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Tab key
Last modified: Sunday, September 01, 1996 

A key on computer keyboards that inserts a tab character or moves the insertion point to the next tab stop. Some applications respond to the tab key by inserting spaces up to the next tab stop. This is often called a soft tab, whereas a real tab character is called a hard tab.

Spreadsheet and database management applications usually respond to the Tab key by moving the cursor to the next field or cell. In dialog boxes and menus, pressing the Tab key highlights the next button or option.

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cell

cursor

field

insertion point

tab character

tab stop


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