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set tab to 4 spaces in vi

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# 1  
Old 05-13-2009
set tab to 4 spaces in vi

I want to set my tab lenght to 4 spaces instead of 8.
And when i press tab instead of inserting tab it should insert 4 spaces.
if i do
set ts=4

this set tab=4. But this inserts tab.
Say suppose i copy the code from unix to texpad/wordpad.Textpad will interpret tab as 8 spaces.(I can set tab space in textpad to 4 spaces but i cant tell everyone who copy my code to text pad to set their tab in textpad).
I would like a command that will insert 4 spaces when i press tab instead of inserting tab of length 4 in vi.
How to set tab to 4 spaces?
Appreciate help.
# 2  
Old 05-13-2009
set expandtab

Also, set that in your .vimrc file for more convenience.

Here is what I use:

set nu
set tabstop=4
set shiftwidth=4
set autoindent
set expandtab

# 3  
Old 05-13-2009
Here's the settings from my .vimrc file
set tabstop=4
set softtabstop=4
set shiftwidth=4
set expandtab

I think this will do what you want.
# 4  
Old 05-13-2009
It is the `set expandtab` setting that turns the tab from an actual tab into 4 spaces
# 5  
Old 05-13-2009
Originally Posted by jwebb_2112
It is the `set expandtab` setting that turns the tab from an actual tab into 4 spaces

I dont have set expandtab in vi
:set all
noautoindent nomodelines noshowmode
autoprint nonumber noslowopen
noautowrite nonovice tabstop=4
nobeautify nooptimize taglength=0
directory=/var/tmp paragraphs=IPLPPPQPP LIpplpipnpptags=tags /usr/lib/tags
noedcompatible prompt tagstack
noerrorbells noreadonly term=xterm
noexrc redraw noterse
flash remap timeout
hardtabs=8 report=5 ttytype=xterm
noignorecase scroll=20 warn
nolisp sections=NHSHH HUuhsh+c window=40
nolist shell=/bin/ksh wrapscan
magic shiftwidth=8 wrapmargin=0
mesg noshowmatch nowriteany

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