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Indents refer to extra white space added at the left margin so that a block of text can be set off from the rest of the text in the document. There is also another kind of indent that's called a First Line Indent, also referred to as a tab where you simply tab once, and the line goes in, and the rest of the paragraph remains. Indents and Tabs are set in a number of different locations in Microsoft Word 2010. So let's begin by reviewing where you'll find Indents and Tabs.
Indents, which are applied to an entire paragraph or paragraphs, are set here in the Paragraph group of the Home tab of the ribbon. To increase the indent, you click the Increase button. To decrease the indent, you click the Decrease button. Tabs are simply entered by pressing Tab on your keyboard, and removed by pressing Backspace to get rid of it. The distance that I tab or indent is controlled by tab stops on the ruler.
If the ruler is not visible, you can click the View Ruler button to show it, or you can choose View > Ruler to turn the Ruler on. By default, every Word document has a tab stop every half-inch from the left margin. You'll note them here as small lines that appear underneath the ruler. So when I select one or more paragraphs and indent once, I'm indenting a half-inch. If I indent twice, I'm indenting an inch, and so on.
When I decrease, I am decreasing by the half-inch. Now, these are default tabs. Perhaps I want to indent these two paragraphs less than a half-an-inch. I can set my own tab stop right here. There are five basic kinds of tabs. The one I'm going to use most frequently is simply a left tab, continue to left justify my body text, but the tab this far. If I point to the Tab Indicator at the top of the vertical ruler on the left, I'll note that it's set to create a Left Tab.
So I am simply going to click at a quarter inch to create a new tab there. Now, when I indent, I'll indent only a quarter-inch to my first tab stop. Whenever I set my own tab, any preset tab to the left of that is automatically removed by Microsoft Word. So if, for example, I set a tab here at 2.5 inches, all the tab stops prior to that tab stop are automatically removed. I am going to undo that.
There is another way that I can set tabs in my document. I can click the Dialog Box Launcher in the Paragraph group on the Home tab. Then in the Paragraph dialog box, click the Tabs button in order to bring up a list of tabs. It shows me that there's a default tab stop every half-inch, and this portion of my document has no other tab set in it. I can type in a tab number, for example, I want a tab at 0.25. It's going to be a Left Tab, and I can click Set.
I can add other tabs if I wish. Notice I could also clear one or more tabs, and I can say OK. So now I have this tab at a quarter inch for this paragraph as well. I can simply tab once to get that first-line indent. When I take a look at my indented text, you might have noticed as we are indenting that we have an indicator here on the ruler that has been moving as we indent text. I am going to indent this text one more time. You'll notice it move even more. This is actually three different controls grouped together.
The first control is the First Line Indent control. So if I pull that control over, the first line of these two paragraphs will be indented. Let me undo that. The bottom triangle is what's called a Hanging Indent. If I point to the Hanging Indent indicator and pull it in and release, then the first line will not be indented but all lines that follow will be. Finally, the two controls together are an indent control.
So I can use these to indent my text, or, for example, if I wanted to put in a First Line Indent, I can now move both controls together, even if they're not one above the other, to change the formatting of my paragraph. There is another reason that I might set tabs in my document, and even that I might want to set them very precisely. I need to insert a small table at the bottom of this document, a FTE Employees by Location table.
It only has three or four lines, and I'd like to insert it right here. The first column in this FTE Employees by Location table is the City, the second column is the State, and the third is the Number of full-time equivalents that I have. So I'm going to type City, then press Tab, then State, and Tab again. Then I am going to type the word "Employees." Now, each time I press Tab, I went to the next tab stop here on my ruler. I'd like to actually space this table out a little more.
And more importantly, I will be typing numbers under the word Employees. So I'd like to make sure that when I create this right-hand column, the Employees column, that it's a right justified column. I am going to start by simply selecting the text that I have here, and I'm going to drop in a tab stop for the word State, a left tab right here. Now, I would like a right tab for Employees. I am going to move it over a ways. This is a left tab. I have some choices about how I attack this. I'm simply going to point to the tab and double-click, and there are two tab stops, one at 1 inch, and one at 2.13.
You might wonder, why did I set one at 1 inch for State? There was already one there, but it was a default. If I hadn't set it, when I set one at 2.13, that tab stop like the one at an inch-and-a-half and two inches, would be gone. I am going to choose my tab stop at 2.13, the one for Employees, and I'm going to say this is a right- aligned tab, set it and say OK. Notice now the word Employees is right-aligned at 2.3.
Now, I can enter my information for my table, type in city names, press Tab, and type in a number of employees. Notice that my City and State columns are left-aligned and my Employees column is right-aligned. As you'll discover in Chapter 7, we can also enter this kind of information using a standard table.
But if I simply want to add a small amount of information to a document quickly and use tab stops or indents, this is a fine way to do it. Whether you're using tabs to create tabular information, or you're creating tab stops in order to be able to use indents, you'll find that the tools are easy to access once you know where they all are in Word 2010.
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