How to use tabs stops to indent within a table

I’m using Libreoffice Writer and I have created a 2 row x 3 column table. In the middle column I’d like to have tab stops every 0.25".

My problem is that when I hit the tab key to indent 0.25" Libreoffice jumps my cursor to the next column in the table instead of indenting 0.25". Is there a way of using tab stops to indent within a table column?


My 5 ct opinion: If you need tab stops in the middle column, then in fact you need more columns.

My 2.56 € opinion: if you needTab to indent, then your paragraph style is badly designed. One should never use Tab to indent first line in paragraph; this is managed through the paragraph style. Tabs should only be used to advance cursor to next tab stop in a paragraph intended for tabular data (outside a table). If you rely on the default evenly spaced 0.25" tab stops, your formatting will break sooner or later.

In my $256 opinion. (1) LibreOffice in fact supports tab stops and other formatting within a table cell, and users deserve to know how to use them; (2) tabs within a range of cells give the user a nice, easy to use alternative to fiddling with nested cells and whatnot. (3) Opinions do not provide an answer to the actual question; maybe take them to a discussion forum.

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@KazKylheku: it all depends what you use table cells for. A cell is in fact a sub-document and you can use any formatting allowed anywhere else. If your use of tabs is to mimic a sub-table, then you’re definitely abusing Writer primitives. Anyway, you’re bound to define at least an ad-hoc paragraph style because you’re ill-advised to rely on default evenly spaced stops otherwise. And probably a style with tab stops is a poor substitute for a nested table.

The question of how to invoke the Tab command to get to a tab stop does not depend on what the cells are used for.

This is Ctrl+Tab as already mentioned, but this is not always the best thing to do.

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I have the same question, but for LibreOffice Draw: How can I insert a (right-alined) TAB stop in a Table in Draw?

When I right-click on the ruler, I do not get any menu to switsch between left-/center-/right-aligned Tab stops. So, could not place the Tab Stop via the Ruler. I had to edit the paragraph style to enter a right-aligned Tab stop. That’s not great, but it’s fine. However, when I place the curser in the table cell with the right aligned Tab Stop and press CTRL+TAB, no Tab is inserted. Instead, the curser jumps to the next table cell. :frowning:

Before the predictable barrage of “use Styles” and “use more columns” non-answer posts come in: Please refrain. I am “drawing” a mock-up of a UI that has a drop-down menu where I want to place left-aligned text and a right-aligned downward pointing triangle to indicate the drop-down.

Thank you for any help.


Since this is a Draw question, it is preferable to ask it separately. I have a workaround for your problem.

Please create your own question, this one is about Writer.


using CTRL+TAB adds a tab within a cell.

Hope that helps.

If the answer helped to solve your problem, please click the check mark (:heavy_check_mark:) next to the answer.

Sorry - postings crossed.

I figured it out.

I needed to hit ctrl-tab. That indents tab stops within a writer table.