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README.md

vim-autoformat

Format code with one button press (or automatically on save).

This plugin makes use of external formatting programs to achieve the most decent results. Check the list of formatprograms below to see which languages are supported by default. Most formatprograms will obey vim settings, such as textwidth and shiftwidth(). You can easily customize existing formatprogram definitions or add your own formatprogram. When no formatprogram exists (or no formatprogram is installed) for a certain filetype, vim-autoformat falls back by default to indenting, (using vim's auto indent functionality), retabbing and removing trailing whitespace.

Requirement

vim-autoformat requires vim to have python support (python 2 or python 3). You can check your vim has python support by running :echo has("python3") and :echo has("python2").

Neovim

Neovim does not come with python support by default, and additional setup is required.

First install pynvim

python3 -m pip install pynvim

And add the following configuration in your .vimrc

let g:python3_host_prog=/path/to/python/executable/

How to install

Vundle

Put this in your .vimrc.

Plugin 'Chiel92/vim-autoformat'

Then restart vim and run :PluginInstall. Alternatively, you could run :source $MYVIMRC to reload your .vimrc without restarting vim. To update the plugin to the latest version, you can run :PluginUpdate.

Pathogen

Download the source and extract in your bundle directory. Updating has to be done manually, as far as I'm aware.

Other

It is highly recommended to use a plugin manager such as Vundle, since this makes it easy to update plugins or uninstall them. It also keeps your .vim directory clean. Still you can decide to download this repository as a zip file or whatever and extract it to your .vim folder.

How to use

First you should install an external program that can format code of the programming language you are using. This can either be one of the programs that are listed below as defaultprograms, or a custom program. For defaultprograms, vim-autoformat knows for which filetypes it can be used. For using a custom formatprogram, read the text below How can I change the behaviour of formatters, or add one myself? If the formatprogram you want to use is installed in one of the following ways, vim automatically detects it:

  • It suffices to make the formatprogram globally available, which is the case if you install it via your package manager.
  • Alternatively you can point vim-autoformat to folders containing formatters, by putting the absolute paths to these folders in g:formatterpath in your .vimrc, like:
let g:formatterpath = ['/some/path/to/a/folder', '/home/superman/formatters']

Remember that when no formatprograms exists for a certain filetype, vim-autoformat falls back by default to indenting, retabbing and removing trailing whitespace. This will fix at least the most basic things, according to vim's indentfile for that filetype.

When you have installed the formatter you need, you can format the entire buffer with the command :Autoformat. You can provide the command with a file type such as :Autoformat json, otherwise the buffer's filetype will be used.

Some formatters allow you to format only a part of the file, for instance clang-format and autopep8. To use this, provide a range to the :Autoformat command, for instance by visually selecting a part of your file, and then executing :Autoformat. For convenience it is recommended that you assign a key for this, like so:

noremap <F3> :Autoformat<CR>

Or to have your code be formatted upon saving your file, you could use something like this:

au BufWrite * :Autoformat

To disable the fallback to vim's indent file, retabbing and removing trailing whitespace, set the following variables to 0.

let g:autoformat_autoindent = 0
let g:autoformat_retab = 0
let g:autoformat_remove_trailing_spaces = 0

To disable or re-enable these option for specific buffers, use the buffer local variants: b:autoformat_autoindent, b:autoformat_retab and b:autoformat_remove_trailing_spaces. So to disable autoindent for filetypes that have incompetent indent files, use

autocmd FileType vim,tex let b:autoformat_autoindent=0

You can manually autoindent, retab or remove trailing whitespace with the following respective commands.

gg=G
:retab
:RemoveTrailingSpaces

For each filetype, vim-autoformat has a list of applicable formatters. If you have multiple formatters installed that are supported for some filetype, vim-autoformat tries all formatters in this list of applicable formatters, until one succeeds. You can set this list manually in your vimrc (see section How can I change the behaviour of formatters, or add one myself?, or change the formatter with the highest priority by the commands :NextFormatter and :PreviousFormatter. To print the currently selected formatter use :CurrentFormatter. These latter commands are mostly useful for debugging purposes. If you have a composite filetype with dots (like django.python or php.wordpress), vim-autoformat first tries to detect and use formatters for the exact original filetype, and then tries the same for all supertypes occurring from left to right in the original filetype separated by dots (.).

Default formatprograms

Here is a list of formatprograms that are supported by default, and thus will be detected and used by vim when they are installed properly.

