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Home » Solving “inconsistent use of tabs and spaces in indentation” in Visual Studio Code

Solving “inconsistent use of tabs and spaces in indentation” in Visual Studio Code

Out of the blue, when coding Python in Visual Studio Code, you might run into the following error.

“inconsistent use of tabs and spaces in indentation”

This happens, because somewhere in your code, indentation is different than in the rest of your code. Generally, Python doesn’t care what kind of indentation your editor uses, whether it be some spaces, or tabs. But it expects you to be consistent.

Generally, VS Code is pretty good at guessing the kind of indentation is used in the file you’re working in. If you press control + , and scroll down to this setting, you can choose if you want VS Code to detect the kind of indentation in a particular file.

Furthermore, you can get to that same preference and also choose what kind of indentation you want by clicking on the ‘Tab Size: X’ in the bottom right corner of your IDE.

Finally, if you run into the error, and you want to get rid of the spaces (or vice versa), you can paste your code in Notepad++, and do a search and replace by pressing control + H. In the following screenshot I search for 4 spaces and I replace with a tab by entering \t.

Great success!

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Technologies get updated, syntax changes and honestly… I make mistakes too. If something is incorrect, incomplete or doesn’t work, let me know in the comments below and help thousands of visitors.

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