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My wife is working on a novel that she has created in Microsoft Word. We have converted it to an ebook, however during this process we discovered that some lines are indented with actual tabs, and some are something else, which MS Word appears to be auto correcting/formatting SOMETIMES. In MS Word, both indenting methods look identical, however, once converted to an ebook, the tab indentations look perfect but the other "autocorrected" indentations are huge. When we turn formatting symbols on in MS Word, the tabs show arrows but the other indentations show nothing.

What is this alternative type of indentation called, and how can I do a find and replace for it to make it all regular tabs, or alternatively, control this spacing to make it at least be the same length as a tab when converting to an ebook? At the very least we would like to know that these alternate indenting method is, so we can try to disable it.

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    …and this is one more reason not to ever use MS Word for 'serious work' It is simply not good enough. I used to layout books in QuarkExpress, but I've been out of the business 20 years, so idk what people may use now… I do know they don't use Word. – Tetsujin May 18 at 18:01
  • @Tetsujin I used to use QuarkXpress for anything also, but my wife's laptop can only run windows applications. Obviously we'll move it to something else prior to publishing, she just uses word because it's what runs on the laptop that she likes. – Josh979 May 18 at 18:05
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    Quark has been cross-platform for a long time - 1992 according to Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QuarkXPress - though I've never used it on Win. One would imagine these days compatibility would be good. I'd be inclined to get it out from Word as soon as you reasonably can - for the sake of your sanity;)) [idk how to fix it in Word, sorry, almost never touch it. I wish you luck.] – Tetsujin May 18 at 18:10
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    @Tetsujin Thanks. I used to use Quark back in the good ol days of OS9. Windows S edition is what I'm dealing with on this laptop though, and it won't even run Adobe applications because they aren't directly from Microsoft. – Josh979 May 18 at 18:17
  • Are you trying to use manual indentation (and maybe other formatting) instead of styles? Indentation should be set up in the appropriate style. If there are problems with the export of various style elements that seems like its own issue to be addressed. – Matt May 19 at 2:43
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Check under Home -> Paragraph. Change the left or right indentation (possibly also Special).

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With the identation set as shown on the image above, I get this:

enter image description here

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  • Thanks. I was able to use the "special" field to decrease the global indent for the non-tabs. I then did a find and replace to remove all uses of real tab. unfortunately, now chapter subheadings have the indent also, so and i have to manually go in and change the alignment of these back to neutral one by one, and the same thing for the section breaks. It'll take awhile, but at least its a working solution! – Josh979 May 18 at 18:34

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