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Setting Tabs

Tabs may be one of the most misunderstood features in a word processor. Most of us press the Tab key without really thinking about it. We want to move over a bit, and Tab does that for us. What most people don't realize is that there is a lot more to the Tab feature than moving over a little. You can set specific tabs that simplify the process of typing text in columns. Four different types of tabs control how the text is placed at the tab setting. They are:

  • Left Align— Text flows from the right side of the tab stop. This is the “normal” tab.

    You can add dot leaders to each of the four tab types. Dot leaders are useful when the space between columns is wide because they help the reader's eye travel across the gap. They are especially useful when preparing a table of contents.


  • Center— Text is centered over the tab stop.

  • Right Align— Text flows from the left side of the tab stop.

  • Decimal Align— The numbers are aligned on their decimal points, which rest on the tab stop. You can change the alignment character to something other than a period (decimal point).


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