Tabs and Tables in Wordperfect


There are several different ways that you can add, move, and delete tabs in Wordperfect. The first thing that you need to do in every case is to highlight the text on the page that you want aligned to the new tabs or position the insertion cursor where you are going to insert the new text that you want aligned with the new tabs.

The tabset dialog box is accessed from the Format menu. The menu option you are looking for is Line and then in the sub menu select Tabset. The following dialog box will open.

Tab Set dialog box

In addition to the dialog box, the ruler will also appear across the top of your page showing the currently set tab positions. By entering your required values in this dialog box and pressing the appropriate buttons you will be able to add (set) and delete (clear) tabs at whatever positions you require and will see the tab positions that you have set in the ruler. If you change your mind at any point you can always press the cancel button and start over, press the default button to restore the default tabs, or press the clear all button to remove all of the tabs.

An easier way to set your tabs using the mouse is to update them in the ruler directly. You can't do this with the tabs dialog open. If the ruler isn't showing on your page you can display it by going to the View menu and selecting Ruler or just press the alt and F3 keys on your keyboard together. There is a button at the left hand end of the ruler that allows you to select what type of tab you want to insert (left, centre, right, or decimal aligned) as well as options to set the tabs back to the default, clear all of the tabs, or even open the tabset dialog.

To use the ruler to add tabs just select the type of tab that you want to add using the button and then click on the ruler where you want the tab to be. To move tabs just drag them to their new location and to delete them just drag them off of the ruler.


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Wordperfect gives you several methods of adding tables to your page once you have the insertion point where you want the table to go. The easiest one is to click on the table button on the toolbar and drag your mouse to the appropriate number of columns and rows. Alternatively you can go to the Insert menu and select Table to bring up the create table dialog box.

Create Table dialog box

Once you have the table created you can make any formatting changes that you require (eg. changing the borders) by selecting the table, right clicking on the selection and ten selecting the Table Tools option from the menu. If you only want to alter the formatting on part of the table then just select that part before right clicking and if you just want to change a single cell then you can just right click in the cell.

The Table Tools dialog box contains options to change any of the borders or the fill options, the format of any numbers contained within the selection, add or delete columns or rows, adjust column widths, split or join table cells, or access the general table formatting dialog that gives you even more control of your table layout.


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Tabs in Tables

By now you're probably wondering why I have chosen to cover two such different topics as tabs and tables on the one page. Well, apart from the fact that both can be used to control the alignment of your text, the existence of a table affects the way that your tabs work.

When you are entering data outside of a table and you want to align the next entry at the next tab stop you press the tab key and then enter the text which will be automatically aligned in accordance with the type of tab that you have set. If on the other hand you are within a table, pressing the tab key will not align you at the next tab stop, instead it will move you to the start of the next table cell. To align yourself at the next tab stop within a table you need to hold down the ctrl key while pressing the tab key.

Another way in which tabs are affected by tables is that with a table, you don't need to set tabs individually across the entire table. If you only set tabs within the left most cell of the table then these tabs will be automatically repeated for each subsequent cell until you change the tab positions. Note that you will only be able to change the tab positions for a given column while you have the cursor within a cell in that column.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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