Pretty Printing XML on the Command-Line

A couple of times recently I've found that I need to pretty-print XML - be that HTML or actual XML, but haven't found a great way from the command-line.

Fortunately DuckDuckGo has an HTML Beautify setup but that's not super safe for proprietary content, nor for automating the pretty-printing.

But as I found today, it turns out that the xmllint command can save us here.

For instance, take the following XML file that I've purposefully uglified:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <project xmlns="" xmlns:xsi="" xsi:schemaLocation=""> <modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion> <groupId>me.jvt.www</groupId> <artifactId>www-api</artifactId> <version>0.5.0-SNAPSHOT</version> <modules> <module>www-api-web</module> <module>www-api-acceptance</module> <module>www-api-core</module> <module>indieauth-spring-security</module> </modules> <packaging>pom</packaging> </project>

If we feed this through xmllint --format:

$ xmllint --format in.xml

We then get the following pretty-printed XML:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project xmlns="" xmlns:xsi="" xsi:schemaLocation="">

If you are using this to pretty-print HTML, you can use:

$ xmllint --html --format in.html

But note that it will not ignore any non-standard HTML elements, or anything that it doesn't understand at least.

Written by Jamie Tanna's profile image Jamie Tanna on , and last updated on .

Content for this article is shared under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International, and code is shared under the Apache License 2.0.


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