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Index Tabs 101

Index Tabs 101

Index Tabs 101

There is a huge variety of index tabs that are offered, but which tab dividers are right for you? In this easy-to-navigate guide we will review each of the main index tab types, as well as the most important key terms that you will need to understand in order to ensure you get the correct tabs for your specific needs.

Common Key Terms:

Bank: A bank is a complete, single row of tabs. The number of tabs that fit along one bank is determined by the cut of the tab. For example, if you have a 1/5 cut tab (see below to learn about the “cut”) with a total of 15 tabs per set, then there will be 3 banks with 5 tabs per bank.

Binding Edge: The binding edge is the edge of the sheet that is to be bound. Typically this is on the opposite end of the tab extensions.

Body Copy: Body copy is a term used to indicate printing on the sheet of the paper, not including the tab extension.

For instance, Bank of America gets their logo printed in the center of their sheets (the body copy).

Collation: Collation is the arrangement of the tabs in sequential order. You can choose from 1. Uncollated, where all of position 1 tabs are in line, all of position 2 tabs are in line, etc.; 2. Straight Collated, where the tabs are arranged in 1-2-3-4-5 order, with the number 1 tab being in the first position on the top of the set; 3. Reverse Collated, where the tabs are arranged in 5-4-3-2-1 order, with the number 1 tab in position 5 on the bottom of the set. When printing on copier tabs, the collation pattern is essential. The collation pattern required depends on which model of high-speed copier is being used.

Copier Tabs: Copier Tabs are a kind of tab divider that are built to run through common high speed copiers for custom printing in house. You will need to check your copier/printed user manual before using copier tabs to ensure that you do not damage the equipment.

Cut: The cut of your tabs is the number of tabs that can fit along the bank. The cut is described as fractions. For example, if five tabs fit along the bank, the size of the tabs is described as one-fifth (1/5) cut.

Tab Extension: The tab extension is the part of the tab that sticks out from the body or sheet.

Mylar: A synthetic or semi-synthetic material used as a coating on the tab extension. The Mylar coating provides a reinforcement for the tab extension, creating a more durable product. It can also be wiped clean, so is great for instances where dirty hands might handle it. Mylar is offered in a variety of colors, or clear.

Paper Weight: The standard weight that the paper index tabs is 90 lb. However, 110 lb. is readily available and becoming more popular.

Position: The position of a tab within a complete bank of tabs. For example, the first tab in a bank of tabs is considered in the first position and the second tab in a bank is considered position two.

Set: All tabs that go together into one individual book or binder. A set can be one bank of tabs, or it can even consist of many banks of tabs of different sizes.

Side Tabs / Bottom Tabs: Side tabs are located on the opposite side of the binding edge. Bottom tabs are located at the bottom of the sheet.

Copier Tabs:

Copier Tabs are perfect for the print-on-demand market. Many Index Tabs can be ordered Plain or with clear or Colored Mylar™ coating on the tax extension. Mylar coating adds a glossy or matted finish to the tab itself, and makes them more durable for heavily handled documents. You also have the option of having your Index Tabs 3 hole punched so they are ready to be placed directly into 3 ring binders. Copier Tabs allow you to print custom index tabs in-house and on demand. Also known as Xerox Tabs, these 90 lb. white index tabs are designed to run in a variety of high speed copiers including the popular Xerox DocuTech & Xerox DocuColor series’. Copier Tab Dividers can be used for organizing sections in manuals, presentations, reports, real estate closings, case files, and much more.

Copier Tabs are available with or without a Mylar coating on the tab extension. Mylar reinforcement adds a glossy finish to the tab itself, and adds durability for heavily handled documents. Choose from an assortment of tab cuts including 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/8, and 1/10 cuts. Choose the collation pattern compatible with your high speed copier and the tab size that best suits your needs. If using the copier tabs in a 3 ring binders, copier tabs are available with 3 hole punch. Copier Tabs offers the highest quality so you can count on them to feed, print, and run smoothly while providing you with the professional look that your business requires.

Reverse Collated Copier Tabs: Single Reverse Collated Copier Tabs are packaged in 3-2-1 order, the reverse of how they will appear in the finished document. An assortment of tab sizes including 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/8, and 1/10 cuts are available.

Straight Collated Copier Tabs: Straight Collated Copier Tabs are packaged in 1-2-3 order, exactly how they will appear in the finished document. The straight collated tabs are available in the most popular of tab sizes, the 1/5 cut.

Uncollated Copier Tabs: Also known as Individual Position Copier Tabs, Uncollated Copier Tabs sit in one position, and can be flipped over to offer an additional position. Available positions include 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Exhibit Dividers:

Exhibit Dividers, also known as “Legal Tabs” or “Pre-Printed Tabs” are high quality tabs constructed of 80# White Offset Stock. A Mylar reinforcement on the exhibit tabs provides durability by preventing tearing and folding. Tab titles are printed on the front and back in black ink. Also known as Avery Dividers, these exhibit dividers are the most popular style of tabs in the industry. They feature printing on both sides of the tab in bold black ink in Helvetica Bold typeset.

Insertable Tab Dividers:

Insertable Plastic Tab Dividers are available in both 1/5 cut and 1/8 cut. These durable index tab dividers are perfect for organizing documents that are frequently referenced. Printable inserts are included to customize the titles. The tab designs secure the inserts in place while still allowing for easy access for editing.

If you have any questions or are interested in purchasing Index Tab Dividers , visit Tim the Tutor at They have great pricing on a full line of Index Tabs and they charge only $ 9 for shipping UPS Ground. Shop online now!

Meet Tim the Tutor!  With over 11 years experience in the document finishing industry, Tim is a qualified Product Specialist for, and  His helpful product tips offer an insider’s honest opinions on products, giving you the information you need to make educated purchases.  Tim the Tutor lives up to Buy101’s motto, “We do the homework for you” by doing the research that answers your most common questions.  Tim is trained and skilled in the areas of binding, laminating, paper cutting, shrink-wrapping, drilling, folding, booklet making and much more.

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