Improving Convert Spaces To Tabs

Some believe ConvertSpacesToTabs is a wart on an otherwise elegant set of TextFormattingRules. (Contrast IntelligentDefaults.)

The ConvertSpacesToTabs checkbox is something we check nearly every single time we submit a page. Newer users often forget to do so, leaving funky results.

Solutions on the Wiki server's side:

Solutions on the user's side:


ConvertSpacesToTabs screws up code samples.

Not if you plan for them. And, like the item above notes, you can't rely on spaces anyway - eventually, someone converts them.

I agree with Do Away With Tabs Altogether. I never input tabs because of my stupid InternetExplorer. And I'm so efficient (or lazy?) that I don't check I can't type tabs. Please ConvertSpacesToTabs for me when I save. Many other WikiClones don't rely on tabs any more. It is a tread, use spaces instead of tabs. -- TakuyaMurata

Some browser editors seem to convert tabs into spaces, others spaces into tabs, and over time the more people that edit a page, the messier the alignment gets for anything that relies on text alignment because conversions keep going back and forth (or at least different conventions are on when visually editing). The only semi-solution I have found is to not have any spaces in the middle of a line. You can replace all spaces with periods or underlines, for example. However, this looks ugly and is a bit hard to read.

The best wiki "fix" I can think of is to have some convention for representing spaces instead of actually including spaces. But, WYSIWYG is out the window unless the server immediately converts to the special notation right after the first save. Example:


   Product  Amount

Cups 23.19 Piza 30.00 knife 04.38


Cups[\space:5]23.19 Piza[\space:5]30.00 knife[\space:4]04.38
There are no longer any spaces inside the content. Thus, there is no reason for any editor to stick tabs in between. Perhaps they may put tabs on the left, but the alignment should still be consistent for each line. The wiki server can make this translation upon the first save.
See also: TabMunging

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