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A formatter for Sphinx flavored reStructuredText.

Project description

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Strongly inspired by rstfmt and rustfmt.

Highly experimental and unstable. Do not depend on this yet.


docstrfmt is a tool for automatically formatting reStructuredText in files and Python docstrings in a consistent way.

Like Black and rstfmt, the motivation is to provide a format that is reasonable and minimally configurable to prevent teams from wasting time on style discussions (or individuals on manually doing formatting, for that matter).

Currently, docstrfmt is in an early stage of development. The most common reST constructs are covered but there are some that are not. If there is a construct missing and would like to add it, feel free to open a PR to add it or open an issue and I’ll see what I can do.

To get a feel for the output of docstrfmt, see the sample file.

Differences between docstrfmt and rstfmt

The main difference between rstfmt and docstrfmt is the ability to format Python docstrings. I am open to merging this project with rstfmt, however there as several differences in formatting conventions between the two (hence the separate fork).


# Install.
pip install docstrfmt

# Install the development version.
pip install

# Read a file from stdin and write the formatted version to stdout.

# Format the given file(s) in place.
docstrfmt <file>...

# Format the given files, printing all output to stdout.
docstrfmt -o <file>...

# Wrap paragraphs to the given line length where possible (default 88).
docstrfmt -l <length>

Like Black’s blackd, there is also a daemon that provides formatting via HTTP requests to avoid the cost of starting and importing everything on every run.

# Install.
pip install "docstrfmt[d]"

# Install the development version.
pip install "[d]"

# Start the daemon (binds to localhost:5219 by default).
docstrfmtd --bind-host=<host> --bind-port=<port>

# Print the formatted version of a file.
curl http://locahost:5219 --data-binary @<file>

# Specify the line length (default 88).
curl -H 'X-Line-Length: 72' http://locahost:5219 --data-binary @<file>

# Mimic the standalone tool: read from stdin, write to stdout, exit with
# a nonzero status code if there are errors.
curl -fsS http://locahost:5219 --data-binary @/dev/stdin

With editors


Instructions derived from black documentation

  1. Install.

    pip install "docstrfmt[d]"
  2. Locate where docstrfmt is installed.

    • On macOS / Linux / BSD:

      which docstrfmt
      # /usr/local/bin/docstrfmt  # possible location
    • On Windows:

      where docstrfmt
      # C:\Program Files\Python39\Scripts\docstrfmt.exe


Note that if you are using a virtual environment detected by PyCharm, this is an unneeded step. In this case the path to docstrfmt is $PyInterpreterDirectory$/docstrfmt.

  1. Open External tools in PyCharm.

    • On macOS:

      PyCharm -> Preferences -> Tools -> External Tools

    • On Windows / Linux / BSD:

      File -> Settings -> Tools -> External Tools

  2. Click the + icon to add a new external tool with the following values:

    • Name: docstrfmt
    • Description:
    • Program: <install_location_from_step_2>
    • Arguments: “$FilePath$”
  3. Format the currently opened file by selecting Tools -> External Tools -> docstrfmt.

    • Alternatively, you can set a keyboard shortcut by navigating to Preferences or Settings -> Keymap -> External Tools -> External Tools - docstrfmt.
  4. Optionally, run docstrfmt on every file save:

    1. Make sure you have the File Watchers plugin installed.
    2. Go to Preferences or Settings -> Tools -> File Watchers and click + to add a new watcher:
      • Name: docstrfmt
      • File type: Python
      • Scope: Project Files
      • Program: <install_location_from_step_2>
      • Arguments: $FilePath$
      • Output paths to refresh: $FilePath$
      • Working directory: $ProjectFileDir$
    3. Uncheck “Auto-save edited files to trigger the watcher” in Advanced Options

Project details

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Files for docstrfmt, version 1.2.0
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