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Word 2013 and Using Tab to Increase Indent

If for some reason your tab stops working as the default way you indent Bullet and Numbered lists, do the following to restore this functionality:

  • File --> Options --> Proofing
  • Select the "AutoCorrect Options" button
  • Select the "AutoFormat As You Type" tab
  • Click the "Set left- and firstindent with tabs and backspaces"
  • Step of the ledge and come back inside for punch and pie.
Bugs like this drive me nuts. Had this working fine with Word 2010, upgraded to Word 2013, and then this magically gets unset. Finding the answer was harder than it should have been as I found several Microsoft articles pointing to this behavior in Word 97 (wtwt?). Finally found this page/thread which has exactly how to fix this: Tab key in Microsoft Word does not increase indent in bullet lists
Comments (9) Trackbacks (0)
  1. My god. Thank you SOOOOO much.

    I was definitely on the ledge…..

  2. This was awesome, clearcut and to the point. We now just need this link to be more easily googled. I was seriously on that ledge.

  3. Thank you life saver!! 😀 😀 😀 😀

  4. Good heavens, thank you! I’m presently a law student, so I spend a lot of my time organizing outlined notes in Word. My ability to use the tab key to move down a level in a numbered list, rather than clicking the next level icon each time, is vital to my sanity. When I lost this ability at random one day (it wasn’t until weeks after upgrading to Windows 10) I contemplated just packing it in and finding another profession. At risk of being hyperbolic, I think you’ve saved my career.

  5. I checked my settings and they are set to this; however, when I hit the tab key it skips the cursor down to another section and doesn’t move my text to the next indent on that line. Any other thoughts?


  6. OMG. Thank you for your detailed instructions. I’ve been pulling my hair out about this stupid stupid tab button. (All I want to do is to tab my freakin’ paragraph in my school paper!!) *steps off ledge*

  7. Worked great, thanks for sharing!

  8. Thank you so much!!

  9. STRANGE — This FIX worked perfectly for one of my documents (thanks!), but it didn’t work for another one. Is there any reason you can think of for this? I closed and reopened the document, and the “set left and first indent spaces…” was still CHECKED, but my TAB key still wouldn’t work.

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