expand: Giving you more spaces

Another clever and simple little tool, this time out of coreutils, where all the good stuff comes from … expand.


Nothing complicated or obtuse here, just convert tabs to spaces. In fact, it’s a little difficult to show what’s going on, since technically there’s nothing to see. 😳

You can tell expand to use specific numbers of spaces when it replaces, to avoid tabs after non-whitespace characters and even use a list of specific locations for tabs to replace.

But beyond that, expand is content. Calm as Hindu cows.

Just remember this the next time you have a file littered with tab marks, and you don’t want to go through the hassle of search-and-replacing it again and again. … 😉