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OpenOffice Writer 3.x Guide
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Controlling tab stops

Although borderless tables are generally considered a much better solution to space out material across a page, there are still many situations where tabulations are sufficient to do what you need with the added advantages of being simpler to manage and quicker to apply.

Image:Tip.png If you need to use tabs, and you will be sending a document to other people, do not use the default tab stops. If the recipients of the document have defined default tab stops that are different from the ones you are using, the paragraph may look very different on their machines. Instead, define the tab stops explicitly in the paragraph or the paragraph style; then you can be sure that everyone will see the same layout.

To define tab stops in your paragraph style, use the page shown below. Here you can choose the type of tab: left, right, centered, or decimal; the character to be used as a decimal point; and the fill character—the characters that appear between the end of the text before the tab and the beginning of the text after the tab. You can also create a custom fill character by entering it in the corresponding box. Common use of a fill character is adding dots between a heading and a page number in a table of contents or underscore character when creating a form to fill in.

Creating a new tab stop, therefore, is just a matter of deciding its position relative to the left margin, the type, the fill character and clicking the New button. The tab stop will be entered in the Position list on the left hand side. Unfortunately, the only way to modify the position of a tab stop is to create a new one in the desired position and delete the old one using the buttons on the right-hand side of the page.

Specifying tab stops for a paragraph style.

Note that it is not possible to define tabulations that exceed the page margin. In the rare cases where it may be needed, use a borderless table instead.


OpenOffice Writer 3.x Guide
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