19:04 -0500 .
Note, the (Windows) System Clipboard holds the last item cut or copied. It only holds one item.
Next is the Oops button: Clear Formatting, which will strip the effects of the other buttons in the font group from selected text.
The following are all considered Direct Formatting by Word and can be cleared by the Clear Formatting button (or by Ctrl+Spacebar).
The Font Group
The font group has to do with how characters look. It is distinguished from the paragraph group where the formatting handles the entire paragraph. I am going to divide these controls into three parts:
Controls that give you direct formatting or erase that formatting,
A Control that changes the Case of text but is not formatting, and
Controls that change how the text looks but are not considered formatting.
Let’s look at the last two types, first, because there are only two of them.
Bullets and Numbering is the top-right section of the paragraph group.
For simple documents that will not need much editing, these will work fine.
This page is about the Home tab and its controls. I attempt to distinguish those controls that apply a formatting to text and those which change text (and the hybrid which is highlighting). This page is just started.
You can also choose to define your own bullet icon.
For documents that are going to be heavily edited or with multiple kinds of bullets, I recommend use of bullets linked to Styles. See How to control bullets in Ribbon Versions of Word by Shauna Kelly.
The Home Tab – the basic workspace in a document:
Included with the numbering is a first-line indent and a hanging indent. Your numbered list will be set in from the margin and following lines in the paragraph will be set in more.
As with bullets, you can apply this to existing paragraphs.
As with bullets, the down-facing triangle will give you more choices.
The screenshot above shows the gallery of choices. As with the bullets gallery, the list number gallery lets you preview your choice for selected text. In this show, the current choice is with the full stop following the number; the previewed choice is with a right parenthesis. As with bullets, you can define a new format. In addition, you can reset or restart your numbering.
Again, with simple documents that will not be edited much, this button works fine. For anything more complex, you will want to go to Numbering linked to Styles. See How to create numbered headings or outline numbering in Ribbon Versions of Word by Shauna Kelly. This method gives much finer control and is much less prone to development of “spaghetti numbering.”
The little arrow in the bottom right corner of the Paragraph group launches the Paragraph Formatting dialog. Again, such formatting is best done using Styles rather than directly.
The Voice Group – Dictate Office 2019/365 Only
This page has been exploring the controls in Word 2010 and 2013. The Home tab has remained mostly the same in all versions of Word. Here are some screenshots.
-Word 2007 – wider
-Word 2007 – narrower
The three tabs above are all screenshots of the ribbon on the same computer. Word repackages the ribbon tabs to fit the available space. Here, I’ve simply decreased the size of the screenshots of the wider versions.
In the wider version, it gives more space to the Styles Gallery. In the narrower version some buttons shrink or lose captions. The combination of screen size and resolution determines what you will see, so your ribbons may not look exactly like any of the ones shown here. Another example showing different screen layouts is in the Word 2010 version of the Drawing Tools contextual tab below. Your ribbon may or may not have a Developer Tab, that is up to you.
The Word 2007 and 2010 tabs shown are from a laptop running Windows Vista. The Word 2013 tabs are from a desktop tower running Windows 7 on a larger screen.
Word 2010 – Narrower
(Note the collapse of the QuickStyles Gallery and Editing Group. The Quick Styles gallery is now available through the dialog launcher button next to the word “Styles.”. Other groups are compressed. This is less than half as wide as the one immediately above it.)
Original Word 2016
Word 2016/365 in 2018 – Note Voice/Dictate Group on Right – this is likely to be the starting point for Word 2019
Word 2019/365 in 2019
The Styles Group in Word 2007-2010 is shown above. The Styles Group for 2013 and later no longer has the Change Styles dropdown. That has been moved to the design tab in those versions.
Clipboard — Font — Paragraph — Styles — Editing — Voice (2019)
The Editing Group actually appears on the far right end of the Home Tab.
The Editing Group has three choices, two of which are drop-down.
The Home Tab is about the basics of how text looks when it is printed or displayed online. It gives access to both direct and Style-based formatting. Because of the importance of Styles to using Word effectively, it devotes a great deal of space to Styles.
The Home Tab has its controls arranged in five (six) groups from left to right:
Group names are at the bottom of the Ribbon and groups are separated by a thin line. Most but not all groups have a dialog launcher button in the bottom right corner of the group. The Home Tab shown above is a screenshot from Word 2010. The Home tab has varied slightly through Word versions. These variations are shown at the end of this page.
Word 2019/365 has added a sixth group at the far right: Voice. It holds a Dictate button.
I do not pretend to know what every control does, especially the ones on the dialog boxes. I will tell you what I know. If I am speculating or guessing, I will try to make that clear. As I learn more, this page will be changed. This is a “work in progress.”
The clipboard group is on the far left of the Home Tab. It is often used in conjunction with the Editing group, which is on the far right of that tab.
