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Tab Stops in InDesign Tables

Mercier wrote:

is there a way without using indent to align table text in a column on “,” or “.”

Absolutely! InDesign’s tables are sneaky because they pay attention to tab stops even if you don’t have a tab character in there.

For example, you can just select a whole column (or row) in a table, open the Tabs palette (Command-shift-T/Ctrl-Shift-T), click the Decimal Align tab stop, and click in the palette’s ruler. This ensures that all the decimal points in that row will align — again, even if there are no tabs at all in the cells!

Before: No tabs in the cell

Table Tabs 1

After: Decimal tab stop aligns the numbers properly

Table Tabs 2

If you’re in Europe and want to use commas instead of points, select the tab stop in the Tabs palette and change the Align On field to a comma.

David Blatner

David Blatner

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at
David Blatner

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59 Comments on “Tab Stops in InDesign Tables

  1. Hi there.

    Like skybluem, I’m trying to align large numbers (with two stops) like
    in Indesign CS6.

    Thanks to the tip regarding OpenType > Tabular Lining from the Character Panel menu from David I am able to align them almost perfectly. However upon closer inspection I can see that the second . is not aligned perfectly like it should. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


  2. David, Do I need to align commas in the table and at the same time centralize the content and keep it that way, even if I have to move the columns?

  3. So I am confused because using your method has zero results with what I am trying to accomplish. Your saying the exact same thing it says in T. Rydberg’s ‘Exploring InDesign’. Is there a way to explain why its not working? before I convert text to table the hidden characters show tabs in text, convert to table and no more tabs, thus no results when I try and set tab in the first column of table

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