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I've been searching around, but the term vimrc sts has yet to lead me to an actual explanation of the value. Many people talk about using it for tabs/indenting, but what does it stand for? Is it soft tabs?

I don't like blindly placing things in my .vimrc file without knowing exactly what they do.

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:help 'sts' Try it out. :) –  Roger Pate Nov 30 '13 at 17:28

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

(sts) makes spaces feel like tabs (like deleting)

From apaulodesign

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Perfect. That's an excellently commented config! –  Eric Jul 26 '11 at 15:03
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From your link: "softtabstop". –  KCotreau Jul 26 '11 at 15:09

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