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[emacs] tabs, spaces, and indentation

From: Nerius Landys
Subject: [emacs] tabs, spaces, and indentation
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2010 13:06:05 -0700

Hi.  I use emacs all the time for programming and shell scripting.  Now I'm dabbling in an open source project that is written in C, and the entire code base uses tabs extensively (instead of spaces for indentation).  I very much prefer to use spaces for indentation; however I must use tabs for this project in order to make the code consistent.  I am looking for some quick command or something that will place my emacs into a special mode that is suitable for working with tabbed C code.  Then of course I'd like a command that puts me back into the regular settings that I have and am used to.  (In other words, a toggle on and off.)

Here are some details.

I am running FreeBSD 8.0 and I have emacs installed with no X11, from the port editors/emacs-nox11.  The version of emacs is 23.2_4,2.  I have no additional bells and whistles installed for emacs other than what comes with this FreeBSD port and my .emacs config, which is more or less like so:

(setq transient-mark-mode t)
(setq make-backup-files nil)
;(setq-default indent-tabs-mode nil) [ commented out ]
(setq-default c-basic-offset 2)

I tried searching on Google for commands that may help me, but most of what I found explained how to enable the kind of behavior that I'm NOT looking (I'm going in the opposite direction unfortunately).

The current default behavior that I am experiencing is as follows:

1. When I hit the Tab key, it indents the current line at the correct indentation level.  Existing Tabs are preserved but spaces might be added.
2. When I complete some syntax on a line, such as adding a semicolon or closing a paren, it indents the line for me automatically.

The behavior for this particular mode of operation that would be nice is as follows:

1. Hitting the Tab key places a literal Tab character in my file.  That is all.
2. I notice that sometimes when I complete a like (e.g. adding a semicolon or adding a paren) it auto-indents for me.  I want to turn this off completely.

Is it possible to toggle the mode consisting of #1 and #2 on and off?  Please help, and thank you very much!

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