How to Align Decimal Points in a Word Table

By Kathryn Hatashita-Lee

Microsoft Word 2010 can create tables that format your data into a matrix of rows and columns. Word contains a selection of tab stops to align text in the columns. For example, the “Decimal” tab stop aligns numbers on each row so the decimals line up vertically. This alignment gives rows of currency or accounting numbers a streamlined look. You can use the horizontal and vertical rulers to help you set the tab stops.

Step 1

Open the saved Word table.

Step 2

Click the “View Ruler” button at the top of the right vertical scroll bar to display the horizontal ruler and left ruler near the document.

Step 3

Click the “Tab” selector at the top of the left ruler to bring up the “Decimal” tab. The “Decimal” tab symbol displays one horizontal line, one vertical line and a decimal on the right side. Usually, this “Decimal” symbol appears on the third click.

Step 4

Click and drag the cursor on the column that will contain the decimal tab stop. This column will appear highlighted.

Step 5

Click the horizontal ruler where you wish to insert the decimal tab stop. A dashed vertical line will temporarily appear where you clicked.

Step 6

Click in the cell. A vertical bar will indicate where the decimal will line up.

Step 7

Type the number with the decimal point. Continue typing numbers in the column. The decimal points will line up vertically.

Tips & Warnings

  • To remove the decimal tab stop, click and drag the tab stop off the horizontal ruler. Release the mouse button.
  • To reposition the decimal tab stop, click and drag the tab stop along the horizontal ruler to the new position. Release the mouse button.