Have you ever needed to format some gnarly JSON that is unreadable and/or too large to look through? It’s super easy to format it with
vim. We can use the popular
jq tool - link at the end of this blog post.
Simple Steps to format JSON in VIM
Here is an example with a file called
- Open a file
- Open the file in VIM
- We can format with the command
:%!jq . -
- Save the file
All we need is the command
:%!jq . -. Let’s break this command down.
:is to run a command
%will operatate on the entire file.
!will execute an external command
jq .is the external command
-is the contents of the buffer
Note that we use
%. We could instead do a visual selection using
'<,'>, or select lines in the file. In the video we use the command
jq "." -, which is the same thing as
jq . - it’s just a little more simple to not type the extra quotes.
Below is a video in YouTube showing how it’s done.
Here are some links to both
jq. Note, I use Neovim these days for a number of reasons, but any VIM will work.
We can use VIM and any external tool to format other types of files. I hope to post soon on how to format XML using the
xmllint tool which can be done very easily by what is taught in this blog post.