TextMate - converting tabs to spaces (or not)

I finally dug into a problem with TextMate that has been driving me crazy. I always have the TextMate "soft tabs" feature enabled, and want two spaces wherever there was a tab. However, it turns out TextMate doesn't really do what I expect here. Instead of automatically converting tabs to spaces, you have to take an extra step to make this work.

Assume you've just opened an existing document. To convert the tabs in the document to spaces (soft tabs):

  1. Click the Text menu.
  2. Select Convert.
  3. Click "Tabs to Spaces".

I just tested this, and I can verify that it does indeed work.

If you've struggled with this TextMate soft tabs feature, I hope that helps.

(I think I've also seen this same behavior from TextMate in new documents that I've created from scratch (it uses actual [Tab] characters instead of spaces), but I could be wrong. I recently tried using the Eclipse PDT editor project for PHP files, and it's possible the tabs came from there instead. I can't duplicate the problem now, so I'll assume that's where the tabs came from.)