How to format a JSON file in vim
When it comes to file formatting vim is pretty powerful. There are a couple of way you can format a JSON file in vim.
Option 1: Use jq (command line JSON processor)
jq is a must-have tool when working with JSON. It’s a powerful command line tool that allows you to map, filter, modify and format JSON data. It has a lot of functionality but the one we are going to use today is JSON pretty print. Or JSON formatting.
You can download the latest binary from the official page https://stedolan.github.io/jq/
Alternatively you can install via package management tools based on the operating system you are on.
choco install jq
brew install jq
sudo apt-get install jq
Use jq in vim to format a JSON file
While you have vim opened on the JSON file you want to format you can run the following command
(Assuming you opened the json file)
Run the following to format the JSON file using vim
This will run the jq command line utility over the JSON file contents you have opened with vim. It will rewrite the JSON data formatted into the same file. You will have to save your changes by using
Option 2: Use python json.tool module
Python offers off the shelf a tool to format JSON data. You can find more info about json tool module here https://docs.python.org/3/library/json.html
Here’s a couple of examples on how you can format a JSON file using python and/or vim
Just by using Python
python -m json.tool file.json
Using Python json tool from within vim
:%!python -m json.tool
This will run the json pretty print on the vim file you have opened and will rewrite the file with the new formatted JSON data. You will have to save your changes by using