Add an editorconfig to your project

Aug 17, 2018·
Gert de Pagter
Gert de Pagter
· 2 min read

One of the hardest things to spot during a pr are whitespace issues. Did someone use tabs instead of spaces, trailing whitespace etc. So, why not make it easy on yourself and help any contributors by adding an .editorconfig file that automatcially fixes those things for you.

An editorconfig is an ini like file that helps your IDE or text editor to keep certain standards. Even this blog, which is written in mostly markdown has the following editorconfig:

root = true

root=true means that it is the top level editorconfig. This is usefull if you have certian directories that have a different style for whatever reason. The charset is set to utf-8, we use ’normal’ line endings, and trim all trailing whitespace. All files have an empty new line at the end, and are indented with 4 spaces.

If i have a Makefile, which needs to be indented with tabs i can add the following:

And now my makefile is correctly indented with tabs.

If the project contains js and scss files that i want indented with 2 spaces i can add the following:


The editor config website has an explanation on what options there are, and how to specify what files to affect etc. Some editors check for a .editorconfig file by default, while other need a plugin to understand and use them. You can find the full list on their website as well. (But PHPstorm needs a plugin, so please do install it.)

Gert de Pagter
Software Engineer
My interests include software development and math.