gtroff translates tabulator characters, also called
tabs (normally code point ASCII
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
See Tabs and Fields.