Customizing Tab Stops

By default, when you are working in ANSI format, the Code Editor has tab stops set at columns 7, 8, 12, 73, and 80. When you are working in terminal format, no default tab stops are set. You have the option to add, remove, or change the existing tab stops for each ANSI and terminal format file in the Code Editor > Tabs section of the Tools > Options interface. You can also determine whether pressing the Tab key inserts a tab character or inserts the number of spaces needed to move to the next tab stop.

To customize your tab settings:

  1. Open the Tools > Options interface, expand the Code Editor tree, and select the Tabs tree item.
  2. To determine basic tab behavior, first select one of the two radio buttons near the middle of the screen.

    To preserve the tab character in your source code, select Keep Tabs. You can then elect to display a special character to indicate the location of a tab. This can be any non-blank character entered in the Display tab character with entry field. The default character is ^.

    To replace tab characters with spaces, select Insert spaces.

  3. By default, if no tab stops are set, pressing the tab key advances the cursor eight (8) columns. To change this default, enter a number between 1 and 64 in the Tab size entry field.

    Note that any tab stops that you have set override the Tab size setting. In other words, when you press Tab, the cursor moves to the next tab stop, if any. If there is no tab stop, the cursor moves forward the number of columns indicated in the Tab size field. Likewise, when you press Shift+Tab, the cursor moves back to the previous tab stop, or, if there is no tab stop, moves back the number of places indicated in this field.

  4. To add, change, or remove tab stops, first select either ANSI Format or Terminal Format in the Source format entry field. You can establish different sets of tab stops for each source format.
  5. To add tab stops, enter each desired setting in the Tabs entry field and click Add. Your new settings appear in the list box. You can set up to 32 tab stops.

    To delete a tab stop, select the setting you want to delete, and click Delete. The setting disappears from the list box.