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This plugin automatically adjusts 'shiftwidth' and 'expandtab' heuristically based on the current file, or, in the case the current file is new, blank, or otherwise insufficient, by looking at other files of the same type in the current and parent directories. Modelines and EditorConfig are also consulted, adding 'tabstop', 'textwidth', 'endofline', 'fileformat', 'fileencoding', and 'bomb' to the list of supported options.


Install using your favorite package manager, or use Vim's built-in package support:

mkdir -p ~/.vim/pack/tpope/start
cd ~/.vim/pack/tpope/start
git clone
vim -u NONE -c "helptags sleuth/doc" -c q


  • If your file is consistently indented with hard tabs, 'shiftwidth' will be set to your 'tabstop'. Otherwise, a 'tabstop' of 8 is enforced, unless another value is explicitly declared in a modeline or EditorConfig.


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Copyright © Tim Pope. Distributed under the same terms as Vim itself. See :help license.