How to change tab size on GitHub?

When I view files on GitHub, tabs appear as 8 spaces.


Is that possible to change this configuration to 2 or 4 spaces?



Yes. As stated by mortenpi, this can be done by through an additional query parameter. See his answer for more details.

Original answer

Is that possible to change this configuration to 2 or 4 spaces?

No. It's only available as part of the editing feature through the Ace editor and the change is not persisted.

This blog post gives some more information about the embedded IDE.

However, provided you know the url of the blob (file) you're willing to review, you can switch to the edit mode easily by changing the blob segment with an edit segment and use the dropdown to select your prefered tab size.

You can append ?ts=2 or ?ts=4 to the URL to change the tab-size.


It seems that the value can be anything from 1 to 12. It does not work on Gists or raw file views though.

Source: GitHub Cheat Sheet

Set default displayed tab size for your repository

When you have a .editorconfig in your repository it will respect it when viewing code on GitHub.

indent_style = tab and indent_size = 4 shows tabs with 4 columns instead of 8

Example .editorconfig for multiple extensions which works in JetBrains' products:

root = true

end_of_line = lf
insert_final_newline = true

# Matches multiple files with brace expansion notation
charset = utf-8
indent_style = tab
indent_size = 4
trim_trailing_whitespace = true

trim_trailing_whitespace = false
Change how you see tabs on other repositories

Install stylish in your browser, than install GitHub: better-sized tabs in code.

There are also Google Chrome extensions:

It actually is possible to do it, with a browser extension. Install Stylish (in Firefox or Chrome), then install this user style: ā€œGitHub: better-sized tabs in codeā€.

It might not work for some languages. For example, I was viewing a JavaScript file and I did not notice any changes. So I deleted the style the author had and put the following lines into it:

.tab-size {
  -webkit-tab-size: 4 !important;
     -moz-tab-size: 4 !important;
       -o-tab-size: 4 !important;
          tab-size: 4 !important;

And it worked on Chrome (screenshot).

As you can see from the screenshot, I also enabled widescreen mode and changed the color scheme to Solarized. So I have three user styles running on GitHub pages via the Stylish extension for Chrome. I hope this helps someone.

I did that for fixing them

Another option is when embedding your gist, replace all tabs with required number of spaces

<div id="willReplaceTabs">
 <script src=""></script>

 <script language="javascript">
  var spaces = "  "
  willReplaceTabs.innerHTML = willReplaceTabs.innerHTML.replace(/\t/g, spaces)

If it's an option for the project you're working on, changing your editor to treat tabs as spaces will fix the problem.

So, for example, in Visual Studio Code, the config looks like this:

    "editor.tabSize": 2,
    "editor.insertSpaces": true

In Sublime it's:

    "tab_size": 2,
    "translate_tabs_to_spaces": true

Until recently I insisted on non-spaced tabs. After switching, it fixed the Github rendering weirdness, and I haven't noticed any significant downsides in my workflow.

The best solution is, if possible, to convince maintainers of the source code you're looking at to replace all the tabs by the correct number of spaces.

Using tabs is problematic in code today given that you're often seeing it on the web, where the decision of "how many spaces per tab" depends on where it's being displayed.

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