When you are cutting out a design entirely from your material, there is a risk that your design will break free and become damaged by the bit. Tabs act as small bridges between your cutout design and the stock material around it.
By adding tabs, your cutout shape remains securely connected to the clamped material. This prevents the shape from coming loose and being damaged by the bit when the bit retracts from the material.
You can also choose to remove tabs by unselecting the "Use tabs" checkbox in the Cut menu If you choose to remove tabs from your design in Easel, please keep in mind that your piece may be damaged when your piece breaks free from the stock material around it unless you have a way to secure it to your wasteboard.
Tabs are automatically added by Easel if you set the cut depth of an outline shape to be the same as the thickness of your material. The tabs appear in the design frame of Easel as light yellow marks in the cut outline of your project. You can adjust the number of tabs used in a piece in the "Cut" menu when you have your outline cut type selected. You can use up to 32 tabs on one shape.
Easel will default to the recommended tab settings for your project. You can adjust the length and height of tabs in the Cut/Shape menu that appears when you select your object.
If the tabs appear along an edge that isn't ideal for finishing, you can click and drag the yellow tabs to a different place on your project. Try to keep the tabs in places that will be easy to reach when sawing the piece loose from the stock material. You should also consider how difficult it will be to sand the tabs down when your project is separated from the stock material. We recommend avoiding corners rounded edges; try keeping tabs on smooth, straight sections on your project.
Although we recommend using tabs, some customers have success using double-sided tape to secure their material in place when fully cutting out a shape.