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A CDE Definition

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tab stop

A location on a horizontal line that marks the beginning of a column of text. With a monospaced font such as Courier, space characters can be used to line up columns of numbers and names evenly. However, when a proportional font is used such as Arial or Times Roman, the varying widths of letters require the use of preset tab stops for proper alignment. With typewriters, tab stops were mechanical elements that halted the movement of the carriage. In word processing, tab stops are numerical settings maintained by software. See tab.


(1) (TABlet) See tablet computer.

(2) To move the screen cursor or print head to a specified column (the tab stop). Pressing the Tab key on a keyboard moves the cursor horizontally to the right or to the next input field. Shift-Tab moves left. In the ASCII character set, there are codes for horizontal and vertical tabs (see ASCII chart). See tab stop.

(3) (TAB) See tape automated bonding.

(4) A visual identifier in a browser that identifies opened Web pages. See tabbed browsing.

(5) A horizontal menu on control panels and dialog boxes. Clicking the tab jumps the user to that function, and that tab becomes highlighted.

Dialog Box Tabs
On-screen tabs are widely used in control panels. In this example, the Appearance tab is currently selected and highlighted.

Personal Use Only

Before/After Your Search Term
T3tabbed browser
T4tabbed browsing
tabtable lookup
tab-based browsertable top virtual assistant
tab-based browsingtable view
tab charactertablet
tab delimitedtablet communications
tab keytablet computer

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