Tabs Dialog

This dialog box allows you to change the default behavior of the Code Editor. These settings also apply to other editors based upon the Code Editor, such as the HTML Designer's Source view. To display these options, select Options from the Tools menu. Within the Text Editor folder expand the All Languages subfolder and then choose Tabs.


This page sets default options for all development languages. Remember that resetting an option in this dialog will reset the Tabs options in all languages to whatever choices are selected here. To change Text Editor options for just one language, expand the subfolder for that language and select its option pages.

If different settings are selected on the Tabs options pages for particular programming languages, then the message 'The indentation settings for individual text formats conflict with each other,' is displayed for differing Indenting options; and the message 'The tab settings for individual text formats conflict with each other,' is displayed for differing Tab options.

Note: The dialog boxes and menu commands you see might differ from those described in Help depending on your active settings or edition. To change your settings, choose Import and Export Settings on the Tools menu.



When selected, new lines are not indented. The insertion point is placed in the first column of a new line.


When selected, new lines are automatically indented. The insertion point is placed at the same starting point as the preceding line.


When selected, new lines are positioned to fit the code context, per other code formatting settings and IntelliSense conventions for your development language. This option is not available for all development languages.

For example, lines enclosed between an opening brace ( { ) and a closing brace ( } ) might automatically be indented an extra tab stop from the position of the aligned braces.

Tab and indent size

Sets the distance in spaces between tab stops and for automatic indentation. The default is four spaces. Tab characters, space characters, or both will be inserted to fill the specified size.

Insert spaces

When selected, indent operations insert only space characters, not TAB characters. If the Tab and Indent size are set to 5, for example, then five space characters are inserted whenever you press the TAB key or the Increase Indent button on the Formatting toolbar.

Keep tabs

When selected, each indent operation inserts one TAB character.