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RSpec TAP Formatters

RSpec TAP Formatters produces TAP 13 output with a proper nested display of example groups and includes stats for the total number of passed, failed, and pending tests per example group.

Why use TAP Formatter

With TAP format, it is easier to view failure reason immediately without waiting for the failure dumps at the end. Also, TAP is a universal format, so one can:

  • Leverage other tools to parse the output.
  • Mix in different types of tests with consistent output.

Formatters Behavior

RSpec TAP Formatters supports four variants:

  1. RSpec::TAP::Formatters::Default
  2. RSpec::TAP::Formatters::Compact
  3. RSpec::TAP::Formatters::Flat
  4. RSpec::TAP::Formatters::FlatCompact

Each formatter respects the color configuration for the execution and only prints colored output when enabled. However, writing to a file will never use colors. When writing the report to a file, each formatter will print progress status on the standard output:

  • . for passing
  • F for failing
  • * for pending

Sample Report

Sample report for string_spec.rb using RSpec::TAP::Formatters::Default format:

TAP version 13
# test: String {
  # group: #present? {
    # group: when whitespaces and other characters {
      ok 1 - returns true
      # tests: 1, passed: 1
    # group: when nil {
      not ok 1 - returns false
        location: "./resources/string_spec.rb:8"
        error: |-
          Failure/Error: expect(string.present?).to eq(false)
            undefined method `present?' for nil:NilClass
        backtrace: "./resources/string_spec.rb:9:in `block (4 levels) in <top (required)>'"
      # tests: 1, failed: 1
    # group: when whitespaces only {
      ok 1 - returns false
      # tests: 1, passed: 1
    # tests: 3, passed: 2, failed: 1
  # tests: 3, passed: 2, failed: 1
# tests: 3, passed: 2, failed: 1
# duration: 0.026471 seconds
# seed: 27428

You can check the reports for other formats here.


Installation is pretty standard:

gem install rspec-tap-formatters

You can install using bundler also but do not require it in Gemfile. Make sure to use it as a test dependency:

group :test do
  # other gems
  gem 'rspec-tap-formatters', '~> 0.1.0', require: false

You can also install using the GitHub package registry:

source '' do
  gem 'rspec-tap-formatters', '~> 0.1.0', require: false


You can specify the format as the command argument:

rspec --format RSpec::TAP::Formatters::Default

To write to file, provide the --out argument:

rspec --format RSpec::TAP::Formatters::Default --out report.tap

You can also configure the .rspec file:

# other configurations
--format RSpec::TAP::Formatters::Default
--out report.tap


Read more about TAP specifications and supported formats in the official docs.

Source Code Documentation

Read the source code documentation here.


RSpec TAP Formatters supports MRI 2.3+ and RSpec 3.


The changelog is available here.


Copyright (c) 2019 Abhimanyu Singh. See for further details.