Some Things You Should Never Do In Word

I know that when some folks read this, they will pooh-pooh what I have to say. But I can tell you from personal experience, this is something you should NEVER do in Word.  Having said that, if you are creating a Word document that you will retain for yourself and no other person will ever have to work on it, then it could be harmless. However, when you are sharing documents with colleagues and other persons outside your group of colleagues this is vexing, to say the least, and a huge waste of time and keystrokes to say the worst!

What am I describing?

Some of you might insert a tab or a few spaces to indent the first line of each of your paragraphs. The practice is harmless until you modify the document in some way, and then you could end up with an out-of-place space or tab. And more likely, you will end up with lots of displaced text. It may not be a big deal in a short document, but in a long document that requires a lot of editing, those tabs and spaces in the wrong places will drive your colleagues nuts and you may find that they just are not that friendly to you thereafter!

Instead of causing all the animosity and extra work above, follow the steps below:

  1. Click the Home tab.
  2. Click the Dialog launcher for the Paragraph group on your Ribbon.



  1. On the Indents and Spacing tab in the Indentation section, select First Line in the Special area.
  2. Enter an indent measurement in the By area.

  1. Click OK.

I know some of you are going to say, “so what, big deal.” I have heard it many times before. But when I get one of those documents and have to spend all my time deleting all those spaces and tabs, I am not thinking very nice things!  So do yourself and your colleagues a favor and learn how to do it the right way and save yourselves lots and lots of time, keystrokes, and aggravation!

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About the Author

Carol Bratt

Carol holds A+, MCP, and MOS computer certifications and is the resident DCT Office expert. She trains the staffs of small law firms in the use of Microsoft Office applications and has authored many books covering Microsoft Office as well as written articles for Infopackets, TechnoLawyer, and Digital Harbor. For more Microsoft Office tips visit Carol's Corner Office or follow Carol on FaceBook and Twitter.


  1. Thank you all for the Word info. For us novices, and even in short documents, these issues are frustrating to say the least.

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