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I tried to specify a tab to be four spaces in Text Wrangler by checking "Preferences" -> "Editor Defaults" -> "Auto-expand tabs."

However, tabs still comprise of tab characters with each tab having the width of 4 spaces.

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try closing, then re-opening the program – wizlog Apr 9 '12 at 19:18
It's still not working for some reason after reopening Text Wrangler. I know it's not working because I cannot move my cursor through the tab as if it were spaces. Also, after opening the document in vim, I cannot do this either. – David Faux Apr 9 '12 at 19:29
You created that file with no auto-expand. TextWrangler remembers the state of this document. The preferences only apply to new files. You need to set auto-expand for this file in the file's toolbar (click on the T-icon to see a dropdown list with this option). – what Jan 6 '14 at 20:16
The last comment worked for me. TextStrangler remembering settings per file must be the worst feature in history... – Jonny Jul 21 '14 at 3:47
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If it's a special type of document, you might try Preferences > Languages. Select the language the document content is, then go to Options... > Editing and select "Auto-expand tabs", then click "Save."

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This didn't work for Python. Version 4.5.9 – Jonny Jul 21 '14 at 3:45

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