In normal text

Produces an acute accent on the following character.

In the tabbing environment

The \' command moves everything that you have typed so far in the current column , everything starting from the most recent \>, \<, \', \\, or \kill command, to the right of the previous column, flush against the current column's tab stop.
See also Environments, tabbing
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Revised: Sheldon Green, 1 May 1995.