How to Set a Tab Stop in the Tabs Dialog Box in Word 2013
How to Set Leader Tab Stops in Word 2013
How to Use the Center Tab Stop in Word 2013

How to Create a Basic Tabbed List in Word 2013

Word 2013 gives you the option of creating a basic tabbed list. A common use for the left tab stop is to create a simple two-column list. The following steps describe how to set up this type of list:

  1. On a new line, press Tab.

    Use the tab key on the keyboard.

  2. Type the item for the first column.

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

  3. Press Tab.

    Again, use the tab key on the keyboard.

  4. Type the item for the second column.

    Again, make it short.

  5. 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.

  6. Repeat Steps above for each item in the list.

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

  7. Summon the ruler, if necessary.

    This is an optional step.

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

    Highlight the desired text.

  9. Choose a left tab stop from the Tab gizmo on the ruler.

    If necessary, click the Tab gizmo until the Left tab-stop icon shows up.

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

    This step sets a left tab stop at 1 inch. You see how the selected text falls into place immediately.

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

    The list looks nice and even, in two columns.

  12. Adjust the tab stops, if necessary.

    Slide the tab stops left or right on the ruler as needed to help clean up your list. As 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 also be used to create a three- or even four-column list. The idea is to keep the text on one line and separated by single tabs. Then use the tab stops on the ruler to line up the columns and make them look pretty.

You need only one tab between items in a column list. That's because it's the tab stop, not the tab character, that lines up your text.

For a tabbed list to work, each paragraph must be a line by itself, and the items in each column should be only a word or two long. Any longer, and you need to use Word's Table command.

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