1. Illustrator User Guide
  2. Get to know Illustrator
    1. Introduction to Illustrator
      1. What's new in Illustrator
      2. Common questions
      3. Illustrator system requirements
      4. Illustrator for Apple silicon
    2. Workspace
      1. Workspace basics
      2. Create documents
      3. Tools Default keyboard shortcuts | Illustrator
      4. Tool galleries
      5. Customize keyboard shortcuts
      6. Artboards
      7. Customize the workspace
      8. Properties panel
      9. Set preferences
      10. Touch Workspace
      11. Microsoft Surface Dial support in Illustrator
      12. Recovery, undo, and automation
      13. Rotate view
      14. Rulers, grids, and guides
      15. Accessibility in Illustrator
      16. Safe Mode
      17. View artwork
      18. Use the Touch Bar with Illustrator
      19. Files and templates
      20. Synchronize settings using Adobe Creative Cloud
    3. Tools in Illustrator
      1. Selection
        1. Overview
        2. Selection
        3. Direct Selection
        4. Group Selection
        5. Lasso
        6. Magic Wand
      2. Navigation
        1. Overview
        2. Zoom
        3. Rotate View
      3. Paint
        1. Overview
        2. Gradient
        3. Shape Builder
      4. Type
        1. Overview
        2. Type
        3. Type on path
  3. Illustrator on the iPad
    1. Introduction to Illustrator on the iPad
      1. Illustrator on the iPad overview
      2. Illustrator on the iPad FAQs
      3. System requirements | Illustrator on the iPad
      4. What you can or cannot do on Illustrator on the iPad
    2. Workspace
      1. Illustrator on the iPad workspace
      2. Touch shortcuts and gestures
      3. Keyboard shortcuts for Illustrator on the iPad
      4. Manage your app settings
    3. Documents
      1. Work with documents in Illustrator on the iPad
      2. Import Photoshop and Fresco documents
    4. Select and arrange objects
      1. Create repeat objects
      2. Blend objects
    5. Drawing
      1. Draw and edit paths
      2. Draw and edit shapes
    6. Type
      1. Work with type and fonts
      2. Create text designs along a path
      3. Add your own fonts
    7. Work with images
      1. Vectorize raster images
    8. Color
      1. Apply colors and gradients
  4. Cloud documents
    1. Basics
      1. Work with Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Share and collaborate on Illustrator cloud documents
      3. Upgrade cloud storage for Adobe Illustrator
      4. Illustrator cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Troubleshooting
      1. Troubleshoot create or save issues for Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Troubleshoot Illustrator cloud documents issues
  5. Add and edit content
    1. Drawing
      1. Drawing basics
      2. Edit paths
      3. Draw pixel-perfect art
      4. Draw with the Pen, Curvature, or Pencil tool
      5. Draw simple lines and shapes
      6. Image Trace
      7. Simplify a path
      8. Define perspective grids
      9. Symbolism tools and symbol sets
      10. Adjust path segments
      11. Design a flower in 5 easy steps
      12. Perspective drawing
      13. Symbols
      14. Draw pixel-aligned paths for web workflows
    2. 3D effects and Adobe Substance materials
      1. About 3D effects in Illustrator
      2. Create 3D graphics
      3. Create 3D objects
      4. Create 3D Text
    3. Color
      1. About color
      2. Select colors
      3. Use and create swatches
      4. Adjust colors
      5. Use the Adobe Color Themes panel
      6. Color groups (harmonies)
      7. Color Themes panel
      8. Recolor your artwork
    4. Painting
      1. About painting
      2. Paint with fills and strokes
      3. Live Paint groups
      4. Gradients
      5. Brushes
      6. Transparency and blending modes
      7. Apply stroke on an object
      8. Create and edit patterns
      9. Meshes
