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pre-commit fixers and linters for handling text files

Project description


A collection of pre-commit hooks for handling text files.

In particular, hooks for handling unicode characters which may be undesirable in a repository.

Usage with pre-commit

To use with pre-commit, include this repo and the desired hooks in .pre-commit-config.yaml:

- repo:
  rev: 0.5.0
    - id: fix-smartquotes
    - id: fix-ligatures

Standalone Usage

Each hook is usable as a CLI script. Simply

pip install texthooks

and then invoke, e.g.

fix-smartquotes FILENAME

Hook Summary

Hook Description
fix-smartquotes Replace curly quotes with ASCII quotes.
fix-spaces Normalize special space markers to ASCII spaces.
fix-ligatures Convert stylistic ligatures to ASCII text.
forbid-bidi-controls Check for bi-directional text.
macro-expand A simple way to write text formatting macros.

Supported Hooks


This fixes copy-paste from some applications which replace double-quotes with curly quotes. It does not convert corner brackets, braile quotation marks, or angle quotation marks. Those characters are not typically the result of copy-paste errors, so they are allowed.

Low quotation marks vary in usage and meaning by language, and some languages use quotation marks which are facing "outwards" (opposite facing from english). For the most part, these and exotic characters (double-prime quotes) are ignored.

In files with the offending marks, they are replaced and the run is marked as failed.

Overriding Quotation Characters

Two options are available for specifying exactly which characters will be replaced. For ease of use, they are specified as hex-encoded unicode codepoints.

Suppose you wanted to avoid replacing the "Heavy single comma quotation mark ornament" (275C) and the "Heavy single turned comma quotation mark ornament" (275B) characters. You could override the single quote codepoints as follows:

- repo:
  rev: 0.5.0
    - id: fix-smartquotes
      # replace default single quote chars with this set:
      # apostrophe, fullwidth apostrophe, left single quote, single high
      # reversed-9 quote, right single quote
      args: ["--single-quote-codepoints", "0027,FF07,2018,201B,2019"]


Replace various unicode space characters with " ".

This normalizes No-Break Space and similar characters to ensure that your files render the same way in all contexts. It does not modify newlines, carriage returns, or other whitespace characters outside of the Space Separator category.

Overriding Space Characters

An option is available for specifying exactly which characters will be replaced. For ease of use, they are specified as hex-encoded unicode codepoints.

Suppose you wanted to only replace Thin Space (codepoint 2009). You could override the space codepoints as follows:

- repo:
  rev: 0.5.0
    - id: fix-spaces
      args: ["--separator-codepoints", "2009"]


Automatically find and replace ligature characters with their ascii equivalents.

This replaces liguatures which may be created by programs like LaTeX for presentation with their strictly-equivalent ASCII counterparts. For example, fi and ff may be ligature-ized.

This hook converts these back into ASCII so that tools like grep will behave as expected.


This is checker which forbids the use of unicode bidirectional text control characters.

These are directional formatting characters which can be used to construct text with unexpected or unclear semantics. For example, in programming languages which allow bidirectional text in statements, "X" = ייִדיש can be written with right-to-left reversal to mean that the variable ייִדיש is assigned a value of "X".


Replace simple "macro" strings in text. This fixer is a no-op if no macro arguments are supplied. Add --macro to arguments to do replacements.

For example, convert issue:NNN to an issue link in markdown with the following sample config:

- repo:
  rev: 0.5.0
    - id: macro-expand
        - "--macro"
        - "issue:"
        - '[texthooks#$VALUE]($VALUE)'




  • Fix a bug in fixers when running on Windows which could cause data to be written with the wrong encoding
  • Add -v/--verbose and -q/--quiet flags to tune output verbosity


  • Add fix-spaces fixer


  • Minor fixes to docstrings


  • Add the macro-expand fixer


  • Fix a bug in CLI argument handling for all hooks


  • Fix a typo in forbid-bidi-controls entrypoint


  • Add the forbid-bidi-controls hook
  • Adjust the handling of file encodings. Files will be read with UTF-8 encoding by default in most cases.


  • Initial release with fix-ligatures and fix-smartquotes hooks

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