Paste (with options) Ctrl+V: I have been told that when Microsoft studied Word users, they discovered that the most used Command was “Paste” so when they redesigned the user interface, they decided to give this command prominence as the first button people would see. (The keyboard shortcut in most Windows programs including all versions of Word is Ctrl+V.) The Paste button is actually a drop-down menu of paste choices which is similar to the paste options you see after you paste if you use the the Ctrl+V shortcut.
The Cut Button is the mouse equivalent of Ctrl+X.
The Copy Button also puts selected text or graphics into the Clipboard. It remains where it is, though. The keyboard equivalent for this is Ctrl+C.
The Format Painter (Brush) ( Ctrl+Shift+C to copy formatting, Ctrl+Shift+V to paste formatting)
I strongly urge people to use Styles rather than the Format Painter. In the long run it will make your life much simpler.
Changes / suggestions / ideas can be sent to Charles Kenyon .
This page viewed times since 14 April 2004.
Add some BAM, POW and WHOOSH with these action words for your CV.
Back in 2015, Microsoft reported that humans now have shorter attention spans than goldfish. Whether you believe the controversial research or not, we’re sure you’ll agree that it can be super easy to get distracted. Especially if what you’re trying to focus on doesn’t grab your attention straight away.
It’s the same story for recruiters and hiring managers. If they open a CV and can’t immediately see why the applicant could be right for their position – well, chances are, they’ll move on to the next candidate. And they typically make this choice within just six seconds.
But, never fear. We’re here to explain how you can craft an action-packed application. The first step? Knowing what action verbs are and how you can use them to make an impact. Read on to discover the best kind of words to use in a CV.
Choose action words for CV success
Bam. Pow. Whoosh. What do words like that make you think of? Power? Success? Results? Whilst we don’t suggest dotting your CV with the kind of words you’d see in comics, we do suggest turning to their action-packed counterparts: verbs.
Like they teach you in school, ‘Verbs are doing words’; they come in pretty handy when you’re writing your CV because you can use them to show off all the things you’ve done. And what is your CV if not a record of everything you’ve accomplished?
Think about it: Would you rather write a CV that simply explains how long you worked on certain projects for, or a CV that demonstrates how you took charge, hit targets and achieved something?
We thought so. So here’s a list of popular action verbs that might come in handy next time you redo your CV:
Of course, some action verbs do better than others at communicating types of skills. For instance, some helpful CV action verbs that convey analytical skills include:
Some action verbs that show off communication skills include:
Leadership skills can be conveyed with action verbs like these:
Finally, these action words are helpful for portraying creative skills:
Active verbs versus passive verbs
Now let’s take it up a notch. If using verbs helps you show off what you’ve done, choosing active sentence structures over passive ones will help you add that additional ‘wow’ factor.
Both passive and active sentences use verbs, but in active sentences, the subject of the sentence is the thing that ‘does’ the action. In passive sentences, the subject is the thing that has the action done to them. Here are two ways of writing the same sentence:
Passive: The project was completed before the deadline and the targets were exceeded.
Active: I completed the project before the deadline and exceeded my targets.
Which one do you think makes the writer sound better? Let’s look at another example:
Passive: The profit margins were increased by 10%.
Active: I increased the profit margins by 10%.
So, active or passive ‒ which one would you rather be? In the world of work, you can either sit passively while things happen to you, or you can make the most of situation, take action and take charge of your career like the superhero you are. The choice is yours.
Your CV, starring you
So, what does using action words for CV writing say about you? Well, it says a lot of things, including that:
You take ownership of your achievements
You’re confident in your abilities
You’re proactive (this one’s particularly pertinent if you’re applying for a leadership position)
It also shows how fantastic your attention to detail is. A well-written CV can speak volumes about your communication and organisational skills in general.
In short, what you say about yourself in your CV will ‘tell’ potential employers what you’re like. But using action verbs and active sentences will help you ‘show’ them what kind of person you are. It’s a little bit sneaky, a little bit subliminal, but it 100 per cent works.
Tips and tricks
Once you’ve gotten to grips with using action verbs and active sentences, there are a few more steps you can take to make sure your CV makes an impact.
You should also try to stay away from the obvious, boring clichés. So what if you ‘work well in a team’ or always ‘complete your work on time’? Everybody does that – or they should, at least.
Finally, check your whole CV for repetition. Those action verbs might start to lose their meaning if you use them again and again. Use the verb list we included above, or simply Google ‘action words for CV [enter career field here]’.
So, now that you’ve learnt all about the power of verbs and active phrases, it’s time for those CV writing muscles to be flexed.
It’s time to flex those CV writing muscles.
We know what words will make the strongest impact on HR managers. Submit your CV for a free, objective critique and we’ll tell you where you stand.
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