How to Create Dotted Tab Leaders

In QuarkXPress you can create a right-indent tab that follows the right edge of the text box. Just press Option/Alt-Tab. Whatever you type after that will align to the right edge of the text box — even as you adjust its width.

You can also apply a Fill Character to that tab that will add a row of dots to connect the final tab with items to its left. The classic use for this is on a menu or in a catalog.

Simply assign a Fill Character (also known as “tab leader”) to the last tab stop in that paragraph. If there isn’t already a tab stop, then add one anywhere in the paragraph and apply a Fill Character to it. Using the “Tabs” tab in the Measurements palette is a handy way to do that.

Because the right-indent tab always uses the leader from the last tab stop, it will pick up the dotted leader from that unused tab stop. You can use any character as the Fill Character, including dashes, underlines, dingbats, etc.

There are several ways to adjust the spacing between the Fill Characters. You can place spaces between multiple Fill Characters to spread them out, or simply adjust the Tracking value of the Tab character. To do that, select the Tab character (in this case, the series of dots), go to the Character tab of the Measurements palette, and adjust the Tracking value.