Trouble with auto-tab RRS feed

  • Question

  • This isn't entirely a question, though hopefully someone can provide me with an actual solution. I've dealt with this problem before and even went through the live chat to try to get this fixed but the person wasn't able to help at all.

    Sometimes when I'm typing in a word document the auto-tab will mess up and there's no way to fix it. What I mean is when I type something and then use the tab key to indent it, the paragraphs after it will no longer be auto indented. I know when it messes up too because sometimes, I'll try to indent something and the left tab marker has randomly moved to the middle of the page. I know how to readjust that, but that still stops everything after it from being automatically indented which is really frustrating when I'm writing long papers.

    So far I've found the only solution is to create a new document and transfer everything I've written over without keeping the formatting, which means I have to redo the formatting all myself, which is very frustrating when the book I'm working on is over 100 pages.

    The person I talked to in support said that this wasn't really an issue then if I can fix it like that, but I think it is. I'm so frustrated at this point and don't understand why it's happening. This is now probably the 7th or 8th time it's happened and since it keeps happening, I feel like there should be something Microsoft can do to fix it. 

    Friday, July 5, 2019 10:58 PM

All replies

  • Your question isn't clear. If the paragraphs are automatically indented, why are you tabbing to create an indent?

    You would save time in the long run by creating styles that have indents. Then select text and apply the style. You can use keyboard shortcuts to apply styles. You'll get a more consistent document, and if you update the style later to a different indent, your whole document is instantly reformatted.

    Saturday, July 6, 2019 4:29 PM
  • I'm writing a book, so when I create a new chapter, sometimes the auto indent doesn't carry onto the new blank page I've added. Or when I'm adding a scene break. It's an easy fix if I just don't undo the indent and make sure it carries through for everything.

    I didn't know about styles, I've never used them before, but maybe I will.

    Though that doesn't change the fact that the formatting still breaks.

    Saturday, July 6, 2019 7:08 PM
  • When you use Word, you're using styles whether you know it or not. Most likely, the style highlighted in the Style Gallery while you work is Normal. By default, Normal doesn't have an indent. When you try to do all your formatting with local formatting instead of styles, the underlying style will sooner or later reassert itself. The formatting is not "breaking", the formatting is working as intended. You're trying to break it by repeatedly adding an indent. The solution is to create a style that looks like you want it to without adding any extra formatting steps, like pressing tab over and over.

    Here's an introductory article about styles: Working with Word Styles Using them will save you a lot of time and trouble over the long term.

    Sunday, July 7, 2019 12:11 AM
  • Hi NerdWriter17,

    Just checking in to see if the information was helpful.

    Please let us know if you would like further assistance.


    Bella Wu

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    Tuesday, July 9, 2019 6:37 AM