Occasionally, I use Notepad to edit some form of code/html, which means I need to tab a lot. The default indent size when hitting tab is eight spaces when ideally I'd like it be four.

Is there any way to change this setting?

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    Just in case someone's wondering "why stop at every 8th column?" This is the standard for text mode which DOS and Unix/Linux are consistent with as well. Since Windows Notepad was provided for Windows users to edit plain ASCII text files, most of which would have been created in a pre-Windows text mode editor that likely implements tabs in the same manner (because plain ASCII text file users would expect this behaviour), it was important to preserve the tab stops consistently to ensure accurate editing. – Randolf Richardson Jun 18 '11 at 5:31
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    I'm suprised no genius ever has reverse engineered Notepad to hack in this much wanted change... – Gras Double Mar 6 '15 at 16:13
  • @GrasDouble, it doesn't need to be genius to create a notepad clone, neither it worth to reverse engineer it. – milevyo Feb 15 '19 at 18:21

Not with Window's Notepad, but the default tab for Notepad++ (free) is 4 characters. And it does A LOT more.


  • Good plan! By the way, I don't mind getting my hands dirty in the registry. – aligray Jun 18 '11 at 5:01
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    @aligray It is hard-coded as I expected, but I actually did search the registry before answering. – KCotreau Jun 18 '11 at 5:03
  • Appreciate that, I'll just stick to Notepad++. – aligray Jun 18 '11 at 5:04

Windows notepad doesn't allow to modify the tab length. This is one of the motivations cause I have replaced it with notepad++ that does a lot more and allows the user to set the tab length as well: go to the menu Configuration > preferences > tabulations. In this mask there is the option to set it freely. How to replace ms win notepad with notepad++: Download n++ from the developer web site and when you install it the install wizard at a certain point shows an option to replace the built in windows notepad: check it and continue the setup procedures. Done. From now on you can enjoy the power of one of the best free text editors.

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