Tabs are flexible spaces used within blocks of text, not at their edges.
Rather than hitting the Tab key repeatedly, just use one, then set its width in the Tabs ruler.
Tables Built with Tabs
If you type Tab characters at the right places in the text, you can build tables with nicely-spaced columns.
Above, I’ve typed a Space character, then a period in the Tab panel’s Leader field. You see that the periods repeat as long as the tab is. I’ve made them lime green by applying a character style to the tab.
You can also do fancy stuff like lining up a specific character to a tab.
In the text above, the dollar amounts all line up on the decimal mark. This makes rows of money values much easier to read. You can actually align a tab with any character, using the Align On field in the Tabs panel. On the right, all the @ symbols line up.
Tabs and indents are useful for setting spacing in blocks or lines of type. It’s important to know when to use which.
Indent settings are used to push text away from the margins. You can push the whole paragraph away from the margin, or you can do fun stuff as shown above. You can enter negative values to make text hang.
I’ve seldom found a use for right indents on paragraphs. It happens, but rarely.
You’ll complete a single-page layout for a Mac Mini. The sheet has indented text and bullet lists.
Consult the provided PDF file to guide the construction of the page layout.
- Adobe: Tabs & Indents
- TutsPlus: Working with Tabs