VSCode: Using Black to automatically format Python

adamlombard profile image Adam Lombard Updated on ・1 min read

Black is "the uncompromising Python code formatter." It can be configured to automatically format your code whenever you save a file in VSCode.

Install Black in your virtual environment:

$ pip install black

Install Microsoft's Python extension in VSCode:

Microsoft's Python extension in VSCode

Open your VSCode settings, by going 'Code -> Preferences -> Settings'.

Search for "python formatting provider" and select "black" from the dropdown menu:

The VSCode settings interface for the "python formatting provider" options

In the settings, search for "format on save" and enable the "Editor: Format on Save" option:
The VSCode settings interface for the "format on save" option

Black will now format your code whenever you save a *.py file.

Before saving:
Code before formatting

After saving:
Code after formatting

More: How to set Black line lengths in VSCode

Images from VSCode using Hyper Term Theme.

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I generally need to pass in the black path as well. This might be compatibility issues with wsl.

pipx install black


  "python.formatting.provider": "black",
  "python.formatting.blackPath": "/home/<user>/.local/bin/black",