Using Indents and Tabs

In Word 2007 indents and tabs add structure to documents. Use the MS Word indent ruler and tabs to help make documents clearer.


Indents and TabsA great way to draw attention to specific text is to indent it. There are several ways you can indent text in Word; however, it’s important to use these tools appropriately and indent correctly each time. This can save time and make the editing process go smoothly.

In this lesson, you will learn how to use the tab selector and the horizontal ruler to set tabs and indents, as well as how to use the increase and decrease indent commands.

Using indents and tabs

Click the Show/Hide command on the Home tab. This will allow you to see the nonprinting characters such as the spacebar, paragraph, and Tab key markings.

To indent using the Tab key:

The most common way to indent is to use the Tab key. This method is best for indenting one line of text rather than multiple lines.

To use the Indent commands:

Using the Tab key to indent multiple lines can make formatting difficult if you add or remove text later. Indenting multiple lines is best done using the Indent commands.


To modify the default indent settings:

Enter Indent Number

The tab selector

The tab selector is located above the vertical ruler on the left. Hover over the tab selector to see the name of the type of tab that's active.

Tab Selector

Tab options include:

To set a tab stop to indent the first line of text:

First Line Indent

To move a tab stop once you have inserted it, left-click and drag the tab stop back and forth on the ruler.

You can set a hanging indent the same way; however, this tab stop changes all other lines in a paragraph.

To set the left, center, right, and decimal tab stops:

Insert Tab Stops

To use Find and Replace to replace existing text:

Replace Command
Find Replace Dialog Box

You can also use the Find command to locate specific information in a document. For example, if you are working with a 20-page report, it would be time consuming to search the document for a specific topic. You can use the Find command to locate all instances of a word or phrase in the document. This is a great way to save time when working with longer documents.


Use the report or any Word document you choose to complete this challenge.