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format-all for Emacs

NOTE: The package is actively maintained but due to lack of time, complex tasks are done at a slow pace. Simple tasks like adding or fixing formatter definitions are often done immediately. For faster progress, additional maintainers are welcome.

What does it do

Lets you auto-format source code in many languages using the same command for all languages, instead of learning a different Emacs package and formatting command for each language.

Just do M-x format-all-buffer and it will try its best to do the right thing. To auto-format code on save, use the minor mode format-all-mode. Please see the documentation for that function for instructions.

Supported languages

How to install


You will need to install external programs to do the formatting. If format-all-buffer can't find the right program, it will try to tell you how to install it.

If you have installed a formatter but Emacs cannot find it, Emacs may be using a PATH different from your shell. The path searched by Emacs is in the exec-path variable. You can easily make it match your shell's PATH using the exec-path-from-shell package from MELPA.

How to customize

M-x customize-group format-all has a few basic settings.

However, the main thing you probably want to set is format-all-formatters. That variable is buffer-local, and can be made project-local by setting it in a .dir-locals.el file in a project's directory. That file can be committed to version control to share it with the whole project.

To enable format on save for most programming language buffers: (add-hook 'prog-mode-hook 'format-all-mode).

To control displaying the formatting errors buffer when formatting fails or has warnings, customize the variable format-all-show-errors. Set it to one of these - 'always (shows errors buffer regardless),'warnings (shows errors buffer for both errors and warnings), 'errors (only show errors buffer when there are errors) or 'never (never show errors buffer).

The command format-all-ensure-formatter will ensure that a default formatter is selected in case you don't have one set; you can customize the default formatter for each language. To ensure a formatter is set whenever you enable format-all-mode, you can use: (add-hook 'format-all-mode-hook 'format-all-ensure-formatter).

Additionally, many of the external formatters support configuration files in the source code directory to control their formatting. Please see the documentation for each formatter.

How to add new languages

New external formatters can be added easily if they can read code from standard input and format it to standard output. Feel free to submit a pull request or ask for help in GitHub issues.

How to report bugs

GitHub issues are preferred. Email is also ok.

Feature requests are welcome. If you are interested in doing anything beyond adding new formatters in the current framework, please discuss in issues before writing code.


atom-beautify sports a very impressive set of formatters. We should aspire to that level of coverage for Emacs.

Unibeautify is a project to provide one shell command to run all beautifiers. atom-beautify will be rewritten to be based on it. Perhaps we should be too, once it stabilizes.


Auto-format source code in many languages with one command







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