How to Set a Leader Tab in Word 2010

Using the Tabs dialog box in Word 2010 to set tab stops is the left-brain method. And you can set a leader tab only in the Tabs dialog box (the Ruler doesn't offer this option). A leader tab produces a row of dots, underlining (in a fashion) the tab character:

1

Select the text in your document to which you want to add leader tabs as a block.

You can select text in several ways, including clicking-and-dragging over the text.

2

Click the Dialog Box Launcher button in the lower-right corner of the Paragraph group on the Home tab.

The Paragraph dialog box appears.

3

Click the Tabs button in the lower-left corner.

The Tabs dialog box opens.

4

Select the tab stop from the Tab Stop Position list.

For example, in this figure, the right tab stop shows up in the Tab Stop Position list as 4".

5

In the Leader area, select the leader style that you want to use.

None means "no leader," and it's selected already. Select one of the other three options.

6

Click the Set button.

Don't click OK before you set the tab stop to add the leader. This step is the one you'll screw up most often.

7

Click OK.

After clicking the Set button, you can click OK to close the Tabs dialog box and gawk at your text.

The leader tab that uses the underline character is also the best way to create fill-in-the-blank forms. Use the Tabs dialog box to set a left tab stop at the far right margin (usually 6.0 inches). Back in your document, type the prompt for the fill-in-the-blanks line. Rather than type a zillion underlines, just press the Tab key. Instantly, a line extends from your text to the right margin.

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