How to convert tabs to spaces in Notepad++

22 July 2014 · a minute to read

So, the very first project that I was exposed on, as a professional, included, among others, YAML and as you obviously know YAML has a strict syntax.

Notepad++ is till now, my favourite editor, but it comes without something that is very useful to the case that we 're investigating today, a "Tabs to Spaces" plugin/feature (I found that the one provided under the Edit -> Blank Operations menu was missing basic functionality). 

There is a solution, though, come along!

  • First of all, we have to download the plugin.
  • We then copy the CLRTabsToSpaces.dll from the .zip file that we just downloaded into \path\to\Notepad++\installation\plugins folder.
  • If Notepad++ is open, we have to close it and restart it again, in order to let the software track the changes.
  • Navigating to the "Plugins" menu, we should see something like below:

That is, we have set properly our plugin, so to get it working, we just follow the above screenshot, to get the tab characters be converted into spaces.

Note: it's better to edit such code snippets, having enabled the "Show all characters" button: 

And a small example (sample code from here ):

Before applying the plugin.

After applying the plugin.