About The Author

Sven is the co-founder and former CEO of Smashing Magazine. He’s now writing Science-Fiction and at his Conterest Blog, where he focuses on blogs, content … More about Sven

Time-Savers: Code Beautifier And Formatter

Quick Summary

Well-documented and readable source code is essential for every collaborative project. Logically structured, well organized and nicely formatted, the code can speed up the bug hunting and help to keep the code clean, minimal and still functional. These facts are particularly important if the code is being developed by a group of developers: in this context a common scheme for source code presentation is necessary. You don’t have to do everything by hand; in fact, there are many tools which can save a lot of time - for you and your co-workers.

Table of Contents

Well-documented and readable source code is essential for every collaborative project. Logically structured, well organized and nicely formatted, the code can speed up the bug hunting and help to keep the code clean, minimal and still functional. These aspects are particularly important if the code is being developed by a group of developers: in this context a common scheme for source code presentation is necessary. You don’t have to do everything by hand; in fact, there are many tools which can save a lot of time - for you and your co-workers. [Last updated: Oct/10/2016]

The tools and services we’ve collected below aren’t validators. They format and beautify the code; some of them can remove redundant elements. Using them, you have to make sure you have a backup, so your data can always be restored.

You may want to take a look at the following related posts:

Let’s take a look at code beautifier and formatter which can save you a lot of time and help to maintain a clean and readable source code.

Code Beautifier And Formatter

  1. Quick Highlighter

Quick Highlighter can format source codes written in over 85 languages - among them C++, PHP, Ruby, HTML, JavaScript, Perl, Python, Smarty, XML and more. The tool formats source code and highlights inbuilt keywords, data types etc.

Screenshot

  1. PrettyPrinter

Knows PHP, Java, C++, C, Perl, JavaScript, CSS. The service offers many formatting options you can use to present the code just the way you’d like it to look like.

Screenshot

  1. Ruby Script Beautifier

Ruby Beautifier accepts a command-line list of file names, creates a backup copy of each named file and beautifies the originals. If there is an indentation error (an imbalance of opening and closing keywords), the script will print an error message but will save the result anyway.

  1. Tabifier

The tabifier is a tool to properly indent computer code. The style it produces is a mix of my personal preferences for indentation plus what I could manage to make a program produce from dirty source. The tabifier currently supports CSS, HTML, and C Style code; the latter being anything that uses curly braces to start and end blocks, and semicolons to terminate statements.

Screenshot

  1. CSS Beautifier

This tool offers a variety of options, among them - Alphabetizing Feature and De-Capitalization Feature.

Screenshot

  1. Highlight.js

Highlight.js highlights syntax in code examples on blogs, forums and in fact on any web pages. It’s very easy to use because it works automatically: finds blocks of code, detects a language, highlights it. Also available as Wordpress-Plugin and Firefox-extension. Suported languages: Python, Ruby, Perl, PHP, HTML, CSS, Django, JavaScript, VBScript, Delphi, Java, C++, SQL. Similar tools is offered by Google: Googles Javascript Code Prettifier.

Screenshot
Screenshot

  1. PHP Formatter

PHP formatter adds comments after control structures, colors the output, links to the php-manual by inline-functions, removes comments and removes empty lines. There are 5 pre-defined layouts, but you can also define your own styles.

Screenshot

  1. PHP_Beautifier

A tool to beautify PHP 4 and PHP 5 source code - to run on your own server. Requires PHP 5.

  1. Tidy

A classic. Tidy consists of many program libraries and comes and has many variations. E.g. you can use

Commercial Solution

  1. Polystyle

Polystyle automatically reformats source code in your personal style. Polystyle learns your formatting style by examining examples of your code. It is another Windows-tool which supports Actionscript, ASP, C/C++, C#, CMAC, CSS, HTML, Java, Javascript, JSP, PHP, Pascal/Delphi, Perl, Python and Visual Basic. Price: 79$, can be used from the shell and Windows Explorer.