Tab stop


Tab stop

A tab stop on a typewriter is a location where the carriage movement is halted by mechanical gears. Tab stops are set manually, and pressing the tab key causes the carriage to go to the next tab stop. In text editors on a computer, the same concept is implemented simplistically with automatic, fixed tab stops.

Modern word processors generalize this concept by offering tab stops that have an alignment attribute and cause the text to be automatically aligned at left, at right or center of the tab stop itself. Such tab stops are paragraph-specific properties and can be moved to a different location in any moment, or even removed.

Types of tab stops

A tab stop is a horizontal position which is set for placing and aligning text on a page. There are at least five kinds of tab stops in general usage in word processing.

;Left: text extends to the right from the tab stop.;Center: text is centered at the tab stop.;Right: text extends to the left from the tab stop until the tab's space is filled, and then the text extends to the right.;Decimal: text before the decimal point extends to the left, and text after the decimal point extends to the right.;Bar: a vertical line at the specified position on each line in a document.

See also

* Tab key for the computer key and character
* Typewriter for the originating device
* Word processor for a modern tool
* Typographic alignment for an application
* Table (information) for another application
* Indentation for an application within text


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • tab stop — noun (computing) A point reached, eg by a cursor, when the tab key is pressed • • • Main Entry: ↑tab * * * ˈtab stop 7 [tab stop] (also tab …   Useful english dictionary

  • tab stop — ˈtab stop noun [countable] COMPUTING another name for a tab * * * tab stop UK }} US }} noun [C] ► IT TAB(Cf. ↑tab) …   Financial and business terms

  • tab stop — place in a document to which the cursor is advanced when the tab key is pressed …   English contemporary dictionary

  • tab stop — noun (C) a button on a computer or typewriter that you push, in order to move forward to a particular place on a line of text …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • Tab key — on a standard Windows keyboard (on upper left) Tab key (abbreviation of tabulator key[1] or tabular key[2]) on a keyboard is used to advance the cursor to th …   Wikipedia

  • tab — [tæb] noun [countable] 1. a small piece of paper or cloth that is fixed to the edge of something, usually giving information about it 2. a bill for something, especially one that has gradually increased over time: • One out of three credit card… …   Financial and business terms

  • tab key — also tab stop n a button on a computer or ↑typewriter that you press in order to move forward to a particular place on a line of writing = ↑tab …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • tab character — noun (computing) A control character that causes movement to the next tab stop • • • Main Entry: ↑tab …   Useful english dictionary

  • tab — noun (C) 1 SMALL PIECE OF PAPER/CLOTH a small piece of paper, cloth etc that is fixed to the edge of something, especially giving information about it 2 ON A CAN AmE a small piece of metal that you pull to open a can of drink 3 IN A… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • Tab key — key used to advance the cursor a specified distance or to the next tab stop …   English contemporary dictionary


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