Setting Tabs in Microsoft Publisher

Posted on November 30, 2012 by - Catholic Tech Talk

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.

Keeping Tabs on Your Content

Posted on January 9, 2012 by - Catholic Tech Talk

Looking for a neat way to keep things in line within your bulletin?  Give your space bar a break and consider using Tabs, a convenient method for organizing your information in a clean, easy-to-read format.  When set up correctly, all you need to do is press Tab on your keyboard, and Microsoft Publisher will automatically position your text in the location you want.  You have the option of lining everything up to the left side, right side, center, or at the decimal points.  Search for “Tabs” in Microsoft Publisher’s Help menu for more information and detailed instructions.

Tabs are very useful for laying out your mass times and intentions, activity schedules, contact information, and many types of lists and forms.  Check out the following examples and try these quick tutorials for your bulletin or newsletter!

Three Column Weekly Activity Schedule

List activities for the week, using columns for date, event, and time.

Steps:

  1. Create a new text box with the heading “Upcoming Events.”
  2. Enter a date, then press tab.  Enter an event name, then press tab again.  Finally, enter the event time.  Press Return or Enter to begin a new line.
  3. For example, Type Nov. 27, then hit tab.  Type Choir, then hit tab.  Type 9:00 am.  Press Enter.   Repeat this process for several lines.
  4. Highlight all of the text you inserted, and then click Format, Tabs.
  5. Click Clear All to remove any previous formatting.
  6. Click in the field under Tab stop position.  Type 1.15 as your measurement.  This will determine the placement of your tab.
  7. Select Left alignment.
  8. Click Set to apply your selections to your highlighted content.
  9. Click in the Tab stop position field again, and type 3.5.
  10. Under Alignment, click Right.
  11. Click Set.
  12. Click Ok.  You’ll notice that your lines are now reformatted.  If things are not lining up the way you want, just start at step 3 again, and adjust your tab stop measurements and alignments as needed.

 

Contact Information

Use tabs and leaders to organize names and phone numbers so readers can easily find the specific information they need.

Steps:

  1. Create a new text box with the heading “Contacts.”
  2. Type a first and last name, then hit tab.  Next, type that person’s phone number or extension.  Press Return or Enter to start a new line. Repeat this process on the next several lines, until you have typed all names and phone numbers.
  3. Highlight the text you inserted, and then click Format, Tabs.
  4. Click Clear All to remove any previous formatting.
  5. Click in the field under Tab stop position.  Type 3.3 as your measurement.  This will determine the placement of your tab.
  6. Select Right alignment.
  7. Under Leader, select Dot.
  8. Click Set to apply your selections to your highlighted content.
  9. Click Ok.  You’ll notice that your lines are now reformatted, and should include dots between the names and phone numbers.  If things are not lining up the way you want, just start at step 3 again, and adjust your tab stop measurements and alignments as needed.

 

Weekly Collections

Use the decimal alignment tab to position collection amounts in your Stewardship area.

Steps:

  1. Create a new text box with the heading “Church Support.”
  2. Type “Previous Balance,” then press tab.  Type your previous balance amount in this format: $x,xxx.xx.  Hit Enter or Return to begin a new line. Type “Contributions,” then press tab.  Type your parish’s contribution amount in this format: $x,xxx.xx.  Hit Enter or Return to begin a new line.  Type “Total,” then press tab.  Type your total donation amount in this format: $x,xxx.xx.
  3. Highlight all the text you inserted, and then click Format, Tabs.
  4. Click Clear All to remove any previous formatting.
  5. Click in the field under Tab stop position.  Type 3.2 as your measurement.  This will determine the placement of your tab.
  6. Select Decimal alignment.*
  7. Under Leader, select Dot.
  8. Click Set to apply your selections to your highlighted content.
  9. Click Ok.  You’ll notice that your lines are now reformatted, and all numbers should be aligned at the decimal point.  If things are not lining up the way you want, just go back to step 3, and adjust your measurements and alignments as needed.

*You can also try using the right alignment setting for this example.

Although it may seem daunting at first, with just a little practice and some determination, you can master the above techniques and use them to make your publications more attractive and helpful for your readers!  Remember that all of the above examples can be adjusted to fit your needs.  For instance, if you typically use different categories for your church support section, name them accordingly.  Or, if you’d prefer a 2-column activity list, just create one set of tab stops, instead of two.

Have you tried using Tabs in your publications?  Please comment about your experiences.  Would you recommend Tabs, or is there a different method that works better for you? Share your tips and tricks!