Word 2010 Using Indents and Tabs

Author: mety Nagm Labels::

Word 2010

Using Indents and Tabs


Lesson 8
There are several ways in Word that you can indent text; however, it’s important to use these tools appropriately in order 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 rulerto set tabs and indents, and how to use the Increase and Decrease Indentcommands.

Indents and Tabs

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Watch the video to learn about using indents and tabs.

Indenting Text

In many types of documents, you may wish 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.
First Line IndentFirst Line Indent
Hanging IndentHanging 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.
  1. Place the insertion point at the very beginning of the paragraph you wish to indent.
    Placing the insertion pointPlacing the insertion point
  2. Press the Tab key. On the ruler, you should see the First Line Indent marker move to the right by 1/2 inch.
    Pressing the Tab keyPressing the Tab key
If you can't see the ruler, click the View Ruler icon over the scrollbar to display it.
Hiding and viewing the RulerHiding and viewing the Ruler

To Create or Adjust a First Line Indent or Hanging Indent:

  1. Place the insertion point anywhere in the paragraph you wish to indent, or select one or more paragraphs.
  2. To adjust the first line indent, drag the First Line Indent marker on the ruler.
  3. To adjust the hanging indent, drag the Hanging Indent marker.
  4. To move both markers at the same time, drag the Left Indent marker. This will indent all of the lines in the paragraph.
    The three indent markersThe three indent markers

To Use the Indent Commands:

If you want to indent all of the lines in a paragraph, you can use the Indent commands on the Home tab.
  1. Select the text you wish to indent.
  2. Make sure you are on the Home tab.
  3. Click the Increase Indent command to increase the indent by increments of 1/4 inch.
    Increasing the indentIncreasing the indent
  4. Click the Decrease Indent command to decrease the indent by increments of 1/2 inch.
If you would prefer to type in your indent amounts, you can use the Indent fields on the Page Layout tab.
Typing an indent amountTyping an indent amount


Using tabs is often the best way to control exactly where text is placed. By default, every 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 simply adding a Right Tab.
Using more than one type of alignmentUsing two types of alignment
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 oftab stop that is active.
The tab selectorThe tab selector

The types of tab stops include:

  • Left Tab Left Tab Icon: Left-aligns the text at the tab stop.
  • Center Tab Right Tab Icon: Centers the text around the tab stop.
  • Right Tab Center Tab Icon: Right-aligns the text at the tab stop.
  • Decimal Tab Decimal Tab Icon: Aligns decimal numbers using the decimal point.
  • Bar Tab Bar Tab Icon: Draws a vertical line on the document.
  • First Line Indent First Line Indent Icon: Inserts the indent marker on the ruler and indents the first line of text in a paragraph.
  • Hanging Indent Hanging Indent Icon: Inserts the hanging indent marker and indents all lines other than the first line.
Although Bar TabFirst Line Indent, and Hanging Indent appear on the tab selector, they're not technically tabs.

To Add Tab Stops:

  1. Select the paragraph or paragraphs that 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 that you type below it.
  2. Click the tab selector until the tab stop you wish to use appears.
  3. Click the location on the horizontal ruler where you want your text to appear (it helps to click on thebottom edge of the ruler). You can add as many tab stops as you want.
    Adding tab stopsAdding a Decimal tab stop
  4. Place the insertion point where you want to add the tab, and press the Tab key. The text will jump to the next tab stop.
    Adding tabsUsing the Tab key to move the text to each tab stop
  5. To remove a tab stop, just drag it off of the Ruler.
Click the Show/Hide ¶ command on the Home tab (in the Paragraph group). This will allow you to see the nonprinting characters such as the spacebar, paragraph (¶), and Tab key markings.
The Show/Hide Paragraph commandThe Show/Hide ¶ command
Tab markingsTab markings



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