How to Work with Word 2010's Decimal Tab

You can use the decimal tab in Word 2010 to line up columns of numbers. Although you can use a right tab to do this job, the decimal tab is a better choice. Rather than right-align text, as the right tab does, the decimal tab aligns numbers by their decimal portion — the period in the number:

1

Start a blank line of text.

You can either open a new document or press Enter to go to the next line of your current document.

2

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

You can find this button on top of the vertical scroll bar.

3

Select the Decimal tab stop from the Tab gizmo on the Ruler.

The Decimal tab stop icon looks a little funny.

4

Click the mouse at the 3-inch position on the Ruler.

This step sets the tab stop.

5

Type the left-column text, press the Tab key, and then type the numerical amount.

The number is right-justified until you press the period key. After that, the rest of the number is left-justified. So, the number lines up so that the period is at the decimal-tab stop. When you type something without a period in it, it's shown right-justified.

6

End that line of text by pressing Enter.

Repeat Steps 5 through 6 for each line in the list.

7

To adjust your text, select all lines as a block and then use the mouse to move the decimal-tab stop on the Ruler.

You can fiddle around with the position of your text until it looks just the way you want it.

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