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Tabby, originally by Ted Devito

branch: master


This jQuery plugin is by Ted Devito, originally found at There did not seem to be a GitHub repo for it yet, so I made one.



The "Tabby" Javascript jQuery plugin … [allows use of the Tab key] in regular textareas to make them suitable for in-browser coding [in] languages like HTML, CSS, Javascript, or your favorite server-side language. The idea is to be able to use a press of the TAB button or SHIFT+TAB to indent or outdent your code.

It pretty well for Markdown editors, too.


Can’t be any simpler:


To use e.g. four spaces instead of the default tab character:

var tabby_opts = {tabString:'    '};


Please see Ted’s demo here.

Differences from original

I made a small change to better support alternate tag strings besides the actual tab character \t (e.g. four spaces).

Caveats / Issues

  1. Outdenting will not work if there are (hard) tab characters used but tabby was initialized with a number of spaces as the tabString (i.e. soft tabs), and vice-versa. You should probably standardize input to your preferred tab string (soft or hard tabs) before presenting a Tabby-enabled textarea to your users.

  2. Sometimes the selection can change slightly (e.g. grow to include a previous line) when outdenting. Pull requests are welcome!


Grab the bookmarklet here.

See Also

For a description of the problem and how this solution is implemented, please see Ted’s original description.

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