: Learning GNU Emacs, 3rd Edition

7.1.3 What if You Want Literal Tabs?

7.1.3 What if You Want Literal Tabs?

Let's say that all this tab finery is getting on your nerves. You don't want context-sensitive indenting; you don't even want to change tab stops. There is a way to make Emacs treat tabs just like a regular old typewriter did, moving over eight characters at a time.[35]

To insert rigid, typewriter-style tabs, press C-q Tab. In theory, this should insert a tab character into the file, which would look like ^I. In practice, it moves the cursor forward rigidly eight columns.

Type: C-q Tab


The cursor moves eight columns forward and does not align with the text in the previous line.

C-q Tab does in fact insert a tab character in the file. You can check that by erasing it with a single press of the Del key.


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