Change the Display of the Tab Character in PHPStorm

Recently the way the Tab Character is rendered in PHPStorm was changed. The character used to be rendered in a way that allowed you to see the entire tab character. However, after a recent change the tab character now displays as a single >.

The new tab character is likely a welcome change for some. But there are others of us who really appreciated the old rendering. The new rendering does not indicate how much whitespace is taken by the tab character. For this reason I don’t find it helpful and wanted a way to change it back.

Luckily, recently, the JetBrains team threw in a small registry setting to re-enable to old rendering of tab characters. This setting is available in version 2019.3.2. Access this setting by pressing “Shift” + “Shift” while in PHPStorm. Afterwards search for and select the “Registry…” option.

A Comparison of default tab rendering in PHPStorm
A Comparison of styles – it’s nice to have options.

You’ll find the editor.old.tab.painting option about a quarter of the way down the list. Check it to re-enable the old PHPStorm tab rendering. You can breathe freely now.

The location of the editor.old.tab.painting within the registry.
The editor.old.tab.painting option is about a quarter of the way down the list

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