The Tab key is also sometimes referred to as the tab key. It was already part of the keyboard in the days of the mechanical typewriter. Initially, one key made it easy to create tables and let you change columns with the push of a button. Even though modern computer keyboards offer you much more functions, most of them are used.
Despite this, the function of the tab key is still actively used in office programs such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. Some functions are assigned to this key, and in order to use these functions, it is necessary to know the functions of the program in the best way.
What is the tab key?The Tab key (tab key) on the keyboard is used to advance the cursor to the next tab stop. The word tab is derived from the word "tabulate", which means to organize data in a table or tabular form. When a person wants to type a table on the typewriter, the space key and backspace key are too time consuming and repetitive to use.
To simplify this use, a horizontal bar with a movable lever stopper was placed in the mechanism for each position across the page. Initially these were set manually but later tab key and tab clear keys were added.
Pressing the Tab key moved the carriage to the next tab stop. These were adjusted to correspond to specific column positions of the table being worked on, hence the tab. The tab mechanism was also used as a fast and consistent way to put a uniform indent on the first line of each paragraph.
Where is the tab key on the keyboard? You can find the Tab key on the left side of the keyboard, just above the Caps Lock key and to the left of the Q key. The Tab key usually contains two arrows pointing to an overlapping line going in opposite directions. Some keyboards use this key with just an arrow or the word Tab directly.
What does the tab key do?The Tab key has a wide variety of functions. The commands you can do by pressing this key depend on where the mouse cursor is when you press it and which program is currently active. If you are wondering what the Tab key is for, you can examine the functions below.
- Text editing programs: In programs such as Microsoft Word, pressing the tab key moves the cursor to the right a fixed distance. This is the same as the original function of the tab key on typewriters. If the cursor is in front of a word, you move the word to the right by one tab distance. However, increasing the margin on the left side of the page is useful for arranging text in columns and dividing blocks of text.
- Web browsers: The Tab key lets you switch between form fields and navigation elements. On a website, you can switch between selectable items by pressing the tab key. Typically this includes input fields on forms, such as your name and address, and other types of navigation, such as links and buttons on websites. If you press tab on a website, the cursor will automatically move to the next link.
- In Windows operating system: When you ALT + TAB in Windows operating system, you can view a mini overview of all currently open windows and programs. Hold down the ALT key and use the tab key as many times as needed until the window you want is highlighted. Release both keys and you can continue working as you normally would in the newly active window of your choice.
- In command systems: You can automatically complete the commands given with the tab key in the command line program of operating systems. For example, in the Windows command prompt, this can be a good way to switch to a different directory faster. You should know well which command to use for this. If you type cd prog, press tab and then enter, the command prompt will take you directly to the Program Files folder.
As you can see, the usage and status of the tab key may vary depending on the currently active program, software or operating system. You should remember that the Tab key is an important key that has been used since the days of the typewriter. In particular, you should consider using the tab key to use text editing programs more efficiently.