Set tabs in a table

Indent inside a table cell

Click in front of the text or numbers you want to indent, and then press CTRL+TAB.

Note:  If you’re looking for how to create a table of contents (TOC), this article should help you: Create a table of contents.

Set a tab stop in a table cell

By default, tab stops in Word are set at half-inch intervals, but you can also set your own tab stops. When you set a tab stop in a document, a tab stop marker appears on the horizontal ruler at the top of the window.

Show the horizontal ruler to set tab stops.


  • If you don’t see the ruler, go to the View tab and check Ruler.

  • The check-box to show the rulers.

  1. Click the cell where you want to set a tab stop.

  2. Click Left Tab Tab image at the left end of the horizontal ruler until it changes to display the type of tab you want.

  3. Select one of the following types of tabs:

Tab image A Left Tab stop sets the left end of the text line. As you type, the text fills toward the right.

Center Tab button A Center Tab stop sets the position at the middle of the text line. As you type, the text centers on this position.

Tab image A Right Tab stop sets the right end of the text line. As you type, the text fills toward the left.

Tab image A Decimal Tab stop aligns numbers around a decimal point. Without regard to the number of digits, the decimal point remains in the same position. (When you use this type of tab stop, you must align the numbers around a decimal character. You cannot use any other type of character — such as a comma, a hyphen, or an ampersand symbol.)

Bar Tab button A Bar Tab places a solid vertical line through selected text. Unlike other tabs, the bar tab is added to the text as soon as you click the ruler. If you don't clear the bar tab stop before you print your document, the vertical line is printed.

  1. Click the horizontal ruler where you want to set the tab stop


    • To set tab stops by specifying precise measurements, double-click in the horizontal ruler, type the measurements that you want under Tab stop position, and then click Set>OK.

    • Tabs dialog box

Note:  To clear a tab stop, drag the tab marker down from the horizontal ruler.

More things you can do with tables

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