Q36580: How Tabs Are Treated in the Microsoft Editor
Article: Q36580 Product(s): See article Version(s): 1.00 | 1.00 Operating System(s): MS-DOS | OS/2 Keyword(s): ENDUSER | | mspl13_basic Last Modified: 14-OCT-1988 Problem: Some text editors preserve tab characters automatically. These editors maintain tabs (ASCII 9 characters) as they are stored in a file, and distinguish between tab characters and spaces. The Microsoft Editor translates tab characters into spaces. This behavior only affects lines that you modify. If you load and save a file without changing any lines of text, the lines are written back to disk with all tab characters and spaces intact. Only the modified lines are affected by this conversion. It is not possible to disable this translation of tab characters into spaces in a modified line. In the Microsoft Editor, "tab" is both a function name and the name of a key. The TAB key is assigned to the tab function by default. As a function, tab is nothing more than a move-to-next-column movement function. The placement of columns in determined by the TABSTOPS switch. When ever you edit a line, tab characters are translated to space characters using the FILETAB switch. So modified lines in the file are stored in the editor with spaces only. The FILETAB switch determines how the editor translates tab characters to spaces when reading in a line of text. If ENTAB is set to 1 or 2, then FILETAB also determines how the editor translates spaces to tabs when you save the file to disk. (Again, only modified lines are affected.) If you need to view the tabs as they are situated in your file you can use the TABDISP switch to show you which spaces will be compressed into a tab character at the next write to the disk file.
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