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How to tab in HTML

Understanding the Concept of 'Tab'

In our everyday life, we use tabs to keep things organized. Imagine you're going through a file cabinet. Each file has a specific place, and tabs help us reach that specific place quickly. Similarly, when coding, especially in HTML, we use tabs to keep our code clean, organized, and easy to navigate.

Why Use Tab in HTML

Before we get into the how, let's understand why we use tabs in HTML. Clear, readable code is an essential element of proficient coding. It ensures that other programmers can understand your work and that you can understand your work when you return to it after some time.

Think about the last time you tried to read an article or a book without any paragraphs or breaks. It was hard, right? In the same way, writing all your code in a single line makes it difficult for anyone (including you) to read and understand.

So, How Do We Create a Tab Space in HTML?

HTML, which stands for HyperText Markup Language, doesn't recognize the traditional tab key space like in a Word document. If you try using the tab key in your HTML code, it won't reflect in the final output on the web page.

But don't worry, we have a workaround for this. HTML provides us with some special characters and elements which can help us create the required tab spaces.

Using   for Space

HTML provides us with a special character   which stands for 'Non-Breaking Space.' This character is used to insert a single space. So if you want to add a tab space, you would need to use multiple   in a row.

Here is an example:

<p>This is a line of text.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And this is a line of text after a tab space.</p>

Using <pre> for Preserved Spaces

HTML also provides us with a <pre> element which stands for 'Preformatted Text.' This element preserves both spaces and line breaks.

Here is an example:

    This is a line of text.

    And this is a line of text after a tab space.

When we run this code, it will keep the spaces and line breaks as they are.

Using CSS for Tab Spaces

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a stylesheet language used for describing the look and formatting of a document written in HTML. If you're familiar with CSS, you can use the 'text-indent' property to add a tab space.

Here is an example:

    p {
        text-indent: 50px;
<p>This is a line of text.</p>
<p>And this is a line of text after a tab space.</p>

In the above code, we have added a style element with a text-indent property of 50px. This means all the paragraphs (<p>) will start with a tab space of 50px.


Tab spaces in HTML might not seem essential, but they are a significant part of coding. They help in making the code readable and organized. Although HTML doesn't recognize the traditional tab space, the use of special characters like &nbsp;, HTML elements like <pre>, or CSS properties like 'text-indent' can help in adding the required tab spaces.

I hope this blog post helps you understand how to create tab spaces in HTML and why they are important. Keep practicing, and remember, coding is an art where cleanliness and organization matter!