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Adobe InDesign CC - Essential Training

How do you change the tabs in Adobe InDesign?

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, in this video we're going to look at Tabs. And in our case, there's Tabs in here but we want them to go from this to this. We're also going to add Leader Dots as well. So let's go and do that now in this tutorial.

To make Tabs work, first thing you need to do-- if you've zoomed in, and you can't see the top, see there's the top of my Text Box, if I can't see that, it's going to go a little bit wrong, so I'm going to go up to 'Type', 'Tabs'. I love InDesign, I am a fan boy of InDesign. Tabs is probably the hardest thing to use in here, and probably not really greatly implemented. I like the way Word do it, where it just ties it into this, along the top. Anyway, 'Type', hit 'Tabs'. Because I can't see the top of that box, watch what happens. It just randomly appears in the middle of the page. It's not actually connected to the Type Box, you can see here, I scroll up a little bit, so I can see it. And you can hit this magnetic button here, and it will stick to the top. So just make sure you can see the top of the box, otherwise it can be really troublesome.

What I'd like to do is, with my Type Tool, I'm going to highlight all of the bits that I want to work with. Now, there is actually a Tab in between these. That's what the Table of Contents does for us. Can you see, it's kind of lining up, but there's not enough room, so we're going to put the Tab way up here. So I've highlighted it all, I've gone to my magnetic buttons so it lines up. And all you need to do is click in this slightly lighted gray area. It's a little bit difficult to explain but you can see my arrows wriggling back and forth. I want to click in there once. And you can see that all are lined up. You can move it around, click and drag it a little bit. That's not in the right place.

One thing you might find is, accidentally, if you don't click exactly on that tiny little blue arrow, and you click just here, you can see, you get two of them. You're not playing around with two of them. If you want to get rid of one, just click on it, hit 'delete' on your keyboard. 'Undo' that, don't do that. Click, hold, and drag it off, and it will disappear.

The next thing we need to do is, I want to mess around with, say the-- it's a little bit hard because these numbers are so far away. I want to add some dots like we saw at the beginning of this video. They're called Leader Dots. And what you do is, you highlight all of our text that we have. You need to make sure that the Tab you're working with is highlighted. Mine is not, click on this, goes blue. Then where it says 'Leader', you put in a full stop, or period, hit 'Enter'. And you got these Leader Dots that rush across the page to join up the number.

You can have other things, I can put in an underscore. Now I find this to be a little bit troublesome. I'm the Pro, and I still can't make it work. Now I think this might be just my version, I hope that is. I'm hoping you just delete this period and type in an underscore. What's happening for me is, it's deleting all my text. Why is that happening? I'm not quite sure. I've played around with this a couple of times, and it's still doing it. I'm sure, with the next fix it will be fine. Let's try it one more time,

I'm going to close down the Tabs. I'm leaving this in here, because Tabs are a little bit fiddly, and at the moment they are extra bit fiddly. So if you find them quite troublesome, it's not you, it's InDesign. 'Type', 'Tabs', back open, click on that guy there. Select them all in, grab you, make sure he's selected. Go to Leader, I'm going to change it for an underscore '_', hit 'return' and it's working. You might just close it, go back in. I've used an underscore, so you can see, just a line joining them all. It's up to you, what you'd like to do. I'm going to select them all. Turn it back into a Leader Dot. And it worked, perfect.

You can actually have anything. You can type anything in there, of course. So underscores, hyphens, anything you want to join those up. Last thing to do before we leave tabs is - close this guy down. - we've actually changed the Paragraph Style here. And I would kind of have to change the font, but we've added these Leader Dots, and we've played with Tabs, and that's all included in the Paragraph Style. Like in the last video, we looked at whenever you change it, you need to update the TOC Body. So let's go and open up 'Windows', 'Styles', 'Paragraph Styles'. And what we'll do is, highlight it all, right click 'TOC'. You got to right click it. And go to 'Redefine Style'. That means that if I update my Table of Contents, it's going to add these Leader Dots back in and the Tab, otherwise it will reset back to where it was on the left.

All right, that's going to be it for Tabs.