Section: User Commands (1)
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. The terminal should be configured to use hard tabs, e.g.,
Use 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.
An explicit list can be defined after the options (this does not use a "-"). The values in the list must be in increasing numeric order, and greater than zero. They are separated by a comma or a blank, for example,
tabs 1 6 11 16 21:
Use a '+' to treat a number as an increment relative to the previous value, e.g.,
X/Open defines several predefined lists of tab stops.
X/Open describes a +m option, to set a terminal's left-margin. Very few of the entries in the terminal database provide this capability.
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 some terminals may not accept an arbitrary number of tab stops, this implementation will attempt to set tab stops up to the right margin of the screen, if the given list happens to be that long.
This describes ncurses version 5.9 (patch 20140913).
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