tabs - set tab stops on a terminal
/usr/5bin/tabs [ tabspec ] [ -Ttype ] [ +mn ]
This command is available with the System V software installation
option. Refer to for information on how to install optional software.
tabs can be used to specify TAB stops on terminals that support
remotely-settable hardware TAB characters. TAB stops are set according
to the tabspec option, as described below, and previous settings are
Four types of tab specification are accepted for tabspec. They are:
-code Set the TAB stops according to the canned TAB setting specified
by code, as given by fspec(5).
-n Set the TAB stops at intervals of n columns, that is, at 1+n,
1+2*n, and so on, as per the -n specification as given by
Set the TAB stops at positions n1, n2, and so on, as per the
n1,n2,... specification as given by fspec(5).
--file Read the first line of the file specified by file, searching
for a format specification as given by fspec(5). If this line
contains a format specification, set the TAB stops accordingly,
otherwise set them to every 8 columns. This type of specifica-
tion may be used to make sure that a file containing a TAB
specification is displayed with correct TAB settings. For
example, it can be used with the pr(1V) command:
tabs --file; pr file
If no tabspec is given, the default value is -8, the standard default
TAB setting. The lowest column number is 1. Note: for tabs, column 1
always refers to the leftmost column on a terminal, even one whose col-
umn markers begin at 0, (such as the DASI 300, DASI 300s, and DASI
450). TAB and margin setting is performed by echoing to the proper
sequences to the standard output.
-Ttype tabs usually needs to know the type of terminal in order to set
TAB characters, and always needs to know to set margins. type
is a name listed in term(5). If no -T flag is supplied, tabs
uses the value of the environment variable TERM. If TERM is not
defined in the environment (see environ(5V)), tabs tries a
default sequence that will work for many terminals.
+mn The margin argument may be used for some terminals. It moves
all TAB stops over n columns by making column n+1 the left mar-
gin. If +m is given without a value of n, the value assumed is
10. For a TermiNet, the first value in the tab list should be 1,
or the margin will move even further to the right. The normal
(leftmost) margin on most terminals is obtained by +m0. The
margin for most terminals is reset only when the +m flag is
pr(1V), tput(1V), environ(5V), fspec(5), term(5), terminfo(5V)
There is no consistency between different terminals regarding ways of
clearing tabs and setting the left margin.
tabs clears only 20 tabs (on terminals requiring a long sequence), but
is willing to set 64.
7 January 1988 TABS(1V)