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How can I fill (not replace) TAB with Spaces in MS Office Word? In other word, have a look at the following pic:

1   ->  222   ->  3
111 ->  2     ->  333
11  ->  22    ->  33
11  ->  2222  ->  3333

Suppose that -> is indicated one TAB. As you see, each column is justified from left. I need to fill each TAB with Spaces, so that the justification not be confused. If I use 'Find & Replace' option to change each TABs to a specific number of Spaces, justification will be confused because each column have its own character number. In other word, if I change each TAB with 6 Spaces, the above will be changed to the follow:

1      222      3
111      2      333
11      22      33
11      2222      3333

My need is as follow (each dot indicate a Space):

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migrated from Oct 24 '10 at 9:16

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Are you using a monospaced font? – Lasse V. Karlsen Oct 23 '10 at 13:40
Unless you're trying to do this with VBA, it's not programming related. – paxdiablo Oct 23 '10 at 13:52
If you use a programmer oriented text editor and use its "convert tabs to spaces" feature, it will produce the correct result. – Daniel Beck Jan 3 '11 at 22:34


Install as directed for your OS and hardware.

Input your test data as written up in your question.

Select all text -> select "Format -> Tabs to Spaces"
enter image description here

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Copy the text and paste it into a command prompt window (cmd.exe). Copy it back out of the command prompt and paste it into Word and you'll have spaces, no tabs.

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Select a Tab in Word. Then get into the Find/Replace window while it is selected.

Then set the replace to be your ...... characters.

Word can select the Tab character, and displays it sort of funny, but it is hard to enter it by hand.

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His problem is that he doesn't want to replace 1 tab with 1 space. Read the question to the end. – Daniel Beck Jan 3 '11 at 22:58
@Daniel Beck: I see, I was not suggesting one tab with one space, but rather one tab with many periods (I did not notice the dots represent spaces). However, my notion will not work, for a different reason as I was suggesting a fixed number of tabs, and he wants it alighned still but with spaces instead of tabs. Oh well. – geoffc Jan 4 '11 at 1:29
True. I meant any fixed number of spaces per tab, I should have written what I meant. – Daniel Beck Jan 4 '11 at 2:32

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