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5.1.4 Tab Stops

gtroff translates tabulator characters, also called tabs (normally code point ASCII 0x09 or EBCDIC 0x05), in the input into movements to the next tabulator stop. These tab stops are initially located every half inch across the page. Using this, simple tables can be made easily. However, it can often be deceptive as the appearance (and width) of the text on a terminal and the results from gtroff can vary greatly.

Also, a possible sticking point is that lines beginning with tab characters are still filled, again producing unexpected results. For example, the following input

1 2 3
4 5

produces

1 2 3 4 5

See Tabs and Fields.