  • clang-format for C, C++, Objective-C, Protobuf (supports formatting ranges). Clang-format is a product of LLVM source builds. If you brew install llvm, clang-format can be found in /usr/local/Cellar/llvm/bin/. Vim-autoformat checks whether there exists a .clang-format or a _clang-format file up in the current directory's ancestry. Based on that it either uses that file or tries to match vim options as much as possible. Details: http://clang.llvm.org/docs/ClangFormat.html.

  • astyle for C#, C++, C and Java. Download it here: http://astyle.sourceforge.net/. Important: version 2.0.5 or higher is required, since only those versions correctly support piping and are stable enough.

  • autopep8 for Python (supports formatting ranges). It's probably in your distro's repository, so you can download it as a regular package. For Ubuntu type sudo apt-get install python-autopep8 in a terminal. Here is the link to the repository: https://github.com/hhatto/autopep8. And here the link to its page on the python website: http://pypi.python.org/pypi/autopep8/0.5.2.

  • yapf for Python (supports formatting ranges). Vim-autoformat checks whether there exists a .style.yapf or a setup.cfg file up in the current directory's ancestry. Based on that it either uses that file or tries to match vim options as much as possible. Most users can install with the terminal command sudo pip install yapf or pip install --user yapf. YAPF has one optional configuration variable to control the formatter style. For example:

    let g:formatter_yapf_style = 'pep8'

    pep8 is the default value, or you can choose: google, facebook, chromium.

    Here is the link to the repository: https://github.com/google/yapf

  • black for Python. Most users can install with the terminal command sudo pip install black or pip install --user black. Here is the link to the repository: https://github.com/ambv/black

  • js-beautify for Javascript and JSON. It can be installed by running npm install -g js-beautify. Note that nodejs is needed for this to work. The python version version is also supported by default, which does not need nodejs to run. Here is the link to the repository: https://github.com/einars/js-beautify.

  • JSCS for Javascript. https://jscs-dev.github.io/

  • standard for Javascript. It can be installed by running npm install -g standard (nodejs is required). No more configuration needed. More information about the style guide can be found here: http://standardjs.com/.

  • ESlint for Javascript. http://eslint.org/ It can be installed by running npm install eslint for a local project or by running npm install -g eslint for global use. The linter is then installed locally at $YOUR_PROJECT/node_modules/.bin/eslint or globally at ~/.npm-global/bin/eslint. When running the formatter, vim will walk up from the current file to search for such local installation and a ESLint configuration file (either .eslintrc.js or eslintrc.json). When the local version is missing it will fallback to the global version in your home directory. When both requirements are found eslint is executed with the --fix argument. Note that the formatter's name is still eslint_local for legacy reasons even though it already supports global eslint. Currently only working on *nix like OS (Linux, MacOS etc.) as it requires the OS to provide sh like shell syntax.

  • xo for Javascript. It can be installed by running npm install -g xo (nodejs is required). Here is the link to the repository: https://github.com/sindresorhus/xo.

  • html-beautify for HTML. It is shipped with js-beautify, which can be installed by running npm install -g js-beautify. Note that nodejs is needed for this to work. Here is the link to the repository: https://github.com/einars/js-beautify.

  • css-beautify for CSS. It is shipped with js-beautify, which can be installed by running npm install -g js-beautify. Note that nodejs is needed for this to work. Here is the link to the repository: https://github.com/einars/js-beautify.

  • typescript-formatter for Typescript. typescript-formatter is a thin wrapper around the TypeScript compiler services. It can be installed by running npm install -g typescript-formatter. Note that nodejs is needed for this to work. Here is the link to the repository: https://github.com/vvakame/typescript-formatter.

  • haxe-formatter for Haxe. haxe-formatter is a thin wrapper around the haxelib formatter library. It can be installed by running haxelib install formatter. Here is the link to the repository: https://github.com/HaxeCheckstyle/haxe-formatter

  • sass-convert for SCSS. It is shipped with sass, a CSS preprocessor written in Ruby, which can be installed by running gem install sass. Here is the link to the SASS homepage: http://sass-lang.com/.

  • tidy for HTML, XHTML and XML. It's probably in your distro's repository, so you can download it as a regular package. For Ubuntu type sudo apt-get install tidy in a terminal.

