Top pretty-print Questions

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Is there a (unix) shell script to format JSON in human-readable form?

Basically, I want it to transform the following:

{ foo: "lorem", bar: "ipsum" }

... into something like this:

    foo: "lorem",
    bar: "ipsum"


Answered By: B Bycroft ( 704)

With python you can just do

echo '{"foo": "lorem", "bar": "ipsum"}' | python -mjson.tool
Steve McLeod

I have a Java String that contains XML, with no line feeds and indentations. I would like to turn in into a String with nicely formatted XML. How do I do this?

String unformattedXml = "<tag><nested>hello</nested></tag>";
String formattedXml = new [UnknownClass]().format(unformattedXml);

Note: My input is a String. My output is a String.

Answered By: Steve McLeod ( 70)

Here's an answer to my own question. I combined the answers from the various results to write a class that pretty prints XML.

No guarantees on how it responds with invalid XML or large documents.

package ecb.sdw.pretty;

import org.apache.xml.serialize.OutputFormat;
import org.apache.xml.serialize.XMLSerializer;
import org.w3c.dom.Document;
import org.xml.sax.InputSource;
import org.xml.sax.SAXException;

import javax.xml.parsers.DocumentBuilder;
import javax.xml.parsers.DocumentBuilderFactory;
import javax.xml.parsers.ParserConfigurationException;

 * Pretty-prints xml, supplied as a string.
 * <p/>
 * eg.
 * <code>
 * String formattedXml = new XmlFormatter().format("<tag><nested>hello</nested></tag>");
 * </code>
public class XmlFormatter {

    public XmlFormatter() {

    public String format(String unformattedXml) {
        try {
            final Document document = parseXmlFile(unformattedXml);

            OutputFormat format = new OutputFormat(document);
            Writer out = new StringWriter();
            XMLSerializer serializer = new XMLSerializer(out, format);

            return out.toString();
        } catch (IOException e) {
            throw new RuntimeException(e);

    private Document parseXmlFile(String in) {
        try {
            DocumentBuilderFactory dbf = DocumentBuilderFactory.newInstance();
            DocumentBuilder db = dbf.newDocumentBuilder();
            InputSource is = new InputSource(new StringReader(in));
            return db.parse(is);
        } catch (ParserConfigurationException e) {
            throw new RuntimeException(e);
        } catch (SAXException e) {
            throw new RuntimeException(e);
        } catch (IOException e) {
            throw new RuntimeException(e);

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        String unformattedXml =
                "<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"UTF-8\"?><QueryMessage\n" +
                        "        xmlns=\"\"\n" +
                        "        xmlns:query=\"\">\n" +
                        "    <Query>\n" +
                        "        <query:CategorySchemeWhere>\n" +
                        "   \t\t\t\t\t         <query:AgencyID>ECB\n\n\n\n</query:AgencyID>\n" +
                        "        </query:CategorySchemeWhere>\n" +
                        "    </Query>\n\n\n\n\n" +

        System.out.println(new XmlFormatter().format(unformattedXml));