Configuring Code Formatting in Visual Studio Code for Python Projects

Code formatting plays a crucial role in maintaining clean and consistent codebases. In Python development, Visual Studio Code (VS Code) provides various settings and extensions to help automate code formatting tasks. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to set up code formatting in VS Code for Python projects using popular tools like Black and isort. We’ll cover the installation process, configuration steps, and demonstrate the benefits of having automated code formatting in your development workflow.

Step 1: Install Required Extensions
To get started, ensure you have the following VS Code extensions installed:

  • Python (ms-python.python)
  • Black (
  • isort (pavelastrau.isort)

Step 2: Configuring Code Formatting Settings
Open your VS Code settings (File -> Preferences -> Settings) and add the following configurations to your settings.json file:

    "editor.formatOnSave": true,
    "python.formatting.provider": "black",
    "[python]": {
        "editor.formatOnSave": true,
        "editor.defaultFormatter": "ms-python.python",
        "editor.codeActionsOnSave": {
            "source.organizeImports": true
    "python.formatting.blackArgs": [
    "python.isort.args": [

Explanation of the configurations:

  • editor.formatOnSave: Automatically formats the code when saving the file.
  • python.formatting.provider: Specifies the formatter to use for Python code, set to “black”.
  • [python]: Configurations specific to Python files.
  • editor.formatOnSave: Enable code formatting on save for Python files.
  • editor.defaultFormatter: Set the default formatter to “ms-python.python”.
  • editor.codeActionsOnSave: Enable organizing imports on save.
  • python.formatting.blackArgs: Additional arguments for the Black formatter.
  • --line-length=119: Sets the maximum line length to 119 characters.
  • python.isort.args: Additional arguments for the isort import sorter.
  • --profile=black: Configures isort to use the “black” profile.

Step 3: Benefits of Code Formatting
With the above configurations, every time you save a Python file, VS Code will automatically format the code according to the Black formatter’s rules. It ensures consistent and visually pleasing code throughout the project. Additionally, the isort extension organizes imports according to the Black profile, further enhancing code readability.

Configuring code formatting in VS Code for Python projects using tools like Black and isort can significantly improve code quality and maintainability. With automatic formatting on save, you can focus on writing code without worrying about style guidelines. By adopting these practices, you and your team can enjoy a more streamlined and standardized development process.

Remember to regularly review and adjust the formatting settings to match your project’s requirements and coding conventions. Happy coding with clean and consistent code!

Note: Make sure to restart VS Code after applying the configuration changes for them to take effect.

That concludes our blog post on configuring code formatting in VS Code for Python projects. We hope you found this guide helpful in optimizing your development workflow.

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