12. Report-Writer Statements : Text Positioning Statements : .Tab Statement--Specify Tab Position : Description
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The .tab statement moves the current position marker to one of the following locations:
Specified position
Position corresponding to a specified column
Value of a numeric expression that evaluates to a specified position
Value of a string expression or variable that evaluates to a column name
Report-Writer evaluates any expressions that are used as parameters to the .tab statement during runtime.
You can specify numeric values for these parameters as either absolute or relative to the last output position.
If you do not follow the .tab statement with n, a columnname, or an expression, then the .tab statement works like a .linestart statement, with the next text beginning at the left margin of the report. The .linestart statement is described further in this chapter.
The .tab statement takes on a slightly different meaning when executed in the column formatting mode sections of a report (that is, when the .within statement is in effect and default column widths and positions are assumed). When the .tab statement is executed without a parameter in column formatting mode, Report-Writer moves the current position to the left margin of the current line. The left margin is determined by the .within statement.
For more details on column formatting mode, see the .within/.endwithin statements.