      10. Patterns
    5. Select and arrange objects
      1. Select objects
      2. Layers
      3. Group and expand objects
      4. Move, align, and distribute objects
      5. Stack objects    
      6. Lock, hide, and delete objects
      7. Duplicate objects
      8. Rotate and reflect objects
    6. Reshape objects
      1. Crop images
      2. Transform objects
      3. Combine objects
      4. Cut, divide, and trim objects
      5. Puppet Warp
      6. Scale, shear, and distort objects
      7. Blend objects
      8. Reshape using envelopes
      9. Reshape objects with effects
      10. Build new shapes with Shaper and Shape Builder tools
      11. Work with Live Corners
      12. Enhanced reshape workflows with touch support
      13. Edit clipping masks
      14. Live shapes
      15. Create shapes using the Shape Builder tool
      16. Global editing
    7. Type
      1. Create text
      2. Fonts and typography
      3. Format type
      4. Import and export text
      5. Format paragraphs
      6. Special characters
      7. Create type on a path
      8. Character and paragraph styles
      9. Tabs
      10. Text and type
      11. Find missing fonts (Typekit workflow)
      12. Update text from Illustrator 10
      13. Arabic and Hebrew type
      14. Fonts | FAQ and troubleshooting tips
      15. Create 3D text effect
      16. Creative typography designs
      17. Scale and rotate type
      18. Line and character spacing
      19. Hyphenation and line breaks
      20. Text enhancements
      21. Spelling and language dictionaries
      22. Format Asian characters
      23. Composers for Asian scripts
      24. Create text designs with blend objects
      25. Create a text poster using Image Trace
    8. Create special effects
      1. Work with effects
      2. Graphic styles
      3. Create a drop shadow
      4. Appearance attributes
      5. Create sketches and mosaics
      6. Drop shadows, glows, and feathering
      7. Summary of effects
    9. Web graphics
      1. Best practices for creating web graphics
      2. Graphs
      3. SVG
      4. Create animations
      5. Slices and image maps
  6. Import, export, and save
    1. Import
      1. Import artwork files
      2. Import bitmap images
      3. Import artwork from Photoshop
      4. Place multiple files | Illustrator CC
      5. Unembed images
      6. Import Adobe PDF files
      7. Import EPS, DCS, and AutoCAD files
      8. Links information
    2. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator 
      1. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator
    3. Save
      1. Save artwork
    4. Export
      1. Use Illustrator artwork in Photoshop
      2. Export artwork
      3. Collect assets and export in batches
      4. Package files
      5. Create Adobe PDF files
      6. Extract CSS | Illustrator CC
      7. Adobe PDF options
      8. File information and metadata
  7. Printing
    1. Prepare for printing
      1. Set up documents for printing
      2. Change the page size and orientation
      3. Specify crop marks for trimming or aligning
      4. Get started with large canvas
    2. Printing
      1. Overprint
      2. Print with color management
      3. PostScript printing
      4. Print presets
      5. Printer's marks and bleeds
      6. Print and save transparent artwork
      7. Trapping
      8. Print color separations
      9. Print gradients, meshes, and color blends
      10. White Overprint
  8. Automate tasks
    1. Data merge using the Variables panel
    2. Automation with scripts
    3. Automation with actions
  9. Troubleshooting 
    1. Crash on launch issues
    2. Recover files after crash
    3. File issues
    4. GPU device driver issues
    5. Wacom device issues
    6. DLL file issues
    7. Memory issues
    8. Preferences file issues
    9. Font issues
    10. Printer issues
    11. Share crash report with Adobe