  • rbeautify for Ruby. It is shipped with ruby-beautify, which can be installed by running gem install ruby-beautify. Note that compatible ruby-beautify-0.94.0 or higher version. Here is the link to the repository: https://github.com/erniebrodeur/ruby-beautify. This beautifier developed and tested with ruby 2.0+, so you can have weird results with earlier ruby versions.

  • rubocop for Ruby. It can be installed by running gem install rubocop. Here is the link to the repository: https://github.com/bbatsov/rubocop

  • gofmt for Golang. The default golang formatting program is shipped with the golang distribution. Make sure gofmt is in your PATH (if golang is installed properly, it should be). Here is the link to the installation: https://golang.org/doc/install

  • rustfmt for Rust. It can be installed using cargo, the Rust package manager. Up-to-date installation instructions are on the project page: https://github.com/nrc/rustfmt/#installation.

  • dartfmt for Dart. Part of the Dart SDK (make sure it is on your PATH). See https://www.dartlang.org/tools/dartfmt/ for more info.

  • perltidy for Perl. It can be installed from CPAN cpanm Perl::Tidy . See https://metacpan.org/pod/Perl::Tidy and http://perltidy.sourceforge.net/ for more info.

  • stylish-haskell for Haskell It can be installed using cabal build tool. Installation instructions are available at https://github.com/jaspervdj/stylish-haskell#installation

  • purty for Purescript It can be installed using npm install purty. Further instructions available at https://gitlab.com/joneshf/purty

  • remark for Markdown. A Javascript based markdown processor that can be installed with npm install -g remark-cli. More info is available at https://github.com/wooorm/remark.

  • fprettify for modern Fortran. Download from official repository. Install with ./setup.py install or ./setup.py install --user.

  • mix format for Elixir. mix format is included with Elixir 1.6+.

  • fixjson for JSON. It is a JSON file fixer/formatter for humans using (relaxed) JSON5. It fixes various failures while humans writing JSON and formats JSON codes. It can be installed with npm install -g fixjson. More info is available at https://github.com/rhysd/fixjson.

  • shfmt for Shell. A shell formatter written in Go supporting POSIX Shell, Bash and mksh that can be installed with go get -u mvdan.cc/sh/cmd/shfmt. See https://github.com/mvdan/sh for more info.

  • sqlformat for SQL. Install sqlparse with pip.

  • cmake-format for CMake. Install cmake_format with pip. See https://github.com/cheshirekow/cmake_format for more info.

  • latexindent.pl for LaTeX. Installation instructions at https://github.com/cmhughes/latexindent.pl.

  • ocamlformat for OCaml. OCamlFormat can be installed with opam: opam install ocamlformat. Details: https://github.com/ocaml-ppx/ocamlformat. We also provide ocp-indent as reserve formatter.

  • asmfmt for Assembly. An assembly formatter. Can be installed with go get -u github.com/klauspost/asmfmt/cmd/asmfmt. See https://github.com/klauspost/asmfmt for more info.

Help, the formatter doesn't work as expected!

If you're struggling with getting a formatter to work, it may help to set vim-autoformat in verbose-mode. Vim-autoformat will then output errors on formatters that failed.

let g:autoformat_verbosemode=1
" OR:
let verbose=1

To read all messages in a vim session type :messages. Since one cannot always easily copy the contents of messages (e.g. for posting it in an issue), vim-autoformats command :PutMessages may help. It puts the messages in the current buffer, allowing you to do whatever you want.

Reporting bugs

Please report bugs by creating an issue in this repository. When there are problems with getting a certain formatter to work, provide the output of verbose mode in the issue.

How can I change the behaviour of formatters, or add one myself?

If you need a formatter that is not among the defaults, or if you are not satisfied with the default formatting behaviour that is provided by vim-autoformat, you can define it yourself. The formatprogram must read the unformatted code from the standard input, and write the formatted code to the standard output.

