How to Use the Ruler to Set Tabs in Word 2016

By Dan Gookin

The visual and quick way to set a tab stop in Word 2016 is to use the ruler. Assuming that the ruler is visible, the process involves two steps:

  1. Click the Tab gizmo until the desired tab stop type appears.

    The Tab gizmo also shows paragraph indent controls.

  2. Click the ruler at the exact spot where you want the tab stop set.

    For example, click the number 2 to set a tab stop at the 2-inch mark, which is 2 inches in from the page’s left margin.

The tab stop icon appears on the ruler, marking the tab stop position. You can further adjust the tab by dragging left or right with the mouse. If a tab character already sits in the current paragraph, its format updates as you drag the top stop hither and thither.

Tab stops are a paragraph-level format. The tab stop you set applies to the current paragraph or any selected paragraphs.