TAB Function

Used with the Print or PrintLine functions to position output.

Public Overloads Function TAB() As TABInfo 
' -or-
Public Overloads Function TAB(ByVal Column As Short) As TABInfo


  • Column
    Optional. The column number moved to before displaying or printing the next expression in a list. If omitted, TAB moves the insertion point to the beginning of the next print zone.


If the current print position on the current line is greater than Column, TAB skips to the column value equal to Column on the next output line. If Column is less than 1, TAB moves the print position to column 1. If Column is greater than the output line width, TAB calculates the next print position using the formula:

Column Mod width

For example, if width is 80 and you specify TAB(90), the next print will start at column 10 (the remainder of 90/80). If Column is less than the current print position, printing begins on the next line at the calculated print position. If the calculated print position is greater than the current print position, printing begins at the calculated print position on the same line.

The leftmost print position on an output line is always 1. When you use the Print or PrintLine functions to print to files, the rightmost print position is the current width of the output file, which you can set using the FileWidth function.

The TAB function can also be used with the WriteLine function. It cannot be used with Debug.WriteLine or Console.WriteLine.


Make sure your tabular columns are wide enough to accommodate wide letters.


This example uses the TAB function to position output in a file and in the Output window.

FileOpen(1, "TESTFILE", OpenMode.Output) ' Open file for output.
' The second word prints at column 20.
Print(1, "Hello", TAB(20), "World.")
' If the argument is omitted, cursor is moved to the next print zone.
Print(1, "Hello", TAB(), "World")

Smart Device Developer Notes

This function is not supported.


Namespace: Microsoft.VisualBasic


Assembly: Visual Basic Runtime Library (in Microsoft.VisualBasic.dll)

See Also


Mod Operator (Visual Basic)

Print, PrintLine Functions

Space Function (Visual Basic)

SPC Function

FileWidth Function