Inconsistent Indentation Python with Example

This is the complete tutorial about Python’s inconsistent use of tabs and spaces in indentation. The main goal of this tutorial is to let you know what inconsistent use of tabs and spaces in indentation python is.

Additionally, indentation means a number of spaces and tabs before the beginning, or code blocks. The usage of whitespace and tabs needs to match because it refers to correct indentation and certain blocks.

Also, you may read the other python tutorial: Python Copy a Dictionary with Best Example

Python’s inconsistent use of tabs and spaces in indentation

Furthermore, this “python taberror: inconsistent use of tabs and spaces in indentation” will appear when we mix tabs and spaces in Python with the same code blocks. To fix this error, remove the spacing and use tabs or spaces, but do not mix them in the same code blocks.

Example code program on how the error appears

if len('hello itsourcecode') == 5:

Code explanation

The first line of the code example above was indented using tabs, while the second line is indented using tabs and spaces.

Your error message should tell you exactly where the error is, so you can get rid of any extra whitespace and make sure each line in the code block is indented.

Note: To fix the error, remove the whitespace. Using tabs or spaces, indent the lines in the code lines. Assure that the code lines are indented at the same level.

Python taberror: inconsistent use of tabs and spaces in indentation

Python’s style guide recommends using spaces for indentation, but tabs can also be used. Python doesn’t employ syntax like curly brackets to indicate where a block of code begins and ends. Python uses indents to identify code blocks.

Without indentation, it’s impossible to tell which lines belong in the calculate average age function and which belong in the main program.

Spaces or tabs only. Combine tabs and spaces. Doing so will confuse the Python interpreter and cause the TabError error.

For instance scenario

How to create a program to calculate the total purchase order in the e-commerce store?

items = [10000, 20000, 30000, 40000]

First, we’ll define a function to calculate the sum of the “purchase order” list:

def calculate_total_purchase_order(orders):
	total = sum(orders)
    return total

The function only accepts the list of purchases whose total value we want to compute. The return value is the total of the list’s values to pass in an argument.

To calculate the total purchase orders, we will use the sum() method function.

If you observe the line of code blocks, “return total” is indented by using spaces, while the total = sum(orders) is indented by using tabs.

We will proceed to call a function and print the purchase order value.

total_orders = calculate_total_purchase_order(orders)
print(total_orders )

The system calls a function called calculate_total_purchase_order(orders). This is the function to calculate the total purchase order of an e-commerce store. Then the system will print the value of the total orders.

We will run the code, and we will be able to see the output.

File “C:\Users\adones\PycharmProjects\pythonProject\”, line 3
return total
IndentationError: unindent does not match any outer indentation level

The code shown above is an error.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is inconsistent indentation?

“The Python “TabError: inconsistent use of tabs and spaces in indentation” error is raised when you try to indent code using both spaces and tabs. You fix this error by sticking to either spaces or tabs in a program and replacing any tabs or spaces that do not use your preferred method of indentation.” This is according to

Does Python care about indents?

Indentation refers to code line spacing. Python tabs for indentation are quite significant, unlike other programming languages. Python utilizes indentation to represent a block of code.

Is Python sensitive to spaces?

Python used whitespace instead of curly braces or “begin/end” keywords. Earth Volumetric Studio’s Python version requires spaces for indenting, not tabs.

How do you remove inconsistent tabs and spaces in indentation?

Try to delete the indents consistently by pressing the tab or the spacebar four times. This particularly happens when I indent. I used the tab key and space key in the next line.


In conclusion, we proved that the error will appear if you try to indent the code by using both spaces and tabs in the line of codes.

You can solve the error problem by removing any tabs and spaces from your program codes. It’s easy to correct this error with the information you’ve just learned today. And you have the knowledge to fix the error like a skilled programmer.

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