Set or change the tab stops

With tab stops, you can line up text to the left, right, center, or to a decimal character. You can also automatically insert special characters before a tab, such as dashes, dots, or lines. You can create different tab stops for all the text boxes in a publication.

When you insert a tab stop inside a text box in Publisher, the tab stop marker appears on the ruler at the top of the workspace.

Tab stop marker

You can find all the tab stop types by clicking the tab selector in the corner between the horizontal and vertical rulers. When the tab stop that you want appears, click the location on the ruler where you want to place the tab stop.

Which type of tab stop should you use?

Tab image

A left tab stop sets the start position of text that will run to the right as you type.

Center Tab button

A center tab stop sets the position at the middle of the text. The text centers on this position as you type.

Tab image

A right tab stop sets the right end of the text. As you type, the text moves to the left.

Tab image

A decimal tab stop aligns numbers around a decimal point. Independent of the number of digits, the decimal point remains in the same position. (You can align numbers around a decimal character only. You can't use the decimal tab to align numbers around a different character, such as a hyphen or an ampersand symbol.)

Double-click the horizontal ruler where you want the tab stop, and the Tabs dialog box opens. Here, you can set a tab stop by using specific measurements, and you can add leaders before a tab stop.

  1. Click in a text box.

  2. Click Home, and then click the Paragraph dialog box launcher.

    Click the Paragraph dialog box launcher

  3. In the Default tab stops box, enter the distance you want between tab stops.

Note: This setting applies only to text boxes that you create in the same publication.

Create a new tab stop

  1. Select the paragraphs you want to change.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To create a new left tab stop, click on the horizontal ruler where you want the tab stop.

      A tab stop marker appears on the ruler.

    • To create a new right, center, or decimal tab stop, click the tab selector Tab image (the square located at the left end of the horizontal ruler and the top of the vertical ruler) until it displays the type of tab stop you want. Then click where you want the tab stop on the horizontal ruler.

  3. Click the text where you want to insert the tab, and then press the TAB key on your keyboard.

Note: In a table cell, click where you want to insert a tab, and then press CTRL+TAB.

Remove a tab stop

  1. Select the paragraphs you want to change.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To remove a single tab stop from paragraphs that have the same tab stop settings, drag the tab stop marker off the horizontal ruler.

    • To remove all tab stops from the selected paragraphs, click Home, click the Paragraph dialog box launcher, click Tabs, and then click Clear All.

      Click the Paragraph dialog box launcher

  1. Click in a paragraph that contains the tab stop you want to change.

  2. On the horizontal ruler, double-click the tab stop marker.

  3. Under Leader, click the leader style option you want, and then click OK.

  1. Select the paragraphs you want to change.

  2. Click Home, and then click the Paragraph dialog box launcher.

    Click the Paragraph dialog box launcher

  3. Click the Tabs tab.

  4. For each tab stop you want to insert, under Tab stop position, type the position for the tab stop, and then click Set.

  5. Under Alignment and Leader, select the options that you want, and then click OK.

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