You use the Tabs panel (Window > Type > Tabs) to set tab stops for a paragraph or type object. For more information on using and setting tabs, see web Help.

Tabs panel overview

You use the Tabs panel (Window > Type > Tabs) to set tab stops for a paragraph or type object.

Tabs panel
Tabs panel

A. Tab alignment buttons B. Tab position C. Tab leader box D. Align On box E. Panel menu F. Tab ruler G. Snap panel above frame 

You can access additional commands and options in the Tabs panel menu. To use this menu, click the triangle in the upper right corner of the panel.

Align the Tabs panel with a selected type object

You can position the Tabs panel anywhere in the work area; however, it is usually helpful to align the Tabs panel with a type object.

  1. Click the magnet icon  . The Tabs panel moves directly above the selected text object, with the zero point aligned with the left margin. If necessary, you can drag the resize button at the lower right corner of the panel to expand or reduce the ruler.

Snap tab stops to the ruler units

By default, you can position tab stops anywhere along the tab ruler.

  1. Choose Snap To Unit from the panel menu or hold down Shift as you drag a tab stop.

Change the units of measure for the tab ruler

The units of measure for the tab ruler are defined by the General units settings specified in the Units preferences (for all files) or by the units specified in the Document Setupdialog box (for the current file).

  • To change the units of measure for all files, specify a new value for General Units in the Units preferences.
  • To change the units of measure for the current file, specify a new units value in the Document Setup dialog box.

Set tabs

Tab stops apply to an entire paragraph. When you set the first tab, Illustrator deletes all default tab stops to the left of that stop. As you set more tab stops, Illustrator deletes all default tabs between the tabs you set.

  1. Insert the cursor in a paragraph, or select a type object to set tab stops for all paragraphs in the object.
  2. In the Tabs panel, click a tab-alignment button to specify how text aligns relative to the tab’s position:

    Left-Justified Tab

    to align horizontal text to the left, keeping the right margin ragged.

    Center-Justified Tab

    to center text on the tab mark.

    Right-Justified Tab

    to align horizontal text to the right, keeping the left margin ragged.

    Bottom-Justified Tab

    to align vertical text to the bottom margin, keeping the top margin ragged.

    Top-Justified Tab

    to align vertical text to the top margin, keeping the bottom margin ragged.

    Decimal-Justified Tab

    to place text in alignment with a specified character, such as a period or a dollar sign. This option is useful for creating columns of numbers.

    You can change the alignment of any tab by simply selecting it and clicking one of these buttons.

  3. Do one of the following:
    • Click a location on the tab ruler to position a new tab stop.

    • Type a position in the X box (for horizontal text) or Y box (for vertical text), and press Enter or Return. If the X or Y value is selected, press the Up Arrow or Down Arrow key to increase or decrease the tab value by 1 point, respectively.

      note: When you use the tab ruler, you cannot set tab stops in increments smaller than 1. However, if you specify a position in the X or Y box, you can set stops at intervals as small as 0.01 point.

  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to add additional tab stops.

For information on setting indents using the Tabs panel, see Indent text.

Repeat tabs

The Repeat Tab command creates multiple tabs based on the distance between the tab and the left indent or the previous tab stop.

  1. Click an insertion point in the paragraph.
  2. In the Tabs panel, select a tab stop on the ruler.
  3. Choose Repeat Tab from the panel menu.
    Repeated tabs
    Repeated tabs

    A. Tab-alignment buttons B. Tab stop on the ruler C. Panel menu 

Move tabs

  1. In the Tabs panel, select a tab stop on the ruler.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Type a new location in the X box (for horizontal text) or Y box (for vertical text), and press Enter or Return.

    • Drag the tab to a new location.

    • To move all tab stops simultaneously, Ctrl‑drag (Windows) or Command‑drag (Mac OS) a tab.

      As you move a tab stop, a visual guide appears in the selected text.

Remove tabs

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Drag the tab off the tab ruler.

    • Select the tab, and choose Delete Tab from the panel menu.

    • To return to the default tab stops, choose Clear All from the panel menu.

Specify characters for decimal tabs

You use decimal tabs to align text with a character you specify, such as a period or a dollar sign.

  1. In the Tabs panel, create or select a decimal tab  on the tab ruler.
  2. In the Align On box, type the character to which you want to align. You can type or paste any character. Make sure that the paragraphs you’re aligning contain that character.
    Text aligned using a decimal tab
    Text aligned using a decimal tab

Add tab leaders

A tab leader is a repeated pattern of characters, such as a series of dots or dashes, between a tab and the following text.

  1. In the Tabs panel, select a tab stop on the ruler.
  2. Type a pattern of as many as eight characters in the Leader box, and then press Enter or Return. The characters you entered repeat across the width of the tab.
  3. To change the font or other formatting of the tab leader, select the tab character in the text frame, and use the Character panel or Type menu to apply formatting.
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