One Way to Convert Code Indentation


A question:

If you copy a code sample that uses two-space indentation and you want to convert it to four-space indentation, what’s the *fastest* and easiest option?

Matt Stauffer, Twitter

I wrote about doing this in Sublime Text a few years back. It’s not terribly different in VS Code, I don’t think.

But here’s another way: Use CodePen.

Step 1: Copy and paste to CodePen

Say you found some code elsewhere, just copy and paste it in:

Step 2: Adjust code indentation settings

If you already have a CodePen account, you’ve probably already got it set up, so the default is how you like it. But if it’s not yet, adjust it in the Pen Settings area:

Showing the Pen Settings modal open in CodePen over a demo. the settings show code indentation options for spaces and tabs and for indentation width.
The code was 2-spaces as copy/pasted, and now we’re changing that to 4-spaces as a setting.

Step 3: Format the code

You can manually do it here:

You may not have to use that option at all if you save the Pen and have the “Format on Save” option on, as it will automatically happen.

It’ll kick over to that new 4-space preference right quick:


CodePen uses Prettier under the hood to do this. So you could do this anywhere you have access to a working version of Prettier, but it might be easier on CodePen since there’s nothing like editing config or anything to adjust how you want it. Prettier has its own playground as well, which is likely just as easy as CodePen, except that on CodePen you might already have your preferences set up, saving a step.





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