Using Tab Stops with Table Cells in Word 365

Copper Contributor

I need to use tab stops within table cells.  I can set them precisely but, unlike the desktop version of Word, the tab key doesn't work within the cell.  In my old version of Word, I would use CTRL+TAB to move within a cell.  Using just TAB still moves from one cell to the next.  But I can't figure out how to tab within the cell.  Now, using CTRL+TAB opens a new tab in MS Edge, taking me completely out of my document.

How do I use tabs within a cell now?

1 Reply


This is the answer you do not want. Use the desktop application.



See Compare Word features on different platforms. (this is an archival copy) current page is Word Features Comparison: Web vs Desktop.

  • There are multiple programs, all named Word, and all created and published by Microsoft. This can be confusing when trying to get help.
  • They all can edit the same document files that have the same file structure. Some of the programs have no control over some of the document structures.
  • They may all be called Microsoft 365 or Word 365 if using the subscription plan. If it is called Office 2021 (2019, 2016, etc.) it is the perpetual license version which is only the desktop programs.
  • But, they are different programs with different features and controls.


As of January, 2024, the most powerful Word program, with the most features, remains the Windows desktop application from Microsoft 365. I do not expect that to change. The perpetual license version Word 2021 is very close as far as features but does not receive new features as added. The perpetual license versions of Office/Word is only the desktop applications and does not include the online or mobile versions.


The Macintosh desktop application is second with number of features. The things available in the Windows version not yet on the Mac version include Content Controls, Building Blocks, UserForms, and ActiveX. It can use, but cannot create, or modify most Content Controls. AutoText is a Building Block that the Mac can and does use.


The browser version of Word – Word Online – has a Transcribe feature that has recently been added to the Windows desktop version of Microsoft 365’s Word. It also has the ability to Export to PowerPoint (although not that usefully). Otherwise, the browser version has far fewer features and editing in it has been reported to mess up automatic numbering. Chromebooks use a version of this or of the Android mobile app. See How to access Microsoft Office on a Chromebook. This can only be used with documents stored on OneDrive or SharePoint. Differences between using a document in the browser and in the Word desktop application. I would use this for note taking and for quick viewing/printing, but not for editing. Especially not for editing long or complex documents. The ability to mess these up is too high.


The mobile applications (Android/IOS, etc.) vary somewhat but have far fewer features. I would use them for note taking and for quick viewing/printing, but not for editing. Especially not for editing long or complex documents. Primarily these can only be used with documents on OneDrive or SharePoint. (Usually, you can get at documents on your local device, but it is tricky.) What you can do in the Microsoft 365 apps on mobile devices with a Microsoft 365 subscription See also Word for Android Phones Help, Word for Android Tablets HelpWord for iPhone Help, Word for iPad Help.


When seeking help, it is important to give the program that you are having problems with as a part of your question.


Note that the statements about capabilities and usefulness are my opinions, not anything from Microsoft. They are based on my use and on my observations over the years here and in other Word forums. In my opinion, none of the versions is perfect. They can all be useful, recognizing their limitations.