WD98: How to Change Default Tabs Stops Globally in Microsoft Word

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This article describes how to change the default tab stops so that every new document you create that is based on the Normal template will have the same default tab stop settings.


When you change the Default Tab Stops option in the Tabs dialog box, Word sets the default tabs stops for the current document only. New documents will not reflect the change.

When you create a new document based on the Normal template, the default tab stop settings occur every 0.5 inch. Therefore, to make certain all new documents have the same default tab settings, you must open the Normal template file and make the change to the template. To modify your Normal template, follow these steps:

  1. On the File menu, click Open.
  2. Under Select a Document, switch to the Templates folder (the default folder is, Macintosh HD:Microsoft Office 98:Templates), select Normal, and then click Open.
  3. On the Format menu, click Tabs.
  4. Change Default Tab Stops to the desired value.
  5. Click OK.
  6. On the File menu, click Save.
  7. Close the template.
Now when you create a new document (based on the Normal template), the default tabs stops will be based on the change just made to the Normal template.

NOTE: You can set the default tab stops in any template, with this procedure, but instead of opening the Normal template, open the desired template and make the same changes in steps 2-6.

For additional information, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
142099 WD: How to Change Default Tabs Stops Globally in Microsoft Word


Article ID: 176690 - Last Review: October 7, 2013 - Revision: 1.0
  • Microsoft Word 98 for Macintosh
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