Using tabs to indent text
First, recall that the Tab key can be used if desired to switch between the article pane and the Tree pane, although Ctrl+Tab is the default control for this. See Switching between Tree and Article panes.
The expression "tab" comes from the "tabulator" stop in typewriters. In its original form, tabs were mechanical stops which could be set in varying places along the typewriter carriage to permit numbers to line up correctly forming columns or "tables" under each tab stop. In fact, the word "tabulator" means "making tables". Thus, tab stops were an exact number of spaces apart.  The default tab size can be set in Main menu ⁄ View ⁄ Options ⁄ Article ⁄ Tabs,indents. You can set the units for this by going to Main menu ⁄ View ⁄ Options ⁄ Units and choosing Centimeters or Inches.
Default tab size
The default tab size (in centimeters or inches) can be set in Main menu ⁄ View ⁄ Options ⁄ Article ⁄ Tabs,indents. You can choose the units for this measurement by going to Main menu ⁄ View ⁄ Options ⁄ Units and choosing Centimeters or Inches. The default tab size determines both the tab size and the paragraph indentation.
Scope of default tab size
Note that the default tab size, like all Options, is instance-specific; in other words, you can set different default tab sizes in all instances of TreePad running concurrently.
Automating the use of the Tab key
Use Auto Indent to fix the left margin at the last tab indent, and save you the trouble of having to press the tab key multiple times.
Article ruler tabs and indents
You can also set tabs and indents using the article ruler. This offers extra features and should be considered where document layout is important. The tab settings used here are quite separate from other means of indentation.
Comparing tabs with Increase ⁄ Decrease indentation
Since tabs are different from paragraph indentation characters, it is possible to insert tabs within an indented paragraph if necessary, like this:
Line 1 marks the beginning of paragraph indentation.
         Line 2 begins with a tab as well.
Line 3 marks the end of paragraph indentation.
Line 4 begins with an additional paragraph indent.
Line 5 begins at the margin reset by Line 4.
Line 6 has had paragraph indentation decreased by 1.

1. You should not use tabs or spaces to indent a line commencing with a hyperlink as the blue underline will not be indented; in general, use increase indentation instead. E.g.
This hyperlink is not indented
         This hyperlink was indented using Tab key
This hyperlink was indented using paragraph indent
The reason is that if a hyperlink begins a line, any attempt at inserting characters between the left margin and the hyperlink results in  inserting them into the link text. If you really want to insert a tab, do the following:
  1. Create a blank line above the hyperlink;
  2. Press Tab to insert a tab character at the beginning of the blank line;
  3. With the cursor immediately after the tab, press Del to delete the newline character (carriage return) and thus move the hyperlink one line up and to the right of the tab character.
Now you can insert more tabs to the left of the hyperlink if needed. Do the same with inserting spaces between a hyperlink and the left margin.
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