Setting Per File Type Tab Configurations in VSCode

If you would like to have different tab configurations (tabs or spaces) along with the number of tab chars for different file types you can update your user settings.

The first thing you need to do is figure out what the file type code thinks the file that you want to change is. Open the file in vscode and then look at the bottom right of your window. In my case, I’m looking at an avro schema (.avsc) file:

In this case, code sees this file type as “JSON with Comments” and is configured to use spaces with 2 spaces per “tab”.

In order to change that, press CTRL+Shift+P and select “Preferences: Configure Language Specific Settings”. You will then be presented with a host of file types. Scroll down to the entry you want (JSON with comments) and take note of of the string within the parenthesis. That is the key that you will need to make an entry into settings.json. If you click on that entry it will open up your user settings.json. I was baffled by what to do next until I saw this stackoverflow post.

Once I read that, I knew what to add to the settings.json. Simply add a new key, defined at the root of the JSON object that is the string displayed in the parenthesis that you saw for the file type in the dropdown that was displayed after selecting “Preferences: Configure Language Specific Settings”.

The JSON in settings.json will look like the following

   "[jsonc]": {
        "editor.tabSize": 2,
        "editor.detectIndentation": false,
        "editor.insertSpaces": true,
        "editor.quickSuggestions": {
            "strings": true
        "editor.suggest.insertMode": "replace",
        "gitlens.codeLens.scopes": [

Check the language specific settings docs for the configuration options.

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