I'm having an issue with formatting in that when I'm in emacs, the formatting looks fine:

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but when the file is viewed with a different text editor, the spaces are different.

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this only occurs in the let: form that I've defined. all the other forms seems to work okay.

Is there anything I'm missing? My emacs config is here: https://github.com/zcaudate/etude. It looks different there from the previous two examples.


1 Answer 1


Could it be that you have TAB characters in your indentation (whitespace)? What happens if you use C-u M-x untabify on your existing code? That changes all TAB chars to an appropriate number of SPC chars.

To prevent Emacs from using TAB chars for indentation, you can put this in your init file:

(setq-default indent-tabs-mode  nil)

You can check whether a given whitespace character is a TAB char by putting your cursor just before it and doing C-x =. That tells you what the character is at point.

  • yes it worked. thanks for that. what's the difference between setq-default and setq?
    – zcaudate
    Sep 25, 2018 at 17:19
  • C-h f setq-default, C-h f setq. The former sets the default value for all buffers. Individual buffers can have buffer-local values of a variable.
    – Drew
    Sep 25, 2018 at 17:46

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