Contents - Index

Introduction To The Tab-Indented List Format


A simple list, where each entry is stored on a new line or is separated by commas is easy to understand, to create, and to sort, but is not very user friendly when hundreds or thousands of terms are included. Enter the Tab-Indented List: a simple way of creating a hierarchical 'tree' structure to your data that can then be easily visualized in a many different programs and software packages. We will already be familiar with hierarchical structures as used in a variety of forum and mailing list threads, business organization charts, content management, inventory, and product categories. The Tab-Indented List allows you to define a hierarchy, by grouping information in a logical manner. Terms are placed below a suitable parent category, and the branches of data that grow from each parent can be ignored or hidden until needed. Instead of scrolling through an ever growing list of words, you can 'drill down' and locate specific words in a logical way, through intuitive categories on different levels.


This all sounds great, but here's the catch: Tab-Indented Lists are not simple to create, maintain, sort, or check for errors. A standard word-processor or text editor lets you get going with creating a simple list, but offers no help when you wish to sort the list or spot relatively simple errors that can halt an end-user program like Lightroom in its tracks. This is where Tab-List Tools is so useful: it is the only program that provides a full toolbox of routines that's lets anyone create, check and maintain even the most complex of tab-indented lists.