Basic definitions

The formatprograms that available for a certain <filetype> are defined in g:formatters_<filetype>. This is a list containing string identifiers, which point to corresponding formatter definitions. The formatter definitions themselves are defined in g:formatdef_<identifier> as a string expression. Defining any of these variable manually in your .vimrc, will override the default value, if existing. For example, a complete definition in your .vimrc for C# files could look like this:

let g:formatdef_my_custom_cs = '"astyle --mode=cs --style=ansi -pcHs4"'
let g:formatters_cs = ['my_custom_cs']

In this example, my_custom_cs is the identifier for our formatter definition. The first line defines how to call the external formatter, while the second line tells vim-autoformat that this is the only formatter that we want to use for C# files. Please note the double quotes in g:formatdef_my_custom_cs. This allows you to define the arguments dynamically:

let g:formatdef_my_custom_cs = '"astyle --mode=cs --style=ansi -pcHs".&shiftwidth'
let g:formatters_cs = ['my_custom_cs']

Please notice that g:formatdef_my_custom_cs contains an expression that can be evaluated, as required. As you see, this allows us to dynamically define some parameters. In this example, the indent width that astyle will use, depends on the buffer local value of &shiftwidth, instead of being fixed at 4. So if you're editing a csharp file and change the shiftwidth (even at runtime), the g:formatdef_my_custom_cs will change correspondingly.

For the default formatprogram definitions, the options expandtab, shiftwidth and textwidth are taken into account whenever possible. This means that the formatting style will match your current vim settings as much as possible. You can have look look at the exact default definitions for more examples. They are defined in vim-autoformat/plugin/defaults.vim. As a small side note, in the actual defaults the function shiftwidth() is used instead of the property. This is because it falls back to the value of tabstop if shiftwidth is 0.

If you have a composite filetype with dots (like django.python or php.wordpress), vim-autoformat internally replaces the dots with underscores so you can specify formatters through g:formatters_django_python and so on.

To override these options for a local buffer, use the buffer local variants: b:formatters_<filetype> and b:formatdef_<identifier>. This can be useful, for example, when working with different projects with conflicting formatting rules, with each project having settings in its own vimrc or exrc file:

let b:formatdef_custom_c='"astyle --mode=c --suffix=none --options=/home/user/special_project/astylerc"'
let b:formatters_c = ['custom_c']

Ranged definitions

If your format program supports formatting specific ranges, you can provide a format definition which allows to make use of this. The first and last line of the current range can be retrieved by the variables a:firstline and a:lastline. They default to the first and last line of your file, if no range was explicitly specified. So, a ranged definition could look like this.

let g:formatdef_autopep8 = "'autopep8 - --range '.a:firstline.' '.a:lastline"
let g:formatters_python = ['autopep8']

This would allow the user to select a part of the file and execute :Autoformat, which would then only format the selected part.

Contributing

This project is community driven. I don't actively do development on vim-autoformat myself, as it's current state fulfills my personal needs. However, I will review pull requests and keep an eye on the general sanity of the code.

If you have any improvements on this plugin or on this readme, if you have some formatter definition that can be added to the defaults, or if you experience problems, please open a pull request or an issue in this repository.

Major Change Log

October 2018

  • We also take the returncode of the formatter process into account, not just the presence of output on stderr.

March 2016

  • We don't use the option formatprg internally anymore, to always have the possible of using the default gq command.
  • More fallback options have been added.

June 2015

  • Backward incompatible patch!
  • Multiple formatters per filetype are now supported.
  • Configuration variable names changed.
  • Using gq as alias for :Autoformat is no longer supported.
  • :Autoformat now supports ranges.
  • Composite filetypes are fully supported.

December 20 2013

  • html-beautify is now the new default for HTML since it seems to be better maintained, and seems to handle inline javascript neatly.
  • The formatters/ folder is no longer supported anymore, because it is unnecessary.
  • js-beautify can no longer be installed as a bundle, since it only makes this plugin unnecessarily complex.

March 27 2013

  • The default behaviour of gq is enabled again by removing the fallback on auto-indenting. Instead, the fallback is only used when running the command :Autoformat.

March 16 2013

  • The options expandtab, shiftwidth, tabstop and softtabstop are not overwritten anymore.
  • This obsoletes g:autoformat_no_default_shiftwidth
  • g:formatprg_args_expr_<filetype> is introduced.

March 13 2013

  • It is now possible to prevent vim-autoformat from overwriting your settings for tabstop, softtabstop, shiftwidth and expandtab in your .vimrc.

March 10 2013

  • When no formatter is installed or defined, vim will now auto-indent the file instead. This uses the indentfile for that specific filetype.

March 9 2013

  • Customization of formatprograms can be done easily now, as explained in the readme.
  • I set the default tabwidth to 4 for all formatprograms as well as for vim itself.
  • phpCB has been removed from the defaults, due to code-breaking behaviour.

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Provide easy code formatting in Vim by integrating existing code formatters.

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