Is it possible to use tabs in posts?
When I paste a tab (the browser catches the input of pressing Tab and changes the selected field, so I have to paste it in) into a post, it works in the editing box, but does not appear in the rendered markdown version.

Is this possible? If not, is there some way to get equivalent functionality?


You can't use an actual tab for the same reason you said above. StackExchange sites function like most other sites as opposed to a code editor so Tab behaves like it should. You have to use spaces but not the normal ones as SE will ignore whitespace for the most part and 4+ spaces triggers a block of code in markdown.

I actually have two spaces here. (click edit on this answer to check)

# and the four spaces before this have made it into code..

So, one way you can achieve this is by using html, as obviously, SE supports a subset.

Use   to get a space. Join more together for more space(s).

  is the entity used to represent a non-breaking space. It is essentially a standard space, the primary difference being that a browser should not break (or wrap) a line of text at the point that this occupies. (src)


  Two space indentation
    Four space indentation
        Eight space indentation

Also, there is a user script on stackapps that might be of some interest if you really need this to work.

This user script changes the behavior of a few keys (most notably the Tab key) within the post editor to behave more like it does in IDEs or text editors:

  • $\begingroup$ What about the way tabs automatically adjust their length to match other tabs above and below? (for an example of this, click edit on this post) $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3 Mod
    Sep 21 '13 at 1:57
  • $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be seeing here. Those aren't tabs, those are 4 spaces and as I said, SE strips or doesn't render whitespace for more than one space in a line. $\endgroup$
    – iKlsR
    Sep 21 '13 at 2:00
  • $\begingroup$ Did you look between the tags and the arrows when editing? (not in the rendered version, but the versions in the edit box) $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3 Mod
    Sep 21 '13 at 2:10
  • $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 SE will preserve the spaces while editing but it won't render them. It's a good way to organize long posts and space content but it won't be rendered when saved. $\endgroup$
    – iKlsR
    Sep 21 '13 at 2:11

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