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 ALL ABOUT OFFICE

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SETTING TAB STOPS

If you want to line up columns of information but do not want to use a table then you should use tab stops.  The Tab key is normally located above the Shift or Caps Lock key on the left hand side of your keyboard and when you press it your cursor moves along the line to the first tab stop.  Anything you type at the tab stop will be lined up with the tab stop according to the type of tab you have set.  Some examples of tabulated information are shown below :

Notice how the right tab lines up dates nicely so that the years are always underneath each other.  The decimal tab lines up decimal points so that columns of numbers are arranged neatly.  The bar tab can be used to draw a horizontal line down a page, a bar is drawn every time you tab to the bar tab stop.  The small box at the left hand end of the ruler is used to set the tab stops, you will need to select the correct symbol for the type of tab stop you are setting: 

Left

Right

Centre

Decimal

Bar

When you have chosen the type of tab stop, make sure your cursor is on the line where you want to set your tab stops and then click on the ruler in the position where you want the first tab stop to appear.   A symbol will be placed on the ruler marking the position of the tab stop.  To set a different type of tab stop, simply change the symbol at the left hand side of the ruler and click on the ruler to position the next tab stop.  If you set a tab stop incorrectly you can double-click on the ruler to bring up a window containing the tab stop settings as shown below:

The box at the left hand side shows the positions where tab stops are set.  If you click on one of the values the settings for that tab stop will appear in the rest of the window.  Our example shows that the tab stop at 1.5 cm is a left tab with no leader dots.  If we wanted to add leader dots to this tab or change it to a right tab stop we could just click the appropriate bullets to change the tab stop.  When you have finished changing a tab stop, click the Set button to save it.

If you want to remove a tab stop, choose the tab stop to be removed by its position measurement and then click the Delete button.  You can click the Clear All button if you want to delete all your tab stops.  When you have finished amending your tab stops, click the OK button and you will be returned to your document.

You can set tab stops within a table but you should make sure the alignment of that cell has been set to Left in order for the tabs to work properly.  Since pressing the TAB key in a table moves you to the next cell you should press CTRL + TAB to move to a tab stop within a table.

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