Editor integration#


Options include the following:

PyCharm/IntelliJ IDEA#

There are three different ways you can use Black from PyCharm:

  1. As local server using the BlackConnect plugin

  2. As external tool

  3. As file watcher

The first option is the simplest to set up and formats the fastest (by spinning up Black’s HTTP server, avoiding the startup cost on subsequent formats), but if you would prefer to not install a third-party plugin or blackd’s extra dependencies, the other two are also great options.

As local server#

  1. Install Black with the d extra.

    $ pip install 'black[d]'
  2. Install BlackConnect IntelliJ IDEs plugin.

  3. Open plugin configuration in PyCharm/IntelliJ IDEA

    On macOS:

    PyCharm -> Preferences -> Tools -> BlackConnect

    On Windows / Linux / BSD:

    File -> Settings -> Tools -> BlackConnect

  4. In Local Instance (shared between projects) section:

    1. Check Start local blackd instance when plugin loads.

    2. Press the Detect button near Path input. The plugin should detect the blackd executable.

  5. In Trigger Settings section check Trigger on code reformat to enable code reformatting with Black.

  6. Format the currently opened file by selecting Code -> Reformat Code or using a shortcut.

  7. Optionally, to run Black on every file save:

    • In Trigger Settings section of plugin configuration check Trigger when saving changed files.

As external tool#

  1. Install black.

    $ pip install black
  2. Locate your black installation folder.

    On macOS / Linux / BSD:

    $ which black
    /usr/local/bin/black  # possible location

    On Windows:

    $ where black
    %LocalAppData%\Programs\Python\Python36-32\Scripts\black.exe  # possible location

    Note that if you are using a virtual environment detected by PyCharm, this is an unneeded step. In this case the path to black is $PyInterpreterDirectory$/black.

  3. Open External tools in PyCharm/IntelliJ IDEA

    On macOS:

    PyCharm -> Preferences -> Tools -> External Tools

    On Windows / Linux / BSD:

    File -> Settings -> Tools -> External Tools

  4. Click the + icon to add a new external tool with the following values:

    • Name: Black

    • Description: Black is the uncompromising Python code formatter.

    • Program: <install_location_from_step_2>

    • Arguments: "$FilePath$"

  5. Format the currently opened file by selecting Tools -> External Tools -> black.

    • Alternatively, you can set a keyboard shortcut by navigating to Preferences or Settings -> Keymap -> External Tools -> External Tools - Black.

As file watcher#

  1. Install black.

    $ pip install black
  2. Locate your black installation folder.

    On macOS / Linux / BSD:

    $ which black
    /usr/local/bin/black  # possible location

    On Windows:

    $ where black
    %LocalAppData%\Programs\Python\Python36-32\Scripts\black.exe  # possible location

    Note that if you are using a virtual environment detected by PyCharm, this is an unneeded step. In this case the path to black is $PyInterpreterDirectory$/black.

  3. Make sure you have the File Watchers plugin installed.

  4. Go to Preferences or Settings -> Tools -> File Watchers and click + to add a new watcher:

    • Name: Black

    • File type: Python

    • Scope: Project Files

    • Program: <install_location_from_step_2>

    • Arguments: $FilePath$

    • Output paths to refresh: $FilePath$

    • Working directory: $ProjectFileDir$

  • In Advanced Options

    • Uncheck “Auto-save edited files to trigger the watcher”

    • Uncheck “Trigger the watcher on external changes”

Wing IDE#

Wing IDE supports black via Preference Settings for system wide settings and Project Properties for per-project or workspace specific settings, as explained in the Wing documentation on Auto-Reformatting. The detailed procedure is:


  • Wing IDE version 8.0+

  • Install black.

    $ pip install black
  • Make sure it runs from the command line, e.g.

    $ black --help

Preference Settings#

If you want Wing IDE to always reformat with black for every project, follow these steps:

  1. In menubar navigate to Edit -> Preferences -> Editor -> Reformatting.

  2. Set Auto-Reformat from disable (default) to Line after edit or Whole files before save.

  3. Set Reformatter from PEP8 (default) to Black.

Project Properties#

If you want to just reformat for a specific project and not intervene with Wing IDE global setting, follow these steps:

  1. In menubar navigate to Project -> Project Properties -> Options.

  2. Set Auto-Reformat from Use Preferences setting (default) to Line after edit or Whole files before save.

  3. Set Reformatter from Use Preferences setting (default) to Black.


Official plugin#

Commands and shortcuts:

  • :Black to format the entire file (ranges not supported);

    • you can optionally pass target_version=<version> with the same values as in the command line.

  • :BlackUpgrade to upgrade Black inside the virtualenv;

  • :BlackVersion to get the current version of Black in use.


  • g:black_fast (defaults to 0)

  • g:black_linelength (defaults to 88)

  • g:black_skip_string_normalization (defaults to 0)

  • g:black_skip_magic_trailing_comma (defaults to 0)

  • g:black_virtualenv (defaults to ~/.vim/black or ~/.local/share/nvim/black)

  • g:black_use_virtualenv (defaults to 1)

  • g:black_target_version (defaults to "")

  • g:black_quiet (defaults to 0)

  • g:black_preview (defaults to 0)


This plugin requires Vim 7.0+ built with Python 3.7+ support. It needs Python 3.7 to be able to run Black inside the Vim process which is much faster than calling an external command.


