I'm trying to get a tab space equivalent to a punctuation space but I just can't seem to find my way around the problem. I intend to use my tab space between three letter abbreviations and phone numbers (phone book format, line-by-line items).

  • My question legitimate and relevant. I took the time to phrase it. So whoever downvoted me can just f_off. Mar 2, 2019 at 19:05

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure if this answers your question..... but it seems relevant.

I would not use a tab for such an item. InDesign has white space characters specifically to fill the need you describe.

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As for tabs specifically. I believe you can set them as close together as the glyphs will allow and there is no "minimum" distance.

5pts apart...

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Thing is if they tabs are 5pts apart and a glyph need 7pts to display.. then tabs won't be honored. You have to set the tabs specifically far enough apart so that all glyphs have room to display.

Depending upon the layout, a table with 1 cell per glyph may also work well.

  • I tried that but then the first digit is not aligned with the digit above because the baseline of the preceding abbreviation is not always equivalent (let's say one abbreviation is NYC and then the one below is WSH) Mar 1, 2019 at 0:48
  • The table solution is the best workaround. Not practical at all though. I guess this is one of InDesign's pitfalls. Mar 2, 2019 at 19:00

What you really need to look into are monospaced fonts.

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