In any word processor, including Word 2010, the left tab stop is the traditional type of tab stop. When writing in Word, if you press the Tab key, the insertion pointer advances to the left tab stop, where you can continue to type text. This works well for typing lists:


On a new line of a Word document, press Tab.

Start on a line that doesn't have anything written on it yet.


Type the item for the first column.

This item should be short — two or three words, max.


Press Tab and then type the item for the second column.

Again, make it short.


Press Enter to end that line and start a new line.

Yes, your list looks horrible! Don't worry. Just get the data typed first and then format it.


Repeat Steps 1 through 4 for all the items in the list.

After the list is finished, you set the tab stops visually by using the Ruler.


If the Ruler isn't displayed, click the View Ruler button.

The Ruler appears, ready to help organize.


Select all lines of text that you want to organize into a two-column tabbed list.

You can select the text in a number of ways, including clicking-and-dragging over it.


Click the Tab gizmo until the Left Tab icon appears.

If the icon already shows up in the Tab gizmo, you're set.


Click the mouse on the Ruler at the number 1, the 1-inch position.

This step sets a left tab stop at one inch. You see how the text you selected falls into place immediately.


Click the mouse to set a second tab stop at the 3-inch mark.

The list looks nice and even, in two columns.


Slide the tab stops left or right on the Ruler as needed to help clean up your list.

While you slide the tab stops, notice how a dashed vertical line extends through your text. That line shows you where text lines up.

These steps can be used to create a three- or even four-column list. The idea is to keep the text on one line and separate each item by single tabs. Then use the tab stops on the Ruler to line up the columns and make them look pretty.