Linux "tabs" Command Line Options and Examples
set tabs on a terminal

The tabs program clears and sets tab-stops on the terminal. This uses the terminfo clear_all_tabs and set_tab capabilities. If either is absent, tabs is unable to clear/set tab-stops.


tabs [options]] [tabstop-list]

Command Line Options:

Tell tabs which terminal type to use. If this option is not given, tabs will use the $TERM environmentvariable. If that is not set, it will use the ansi+tabs entry.
tabs -Tname ...
The tabs program processes a single list of tab stops. The last option to be processed which defines a listis the one that determines the list to be processed.Implicit ListsUse a single number as an option, e.g., “-5” to set tabs at the given interval (in this case 1, 6, 11, 16, 21,etc.). Tabs are repeated up to the right margin of the screen.Use “-0” to clear all tabs.Use “-8” to set tabs to the standard interval.Explicit ListsAn explicit list can be defined after the options (this does not use a “-”). The values in the list must bein increasing numeric order, and greater than zero. They are separated by a comma or a blank, for example,tabs 1,6,11,16,21tabs 1 6 11 16 21Use a “+” to treat a number as an increment relative to the previous value, e.g.,tabs 1,+5,+5,+5,+5which is equivalent to the 1,6,11,16,21 example.Predefined Tab-StopsX/Open defines several predefined lists of tab stops.
tabs -V ...
IBM S/370 first format
tabs -a ...
IBM S/370 second format
tabs -a2 ...
COBOL compact format
tabs -c2 ...
COBOL compact format extended
tabs -c3 ...
PORTABILITYIEEE Std 1003.1/The Open Group Base Specifications Issue 7 (POSIX.1-2008) describes a tabs utility. However· This standard describes a +m option, to set a terminal's left-margin. Very few of the entries in the ter‐minal database provide this capability.· There is no counterpart in X/Open Curses Issue 7 for this utility, unlike tput(1).The -d (debug) and -n (no-op) options are extensions not provided by other implementations.Documentation for other implementations states that there is a limit on the number of tab stops. While someterminals may not accept an arbitrary number of tab stops, this implementation will attempt to set tab stopsup to the right margin of the screen, if the given list happens to be that long.
tabs -u ...