How to Print Directly on Tabs

By Randal Thomas

Office workers or publishers with non-standard printing projects might need to print diectly onto tabs. Tabs help provide an easy-access table of contents that puts each section at your fingertips. Most people simply write on the tabs with a pen or a magic marker. This, however, looks unprofessional and might create a negative impression about the contents. If you want the most professional appearance, print directly on the tabs.

Set up MS Word

Step 1

Configure your document’s width to match your tabs. For instance, most tabs consist of a standard 8-inch by 11 inch sheet of cardtock with an additional 1/2-inch tab extending outward from the paper’s right edge. If your tab equals 9 inches, (including the tab), set your document’s width at nine inches.

Step 2

Create a text box. To do this, click on the insert tab, and select “text box.”

Step 3

Type the tab’s label into the text box. For example, if you want the tab to read 'Archives' then type Archives into the text box.

Step 4

Flip the text vertically, so it will fit the right direction on the tab. To do this, select the text and click the “format” menu. When the format menu pops up, select “text" direction. When the text-direction menu pops up, select vertical.

Step 5

Measure the tab. For instance, you want to measure the vertical length of your tab and the tab’s horizontal width.

Step 6

Drag the text box to the upper right corner. For instance, although you can drag the text box anywhere on the page, you want to place it in the upper right corner that corresponds with Tab No. 1. If your tab measures two inches high by 1/2-inch wide, place the text box two inches down from the page’s top margin and approximately 8.65 inches from the left margin.

Turn the text box’s border off. MS Word automatically wraps your text box with a black border. Turn it off by double-clicking the text box. A text-box menu will appear. Select the “color and lines” tab, and turn it off by selecting "none."

Set up Your Printer

Step 1

Set your printer to print tabs. For instance, your printer usually prints just plain paper. To get to the user-defined paper menu, select "print" from the file-menu then select "properties" under the print-menu. In the properties menu, define the paper by selecting "User-Defined Paper."

Step 2

Save the dimensions to match the height and width of your tabs. Usually, your tab's dimension will equal nine inches x eleven inches. Don't forget to click “save” after you enter the dimensions.

Step 3

Select Paper type: Click “File.” Select “Print. Select “Properties.” Select Paper type.” Select “Specialty Paper.” Select “Other Specialty Paper."

Step 4

Insert the tab into the manual paper feeder, and click "print."

Fine tune the position of the text box on the page, so that it fits perfectly within your tab.