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Adobe InDesign CS3

Working with Tabs

Tabs allow you to line up text vertically in a document. Text can be lined up in relation to the margins, to specific characters (e.g., a dollar sign) or to punctuation (e.g., quotation marks or bullets). For more options with tabs, refer to Additional Tab Options.

return to topThe Tab Panel

Tabs are set using the Tabs panel; this offers you a preview of the tab position and reveals options for the tab position and alignment.

  1. If the Tab panel is not displayed, from the Type menu, select Tabs
    The Tabs panel appears.
    NOTE: A checkmark will appear next to Tabs when the Tabs panel is displayed.
    Tabs panel

  2. OPTIONAL: To place the Tab panel directly above a selected text frame, click POSITION PANEL ABOVE TEXT FRAMEPosition panel above text frame icon
    HINTS:
    You must either have your cursor placed within the desired text frame or text selected within it.
    Arrows on the Tab ruler will show a preview of where your tabs will be placed.

return to topSetting Tabs

You can set left, center, right, decimal, or special character tabs. When you use the special character tab, you can align a tab to any character you choose.

  1. Select the paragraph(s) or text frame in which you would like to apply a tab

  2. If the Tab panel is not displayed, from the Type menu, select Tabs
    The Tabs panel appears.
    NOTE: A checkmark will appear next to Tabs when the Tabs panel is displayed.
    Tabs panel

  3. From the Tab Alignment buttons, select the desired alignment
    Tab panel: Alignment options

  4. On the Tab ruler, click the desired position for the tab
    OR
    In the X text box, type a new location
    An arrow appears above the ruler to show where the tab has been set.Tab ruler: Arrow position
    NOTE: Clicking more than once on the Tab ruler causes several tabs to be set. In order to move a tab after it has been set, click directly on the arrow and drag it to the new location.

  5. To align a section of text with your tab(s), place your insertion point at the beginning of each section and press [Tab]
    The section(s) is aligned with the specified tab(s).

return to topMoving Tabs

After you have a tab set, you can move it.

  1. Select the paragraph(s) or text frame that contains the tab you would like to move

  2. If the Tab panel is not displayed, from the Type menu, select Tabs
    The Tabs panel appears.
    NOTE: A checkmark will appear next to Tabs when the Tabs panel is displayed.
    Tabs panel

  3. On the Tab ruler, select the tab to be moved

  4. On the Tab ruler, click and drag the tab to a new location
    OR
    In the X text box, type a new location

return to topDeleting Tabs

If you have created a tab that is no longer needed,the tab can easily be deleted.

  1. Select the paragraph(s) or text frame that contains the tab you would like to delete

  2. If the Tab panel is not displayed, from the Type menu, select Tabs
    The Tabs panel appears.
    NOTE: A checkmark will appear next to Tabs when the Tabs panel is displayed.
    Tabs panel

  3. On the Tab ruler, right click the tab to be deleted » select Delete Tab
    OR
    Click and drag it off of the Tab ruler
    The tab is deleted.

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