If you want to use spaces instead of tabs when indenting, put the following in your .emacs file:
(setq-default indent-tabs-mode nil)
You may also customize the
‘indent-tabs-mode’ variable instead, obviously. If you want to remove tabs in an existing file, mark the whole buffer using
C-x h and use
M-x untabify. (
M-x tabify does the opposite …)
Discussion on whether this is a good idea: TabsAreEvil (or not).
If you wish to change the amount of spaces that the Tab key inserts, check out the TabStopList page. Do not confuse this with
tab-width, which is only good for displaying existing tabs in files!
tab-width variable tells Emacs how wide a tab is (more precisely, the distance between tab stops). You might want to set it to something other than
8 before calling
Yes, of course you agree that TabsAreEvil. But you just have to indulge yourself a tab from time to time – perhaps to create a file in some required format. Whaddya do?
C-q’ to the rescue! Don’t forget it: ‘
C-q’ says “insert the next character, whatever it is” (command
C-q <tab>’ does the trick. – DrewAdams
I prefer NoTabs, but sometimes I work on a project that does use tab indentation. I don’t want to cause problems for these source files. As a result, I use the following snippit to default to no tabs, but to use tabs if that’s what a pre-existing file is primarily using for indentation:
(defun how-many-region (begin end regexp &optional interactive) "Print number of non-trivial matches for REGEXP in region. Non-interactive arguments are Begin End Regexp" (interactive "r\nsHow many matches for (regexp): \np") (let ((count 0) opoint) (save-excursion (setq end (or end (point-max))) (goto-char (or begin (point))) (while (and (< (setq opoint (point)) end) (re-search-forward regexp end t)) (if (= opoint (point)) (forward-char 1) (setq count (1+ count)))) (if interactive (message "%d occurrences" count)) count)))
(defun infer-indentation-style () ;; if our source file uses tabs, we use tabs, if spaces spaces, and if ;; neither, we use the current indent-tabs-mode (let ((space-count (how-many-region (point-min) (point-max) "^ ")) (tab-count (how-many-region (point-min) (point-max) "^\t"))) (if (> space-count tab-count) (setq indent-tabs-mode nil)) (if (> tab-count space-count) (setq indent-tabs-mode t))))
[in my c-mode hook, or whatever other mode I want to have smart indentation]
(setq indent-tabs-mode nil) (infer-indentation-style)
You might also want to check out GuessStyle