Eclipse is very nice, but :(...

Bryan Sant bryan.sant at
Mon Jun 19 11:35:19 MDT 2006

On 6/19/06, C. Ed Felt <ed at> wrote:
> Fellow Eclipse users, (you can ignore this email if you are not one):
> Eclipse is great and has all the goodies I need in an open source, code
> completing, block collapsing IDE.  I finally have it fully configured
> for and would like to use it for PHP, Python, etc.  But there is one
> fatal flaw: I can't seem to find a way to change tab to spaces.  I need
> specifically to change tab to three spaces, (so that when I type tab, I
> get three spaces).  The code is much cleaner this way and there are many
> current and possible future clients who require this.  I have tried both
> Eclipse 3.1 and 3.2 and do not find this feature.  Please tell me how to
> change this setting, or, if possible an easy work around.  Please don't
> tell me about the "Displayed tab width" setting.  This is for display
> only and does not effect the actual text.  Sorry if I sound upset, it's
> because I am frustrated with this huge oversight and/or sloppily
> excluded feature.
> -Ed Felt

This feature has existed since the original release of the IBM
code-base years ago.  The feature is JDT specific (or CDT specific).
So it's posible that the PHP Development Tools plugin doesn't have
this code-style feature.

To enable this for JDT you do the following:

Window -> Preferences
Java -> Code Style -> Formatter -> New

The you can then define your own code style rules (including using
spaces instead of tabs).

To do this for the PHP or Python plugins (which I've never used),
you'll need to look around in the PHP or Python section of the
Perferences dialog.  If the Code Style node doesn't exist, feel free
to contribute the code that would fix this deficiency in the
PHP/Python plugins...  Or just run a sed script that converts tabs to
spaces for now :-).


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