Artistic Style Code Reformatter Works Well

Artistic Style ( is a code reformatter (aka pretty printer, code beautifier) that transforms Java code (and code in several other languages too) into the format of your choice. It works as advertised, is quick, easy to use, and has great defaults.

In particular, I recommend this usage:

astyle --style=java --indent=spaces=2 *.java
or, to operate on all files in all subdirectories:
astyle --style=java --indent=spaces=2 `find \*.java`
I have found it to be fast. It requires just a few seconds to operate on hundreds of files.

It is reliable. On a large codebase, a full recompile after running it showed no problems. It changed the formatting and indentation without corrupting anything or introducing syntax changes.

Best of all, the default Java style matches the Sun Coding Conventions, so you are left with standard code that you can share with any Java developer and have it easily understood.

Try out Artistic Style ( today. I am very happy with it and I think you will be too.

Last modified on 18 Sep 2007 by AO

Copyright © 2020 Andrew Oliver