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DetectIndent : Automatically detect indent (expandtab, shiftwidth, tabstop) settings

 script karma  Rating 188/66, Downloaded by 2010    Comments, bugs, improvements  Vim wiki

created by
Ciaran McCreesh
script type
This script provides a command which will attempt to guess the correct indent settings for an open file, for use when there is no modeline available. Note that this is a pure vim implementation, and doesn't require any external applications or interpreters.



May also be used in an autocommand, for example:

:autocmd BufReadPost * :DetectIndent


To prefer 'expandtab' to 'noexpandtab' when no detection is possible:
:let g:detectindent_preferred_expandtab = 1

To specify a preferred indent level when no detection is possible:
:let g:detectindent_preferred_indent = 4


Detection is by no means perfect. It won't work if files use especially perverse combinations of spaces and tabs, or weird tab widths. Bug reports and patches encouraged...

Keeping things up to date on vim.org is a nuisance. For the latest version, visit:

install details
Place in ~/.vim/plugin/ and ~/.vim/doc/

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script versions (upload new version)

Click on the package to download.

package script version date Vim version user release notes
detectindent-1.0.tar.bz2 1.0 2005-01-03 6.0 Ciaran McCreesh Initial upload
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