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Computer Desktop Encyclopedia
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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 are mechanical elements that halt the movement of the carriage. In word processing, they are numerical settings maintained by software. See tab.


(1) (TABlet) See tablet computer.

(2) To move the cursor on a display screen or the print head on a printer to a specified column (the tab stop). Pressing the Tab key on a keyboard moves the screen cursor horizontally to the right. Pressing Shift-Tab moves it to the left. However, in the ASCII character set, there are codes for both horizontal and vertical tabs. See tab stop.

(3) (TAB) See tape automated bonding.

(4) A visual identifier that appears in a row on screen and serves as a menu. Clicking the tab opens that dialog or page. See tabbed browsing.

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

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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