Microsoft Word


1) The left indentation markers consist of an inward-pointing arrow split into two halves.

The top triangle’s position on the Ruler Bar determines the indentation of the first line of a paragraph. (Note: Select or highlight the line, paragraph, entire document or whatever area of the document you desire to change before you move these markers around. Otherwise, the change will take effect only on the line where the blinking cursor is.)

The bottom triangle determines the indentation of the rest of the paragraph, which means the second line, the third line (if any), and the rest of the lines in that paragraph (if any). (The computer automatically "word wraps" the text that you type down to a new line when you reach the right margin. A new paragraph is created only when you hit the Enter or Return key.)

2) Notice that the top indentation triangle will move together with the bottom one when you click and drag the square button under the bottom indentation triangle. This is so you can keep the relative indentation between the first line and the rest of the paragraph fixed no matter where you move the top indentation marker.

3) The right indentation marker on the right margin is a single triangle that moves freely. Any text further right than about the 6.5" mark on the Ruler Bar, however, may not print on your printer. This is assuming you are using standard 8½" X 11" letter-size paper in your printer and have default settings for the left and right margins of 1", leaving a between-the-margins area of 6.5".  


1) There are four types of Tabs that you can set (look for this button to the left of the Ruler):

Left tab = 

Center tab = 

Right tab = 

Decimal tab = 

Each time you click on this button, it changes from a Left Tab to a Center Tab, a Right Tab, and then to a Decimal Tab.

2) To set a tab, click on the Tab button until you see the type of Tab that you want, then click on the lower half of the Ruler Bar with the point of the white arrow cursor. (Note that the default or automatic Tabs, which are represented by small hash marks spaced every ½ inch, disappear to the left of any manual Tabs that you set on the Ruler Bar.)

3) After you press the Tab key:

a Left Tab causes the text that you type to type off to the right of the Tab mark (this is the default or normal Tab button);

a Center Tab causes the text that you type to be centered under that Tab mark;

a Right Tab causes the text that you type to type off to the left of the Tab mark;

a Decimal Tab causes any numbers containing decimal points to line up on every line directly under the Decimal Tab mark on the Ruler Bar.

You can, of course, set many different kinds of Tabs along the Ruler Bar. You can also move the existing Tab markers to different positions by clicking on them with the point of the white arrow cursor and dragging them horizontally along the Ruler Bar.

4) Deleting Tab Marks: To remove a Tab mark that you no longer want, click directly on it with the point of the arrow cursor and drag it downward and off of the Ruler Bar. Then release the mouse button.


[The above is not to be confused with Left Justification, Center Justification, Right Justification, and Full Justification, which is how you set what is called a "ragged right" edge (Left Justification) or a "straight left and right" edge (Full Justification) to the text in your document.

The Left Justification button on the Button Bar has five tiny horizontal lines on it with a ragged right-edge appearance. 

The Center Justification button has five tiny lines with both left and right ragged edges. 

The Right Justification button has a ragged left edge. 

And the Full Justification button has straight edges on both sides. ]