To install with vim-plug:

Black’s stable branch tracks official version updates, and can be used to simply follow the most recent stable version.

Plug 'psf/black', { 'branch': 'stable' }

Another option which is a bit more explicit and offers more control is to use vim-plug’s tag option with a shell wildcard. This will resolve to the latest tag which matches the given pattern.

The following matches all stable versions (see the Release Process section for documentation of version scheme used by Black):

Plug 'psf/black', { 'tag': '*.*.*' }

and the following demonstrates pinning to a specific year’s stable style (2022 in this case):

Plug 'psf/black', { 'tag': '22.*.*' }

or with Vundle:

Plugin 'psf/black'

and execute the following in a terminal:

$ cd ~/.vim/bundle/black
$ git checkout origin/stable -b stable
Arch Linux#

On Arch Linux, the plugin is shipped with the python-black package, so you can start using it in Vim after install with no additional setup.

Vim 8 Native Plugin Management#

or you can copy the plugin files from plugin/black.vim and autoload/black.vim.

mkdir -p ~/.vim/pack/python/start/black/plugin
mkdir -p ~/.vim/pack/python/start/black/autoload
curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/psf/black/stable/plugin/black.vim -o ~/.vim/pack/python/start/black/plugin/black.vim
curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/psf/black/stable/autoload/black.vim -o ~/.vim/pack/python/start/black/autoload/black.vim

Let me know if this requires any changes to work with Vim 8’s builtin packadd, or Pathogen, and so on.


On first run, the plugin creates its own virtualenv using the right Python version and automatically installs Black. You can upgrade it later by calling :BlackUpgrade and restarting Vim.

If you need to do anything special to make your virtualenv work and install Black (for example you want to run a version from main), create a virtualenv manually and point g:black_virtualenv to it. The plugin will use it.

If you would prefer to use the system installation of Black rather than a virtualenv, then add this to your vimrc:

let g:black_use_virtualenv = 0

Note that the :BlackUpgrade command is only usable and useful with a virtualenv, so when the virtualenv is not in use, :BlackUpgrade is disabled. If you need to upgrade the system installation of Black, then use your system package manager or pip– whatever tool you used to install Black originally.

To run Black on save, add the following lines to .vimrc or init.vim:

augroup black_on_save
  autocmd BufWritePre *.py Black
augroup end

To run Black on a key press (e.g. F9 below), add this:

nnoremap <F9> :Black<CR>


How to get Vim with Python 3.6? On Ubuntu 17.10 Vim comes with Python 3.6 by default. On macOS with Homebrew run: brew install vim. When building Vim from source, use: ./configure --enable-python3interp=yes. There’s many guides online how to do this.

I get an import error when using Black from a virtual environment: If you get an error message like this:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<string>", line 63, in <module>
  File "/home/gui/.vim/black/lib/python3.7/site-packages/black.py", line 45, in <module>
    from typed_ast import ast3, ast27
  File "/home/gui/.vim/black/lib/python3.7/site-packages/typed_ast/ast3.py", line 40, in <module>
    from typed_ast import _ast3
ImportError: /home/gui/.vim/black/lib/python3.7/site-packages/typed_ast/_ast3.cpython-37m-x86_64-linux-gnu.so: undefined symbool: PyExc_KeyboardInterrupt

Then you need to install typed_ast directly from the source code. The error happens because pip will download Python wheels if they are available. Python wheels are a new standard of distributing Python packages and packages that have Cython and extensions written in C are already compiled, so the installation is much more faster. The problem here is that somehow the Python environment inside Vim does not match with those already compiled C extensions and these kind of errors are the result. Luckily there is an easy fix: installing the packages from the source code.

The package that causes problems is:

Now remove those two packages:

$ pip uninstall typed-ast -y

And now you can install them with:

$ pip install --no-binary :all: typed-ast

The C extensions will be compiled and now Vim’s Python environment will match. Note that you need to have the GCC compiler and the Python development files installed (on Ubuntu/Debian do sudo apt-get install build-essential python3-dev).

If you later want to update Black, you should do it like this:

$ pip install -U black --no-binary typed-ast

With ALE#

  1. Install ale

  2. Install black

  3. Add this to your vimrc:

    let g:ale_fixers = {}
    let g:ale_fixers.python = ['black']


gedit is the default text editor of the GNOME, Unix like Operating Systems. Open gedit as

$ gedit <file_name>
  1. Go to edit > preferences > plugins

  2. Search for external tools and activate it.

  3. In Tools menu -> Manage external tools

  4. Add a new tool using + button.

  5. Copy the below content to the code window.

black $Name
  • Set a keyboard shortcut if you like, Ex. ctrl-B

  • Save: Nothing

  • Input: Nothing

  • Output: Display in bottom pane if you like.

  • Change the name of the tool if you like.

Use your keyboard shortcut or Tools -> External Tools to use your new tool. When you close and reopen your File, Black will be done with its job.

Visual Studio Code#

SublimeText 3#

Use sublack plugin.

Python LSP Server#

If your editor supports the Language Server Protocol (Atom, Sublime Text, Visual Studio Code and many more), you can use the Python LSP Server with the python-lsp-black plugin.


Use python-black or formatters-python.

Gradle (the build tool)#

Use the Spotless plugin.


Add the following hook to your kakrc, then run Black with :format.

hook global WinSetOption filetype=python %{
    set-option window formatcmd 'black -q  -'


Use Thonny-black-code-format.