What should I look for in Index Tab Dividers?

posted this on Jul 2, 2015

If your organization binds large reports, presentations or proposals, then chances are you should consider using index tabs, if you haven’t already. Index tab dividers can be bound right into your document to help organize the contents and make it easier to read and reference. However, if you are interested in creating your own index tabs or ordering custom index tabs you will have some decisions to make. 

  1. Color of index tabs. Index tabs are most commonly produced in white but they can be special ordered in either cream or a number of other custom colors. Keep in mind, those who are on budgets, that white will be the most cost effective choice.
  2. Weight of paper that tabs are created from. The most common choices are 90lb index and 110lb index. Other weights are available but are usually considered custom.
  3. Size of paper that tabs are made from.  Standard index tabs will be letter sized with a ½” tab extension from the side of the divider. Tabs can also be ordered in half letter size, legal size and even in 11” x 17” size depending on your needs.
  4. Reinforced edge or not.  A clear laminate can be added to the binding edge of your index tab to prevent it from ripping out of your document. This is especially useful for documents that are frequently referenced.
  5. How many tabs. This question really has two parts. First, you need to decide what cut of tabs that you want (how many tabs will the edge of your document be split into). Second, you will need to determine the total number of tabs that you want in each set. If you needed an alphabetical index of tab dividers you could order a single bank of 25th cut tabs or you could order 5 banks of 5th cut tabs. It really depends on what you are looking for.
  6. Placement of the tabs.  You can choose to place the tabs on the long or the short edge of the document depending on the side of the book that you are planning on binding.
  7. Printing on the tabs.  You will need to decide if you are going to need to print anything on the body of the index divider. You will also need to choose the text to place on each of the index tabs. Index tabs can be printed on both sides or just one side. 
  8. Coated tabs or not. The tabs can be coated with a Mylar sealant that will keep them from being damaged or bent. This sealant can be clear or can be in one of about ten transparent color choices.
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