Using editorconfig to keep your files formatted properly

Editor config is an extension available on Visual Studio Code, Atom, Vim and many other editors, you can check a complete list on the official website.


It defines a set of rules that your editor follows. You can configure so that all your files, or just some matching the extension, will follow some rules as trim whitespace at the end, tabs as 2 spaces and so on.

This way your files will be consistent across your project, and allows people to contribute without making a mess in your codebase.

To configure your first have to create a .editorconfig file. You can find a complete list of available properties on Editorconfig’s Github.

I use this configuration in all node projects I create:

root = true

end_of_line = lf
insert_final_newline = true
indent_style = space
indent_size = 2
trim_trailing_whitespace = true

It means:
root: defines if this config file is the root of your project (plugins won’t look in parent directories for .editorconfig files)
[*]: matches all files
end_of_line: lines ends in \n
insert_final_newline: files always end in a new line
indent_style: replace tabs with spaces to indent
indent_size: use two spaces to indent
trim_trailing_whitespace: remove whitespace after lines

This way you don’t commit files with wrong line endings (it is also possible to configure on Git), you don’t accidentally forget whitespace after a line, you don’t get an indentation wrong. Git changes will always show precisely what changed.

It is possible to have multiple configs in the same file for different file extensions, if you are using JavaScript and Python you might want to have this:

charset = utf-8

indent_style = space
indent_size = 4

To match files you can have a look on File Format Details section on Editorconfig’s page.


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