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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    Tabs and Paragraphs

    I am using Word 97, and I wonder if someone can explain something.

    Here is the scenario: I begin a new paragraph with a tab. When I show paragraph marks (reveal codes for us old Word Perfect users), I can see a tab symbol. Later within that paragraph, I insert a couple of hard returns in front of a sentence to create a new paragraph with text I have already typed. The text after the hard returns is now flush left. I put the cursor in front and hit tab. The sentence is now indented, BUT THERE IS NO TAB SYMBOL. When I then create another new paragraph following the one I just created, it is also indented also without a tab mark. Since I am programmed from many years of typing to always hit tab at the beginning of a paragraph, this is most annoying. I can force a tab mark by putting a blank line between the two paragraphs and then hitting tab on that line.

    Can anyone explain what is going on? If there is a fix, that would be lovely. I always end up with a document where some paragraphs have tabs and some don't.

    Thanks.

    Bob Gellman

  2. #2
    CMEYER
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    Re: Tabs and Paragraphs

    Click on Tool, Options and choose the Edit tab. You'll see an option "Tabs and backspace set left indent". If this option is checked, when you press Tab in your document, Word creates a First Line Indent. (You can verify this by checking the ruler at the top of your document to see if the First Line Indent Marker (the top triangle) has moved in about a 1/2".) If you turn the feature off, you will get a tab character and First Line Indent won't automatically turn on. CAUTION! If you turn off this feature, you will also be turning off your ability to use your tab and backspace keys to change the number level in paragraph numbering. Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Tabs and Paragraphs

    Basically, what's happening here is when you hit tab in an existing paragraph, Word auto-formats the paragraph with a first-line indent instead of putting in a tab mark.

    If you find this behavior annoying, you can turn it off by going to Tools | Options | Edit and unchecking the "Tabs and backspace set left indent" option.

    Stephan Ip

  4. #4
    phoozette
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    Re: Tabs and Paragraphs

    I work around this by placing a space before I hit the tab key where I want the second paragraph to start. The tab will still indent a half inch, but you don't get the automatic paragraph indent; it just indents the first line of the paragraph.

  5. #5
    Lounger
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    Re: Tabs and Paragraphs

    Thanks for the responses. All suggestions solve the problem.

    Bob

  6. #6
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Tabs and Paragraphs

    For what it's worth, it would be better for you to use styles that have a first line indent & a space after, rather than using the tab key & 2 paragraph marks between paragraphs.

    If you use a style called Body Text First Indent (I think it's a default style, at least with Word 2000), it comes with a first line indent of .15 (which you can modify to anything you'd like), & 6 pts. of space after (which also can be modified).

    Every time you press enter, you get your indentation & space between paragraphs. It is a MUCH better system than inserting tabs & paragarph marks.

  7. #7
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Tabs and Paragraphs

    <font color=red><big>Hello Phil! I realize I'm off topic but wanted to say well-deserved on your MVP! I'm also copying this to Gary F. You have both been (and continue to be) a great help to me and I'm sure, many others.
    Cheers</big></font color=red> I'm trying to get familiar with this new setup but so far looks pretty good.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator
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    Re: Tabs and Paragraphs

    Hi P McG,

    Also off topic, but thanks for your note.[img]/w3timages/icons/blush.gif[/img]
    It's good to see your name back on here - you were missed.
    (I did see your name a couple of times on DWT lately, but not here.)

    Gary

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