33

Is it possible for less output to set the tab width to a number X as it is for cat?

  • 1
    You don't need to change the tabs length setting to output a file with reduced tab size. Just use expand instead of cat, like so: expand -4 residuum.txt. – dotancohen Jul 30 '14 at 16:49
47

Yes, it is possible with less -x or less --tabs, e.g. less -x4 will set the tabwidth to 4.

You can configure defaults with the LESS environment variable, e.g. LESS="-x4".

  • 1
    Thanks for your fast response! Didn't find the option. I'll accept your answer as soon as it is possible :)! – polym Jul 30 '14 at 14:32
33

The less-specific answer has already been given, but a generic solution (for any pager) is to expand the tabs (with space characters) with the expand command before feeding to the pager:

expand -t4 file | pager
  • 1
    Ah ok :), good to know! Works like a charm. – polym Jul 30 '14 at 14:37
6

Instead of setting the tab width in command line (before you open less). You can also set the tab width within less by typing -x4

  • This is the answer I really needed. Who always knows how wide they want tabs before they even open the file? – guenthmonstr Dec 5 '16 at 19:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.