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For typing in tables, you can use Text mode's definition of TAB,
`tab-to-tab-stop'. This command inserts indentation before point,
enough to reach the next tab stop column. Even if you are not in Text
mode, this function is associated with `M-i' anyway.
You can arbitrarily set the tab stops used by `M-i'. They are
stored as a list of column-numbers in increasing order in the variable
The convenient way to set the tab stops is using `M-x
edit-tab-stops', which creates and selects a buffer containing a
description of the tab stop settings. You can edit this buffer to
specify different tab stops, and then type `C-c C-c' to make those new
tab stops take effect. In the tab stop buffer, `C-c C-c' runs the
function `edit-tab-stops-note-changes' rather than the default
`save-buffer'. `edit-tab-stops' records which buffer was current when
you invoked it, and stores the tab stops in that buffer. Normally all
buffers share the same tab stops and changing them in one buffer
affects all. If you make `tab-stop-list' local in one buffer
`edit-tab-stops' in that buffer edits only the local settings.
Below is the text representing ordinary tab stops every eight
: : : : : :
0 1 2 3 4
To install changes, type C-c C-c
The first line contains a colon at each tab stop. The remaining
lines help you see where the colons are and tell you what to do.
Note that the tab stops that control `tab-to-tab-stop' have nothing
to do with displaying tab characters in the buffer. Note: Display
Vars, for more information on that.
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