AppCode 2023.1 Help

Format files from the command line

AppCode can format your code according to the configured code style settings. You can also apply your code style formatting to the specified files from the command line.

The command-line formatter launches an instance of AppCode in the background and applies the formatting. It will not work if another instance of AppCode is already running. In this case, you can perform code style formatting from the running instance. Use the command-line formatter for automated regular maintenance of a large codebase with many contributors to ensure a consistent coding style.

To be able to format files, install and enable plugins with support for the corresponding file types in AppCode (for example, the Shell Script plugin to format shell script files).

AppCode includes a script for running the command-line code formatter. By default, it is located in the application package:

./ [<options>] <path ...>

Format two specific files from the ~/Data/src directory using the default code style settings:

./ ~/Data/src/hello.html ~/Data/src/world.html

Recursively format all files in the ~/Data/src directory including all subdirectories using the default code style settings:

./ -r ~/Data/src

Non-recursively format all the .xml and .html files in the ~/Data/src directory using code style settings from ~/Data/settings.xml:

./ -s ~/Data/settings.xml -m *.xml,*.html ~/Data/src





Show the help message and quit.


Specify a comma-separated list of file masks that define the files to be processed. You can use the * (any string) and ? (any single character) wildcards.


Process specified directories recursively.


Specify the code style settings file to use for formatting. This can be one of the following:

  • A file with the exported code style settings: open the Editor | Code Style page of the IDE settings Ctrl+Alt+S, click The Show Scheme Actions button, and select Export.

  • The .idea/codeStyleSettings.xml file stored in your project directory (for AppCode version 2017.2 and earlier).

  • The .idea/codeStyles/Project.xml file stored in your project directory (for AppCode version 2017.3 and later).

If this option is not specified, the file will be skipped. If there is a project in one of the parent folders, its settings will be used implicitly as well as EditorConfig.


Use the default code style settings when the code style is not defined for a file or a group of files: when -s is not set and the file does not belong to any project. Otherwise the file or files will be ignored.


Preserve encoding and enforce the charset for reading and writing source files, for example: -charset ISO-8859-15.

This option is useful if the command-line formatter cannot correctly process special letters in a source file.


Run the formatter in the validation mode. The formatter will perform the same formatting operations in memory and will exit with a non-zero status in case any of the formatted files differs from the original one.

Last modified: 02 May 2022