I would like to visualize tabs. Here, I almost succeeded:

(setq whitespace-style '(face trailing tabs lines-tail indentation))
  • face is needed for other things to work;
  • trailing visualizes trailing blanks just perfectly;
  • tabs doesn't work;
  • lines-tail highlights tails of too long lines — perfect;
  • indentation according to documentation should show tabs when you've set up Emacs to indent with spaces and vice versa.

Why tabs doesn't work? Two possibilities:

  • It's tricky. To make it work you need extra knowledge.
  • Well, it's just currently broken.

Before reporting a bug, I decided to ask if anyone succeeded in visualizing tabs at any position (I'm particularly interested in indentation). Basically, if there is a tab character in file, I want to see it.


1 Answer 1


Two things to check in this case:

  1. Does whitespace-tab have non-transparent background? Use M-x list-faces-display to check faces. In my case solarized-dark had whitespace-tab with transparent background.

  2. Remove indentation because it turns out that this thing has the ability to override tab face in indentation with indentation face which was also transparent.

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