When I copy a numbered list from MS Word into Notepad, I get a large space between the numbers and the text.

How do I get rid of this space, please?

  • 2
    Welcome to SuperUser. You'll have to delete those tabs manually, just like I've done for the past twenty years. Find and Replace works just fine, if you copy and paste the tab into the Find and Replace dialogue. – user3463 Sep 18 '12 at 16:47

Find and replace... but there's a trick. If you try to type a tab into the Find what: box it just moves the focus to the Replace with: box. Instead, select one of the tabs and copy it. You can then paste the copied tab into the Find what: box and enter, for example, four spaces into the Replace with: box. If you really just want to eliminate the tab completely, leave the Replace with: box empty.


You didn't say whether your list will ever be longer than nine items and what you want to get if it is.  Here's a trick that adds a couple of steps but might give you better results than the other answers.

  1. Copy your list.
  2. Start a Command Prompt.
  3. Type the command type con > nul.  Paste your list into the Command Prompt window.
  4. Copy your list from the Command Prompt window.
  5. (Type Ctrl+C and close the Command Prompt window.)
  6. Paste the list into Notepad.  Now the numbers and the text are separated by actual spaces, not tabs.
  7. Use Notepad's Replace function to delete however many spaces you want to delete.  For example, if you delete four characters from each line of a 12-item list, you can get:
8.  Scorpio
9.  Sagittarius
10. Capricorn
11. Aquarius
12. Pisces

Unfortunately, I dont think you can. The space between the numbers and the text is a "tab." Notepad has a predefined number of spaces hard coded for a tab and there does not appear to be a way to change that.

  • I dont know why you are downvoting. I think the OP wants to change the way notepad works, not a workaround. – Keltari Sep 18 '12 at 17:30
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    The OP asked > How do I get rid of this space, not how to change Notepad, as far as I read it. – slhck Sep 18 '12 at 17:44
  • @slhck I would disagree. Im sure the OP is quite capable of hitting the delete or backspace key to delete a tab. I strongly believe the OP wants to change the behavior of notepad. – Keltari Sep 18 '12 at 18:57
  • Sure, it could be. But I wasn't making any assumptions, I've just literally quoted the OP, who -- in the end -- just wanted to get rid of the space. Deleting it is a viable option there, unless specifically stated otherwise. – slhck Sep 18 '12 at 19:01
  • I dont disagree with the other answers, I disagree with the downvote of my answer. Its common practice on SU to read a question and read into what the OP is asking. – Keltari Sep 18 '12 at 19:07

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