Setting Tabs in Microsoft Publisher

November 30, 2012  •   LPi

One of the easiest ways to maintain an even structure in Microsoft Publisher is to use tabs in the margin bar at the top of your document. Using tabs makes placing detailed information more visually pleasing and easy to understand. Pressing Tab by default gives you a gap of about a quarter of an inch in a document. This can also cause a text box to unevenly place text.

Note: It’s best to set up tabs before placing text, but we’ll use already-placed text in this demonstration. If you have already-placed text and want to use tabs, simply highlight the text you want to use tabs with





First let’s organize this text by spacing out this information using tabs. Since there are three text segments, we will space out the text by pressing tab between segments. For this example, we want text to appear to the left, center, and right of our text box.

We first click on the text box and choose where we want our first tab point to begin. We want to line up the left hand side, so we’ll left-click twice on the ruler icon at the top-left edge as indicated by the red highlighted dot.

This brings up a menu and we select the Left alignment. We could also choose to have dots appear in between our tab spacing by choosing an option in the ‘leader area.’


Now that we have set the Left tab, we repeat the process by double-clicking the ruler in the center of our text, and then clicking the Center bubble. We repeat this process on the right-hand size. The end result should look like the example below.

As you can see, the text is organized and much easier to read. These tab settings are completely customizable to whatever project you’re working on. Tab spacing and the amount of tab sections can all be adjusted to suit your needs.