A Different Type of Tab

I’m sure that we’re all very accustomed to the usual left, center, right and decimal tab stops Word has used for years. But, if you’re using a newer version of Word, you may have noticed a new addition to the family.

When flipping through your tab choices, did you ever notice this little guy?

Well, I did and had to wonder what it was all about.

So, at that point, it was time to do a bit of research.

It turns out that this is called a bar tab.

Its function, you ask?

Good question and believe it or not, it does exactly as the picture indicates. The bar tab puts a vertical line on the location where the tab stop is set.

So, if you have a bar tab set at two inches on the ruler, you’ll get a vertical line at the two inch location for every line that has the tab set. Text does not affect the vertical line at all. It will go right through it. In fact, you don’t even have to use the Tab key to get the effect. The simple act of setting the bar tab stop on the ruler will create the line, no extra work required.

Now, we all know that you can change tab stops from line to line in Word, so this one has potential. You can set the bar tab stop for particular lines in the document that need the vertical line and then remove it (or relocate it) when it’s no longer necessary in that location.

The applications of this one are endless. Now that you know what it is, it’s up to you to decide how to use it!

~ April