FAQ 3.8 Is there a pretty-printer (formatter) for Perl?


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This is an excerpt from the latest version perlfaq3.pod, which
comes with the standard Perl distribution. These postings aim to
reduce the number of repeated questions as well as allow the community
to review and update the answers. The latest version of the complete
perlfaq is at http://faq.perl.org .


3.8: Is there a pretty-printer (formatter) for Perl?

"Perltidy" is a Perl script which indents and reformats Perl scripts to
make them easier to read by trying to follow the rules of the perlstyle.
If you write Perl scripts, or spend much time reading them, you will
probably find it useful. It is available at
http://perltidy.sourceforge.net .

Of course, if you simply follow the guidelines in perlstyle, you
shouldn't need to reformat. The habit of formatting your code as you
write it will help prevent bugs. Your editor can and should help you
with this. The perl-mode or newer cperl-mode for emacs can provide
remarkable amounts of help with most (but not all) code, and even less
programmable editors can provide significant assistance. Tom
Christiansen and many other VI users swear by the following settings in
vi and its clones:

set ai sw=4
map! ^O {^M}^[O^T

Put that in your .exrc file (replacing the caret characters with control
characters) and away you go. In insert mode, ^T is for indenting, ^D is
for undenting, and ^O is for blockdenting--as it were. A more complete
example, with comments, can be found at

The a2ps http://www-inf.enst.fr/~demaille/a2ps/black+white.ps.gz does
lots of things related to generating nicely printed output of documents.


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