What Are Tabs in Microsoft Word?

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2024 by

Microsoft Word is a widely used word processing program that offers a variety of features to help users create and format documents. One of these features is the use of tabs, which can be found at the top of the document window. In this article, we will explore what tabs are in Microsoft Word and how they can be used to improve your document formatting.

Understanding Tabs

Tabs in Microsoft Word are similar to tabs in a physical file folder. They are used to organize and separate different sections of a document. When you open a new document in Word, you will see a default set of tabs at the top of the page, including Home, Insert, Design, Layout, References, Mailings, Review, and View. These tabs contain various commands and options related to their specific category.

Tabbed Navigation

One of the main benefits of using tabs in Microsoft Word is the ease of navigation they provide. Instead of scrolling through a long document to find a specific section, you can simply click on the appropriate tab to access the commands and options related to that section. This can save time and make it easier to find and use the features you need.

Tabbed Browsing

Tabs in Microsoft Word also function similarly to tabbed browsing in a web browser. Just as you can have multiple tabs open in a browser, you can have multiple documents open in Word and switch between them using the tabs at the top of the window. This can be useful when working on multiple documents at once or referencing information from one document while working on another.

Customizing Tabs

While the default set of tabs in Microsoft Word covers a wide range of features, you may find that you need to access certain commands or options more frequently. In this case, you can customize the tabs to better suit your needs. To do this, right-click on any of the existing tabs and select “Customize the Ribbon.” From here, you can add or remove tabs and even create your own custom tabs with specific commands and options.

Using Tabs for Formatting

Tabs in Microsoft Word can also be used for formatting purposes. By default, the tab key on your keyboard will move the cursor to the next tab stop, which is indicated by a small arrow on the ruler at the top of the document. You can also set custom tab stops by clicking on the ruler and dragging the tab stop to the desired location. This can be useful for aligning text or creating columns in your document.


In conclusion, tabs in Microsoft Word are a useful tool for organizing, navigating, and formatting your documents. They provide a convenient way to access different features and can be customized to suit your specific needs. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced user, understanding tabs in Microsoft Word can help you improve your document creation and formatting skills.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.