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v0.19.0 CommandBox Modules


A CommandBox module for formatting CFML components. When installed, it registers a cfformat namespace in CommandBox. The base command is cfformat run and is called with a path directly to a component, or a path to a directory. When a directory is passed, that directory is crawled for component files, and every component found is formatted.

cfformat run ./models/MyComponent.cfc
cfformat run ./models/

Important: commandbox-cfformat switched from a single cfformat command to a cfformat namespace in v0.13.0. If you have scripts making use of cfformat, they will need to be updated.

If it is passed a component path it will, by default, print the formatted component text to the console. You can redirect this output to a new file if you wish. Alternatively you can use the --overwrite flag to overwrite the component in place instead of printing to the console.

When passed a directory, cfformat run always overwrites component files in place, and so it will ask for confirmation before proceeding. Here you can use the --overwrite flag to skip this confirmation check.

Note: cfformat run is aliased to fmt, so the following syntax can be used as well:

fmt ./models/MyComponent.cfc
fmt ./models/

Checking Formatting

The cfformat check command can be used to determine whether files are formatted according to the currently defined settings. It will report on the status of the file(s) and return an appropriate exit code, without actually formatting them.

cfformat check ./models/

If the --verbose flag is specified when running a check, the diff between source files and the formatted versions of those files that fail the check will be printed to the console.

Watching Directories

cfformat watch can also be called with a directory path glob expression. It uses CommandBox's built in support for file watching to watch that directory for component changes, and will perform formatting passes on those files.

cfformat watch /relative/path/to/your/code,/another/path [/path_to_settings_file]

Note that the "paths" here work more like .gitignore entries and less like bash paths. Specifically:

  • A path with a leading slash (or backslash), will be evaluated relative to the current working directory. E.g. cfformat watch /foo will only watch files in the directory at ./foo, but not in directories like ./bar/foo.
  • A path without a leading slash (or backslash) will be applied as a glob filter to all files within the current working directory. E.g. cfformat watch foo will result in the entire working directory being watched, but only files matching the glob **foo/**.cfc will be processed.

If your watch command seems slow, unresponsive, or is failing to notice some file change events, it is likely that you have it watching too many files. Try specifying the paths to the directories of CFCs that you want to process, and use leading slashes in your arguments to avoid watching all files in the current working directory.


Settings are managed via the cfformat settings namespace. To see the settings used for formatting, use the cfformat settings show command. It dumps the settings that would be used for formatting to the console:

cfformat settings show
# or
cfformat settings show /some/path
# or
cfformat settings show path/to/my.cfc /path/to/.cfformat.json

The following order is used to resolve the settings used for formatting:

  1. Base settings
  2. A .cfformat.json file in your home directory
  3. A .cfformat.json file found in the directory where formatting will be performed, or a parent directory thereof. Parent directories will be searched for a .cfformat.json file recursively until one is found or the root directory is reached. If a folder contains a .git directory that will also halt the search.
  4. A path to a settings file passed into the command

These settings will be merged together starting with the base settings and then merging each level on top.

If you want to place a settings file in a directory other than your home directory (for number 2 above) you can set the cfformat.settings config setting to a different path:

config set cfformat.settings=/path/to/.cfformat.json

Specifying a settings file to use inline when running cfformat is done as follows:

cfformat run path/to/my.cfc /path/to/.cfformat.json

For more information on the settings used and what they do please see the reference. You can also print reference information to the console using the cfformat settings info command. It can be passed either a full setting name, or just a prefix:

cfformat settings info array.padding
cfformat settings info array

There is also a settings wizard which can be used to create a .cfformat.json file. It walks through all of the settings, showing what each one does, and allowing you to select your preferences (the default for each setting will be preselected). Afterward it will prompt you for a location to save your new settings file.

cfformat settings wizard

Ignoring Code Sections

Use the special comments // cfformat-ignore-start and // cfformat-ignore-end (or the equivalent block comment or tag comment syntax) to have cfformat return the contained code as is without formatting it:

// cfformat-ignore-start
test = [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8];
// cfformat-ignore-end

Note: When doing this it is important to keep your start and end comment flags at the same level of the file. In other words, the following will not work:

// cfformat-ignore-start
if (true) {
    // cfformat-ignore-end

Checking Tag structure

The cfformat tag-check command is a utilty command that will check a file or directory of files for tags that are unbalanced or incorrectly structured. When it finds such tags, it will report on the the files and line numbers for you.

cfformat tag-check ./views/

If the --verbose flag is specified when running a check, the diff between source files and the formatted versions of those files that fail the check will be printed to the console.


Behind the scenes, cfformat makes use of the cftokens project, which is based on the syntect library along with syntax files from Sublime Text's Packages. cfformat attempts to download this executable from GitHub when installed, or when it is updated (if necessary). If it is unable to download the executable, it should print a message to the console prompting you to download from GitHub, and indicating where to put it.


To create a local development environment to work on this module:

  1. Install CommandBox
  2. Clone this repository: git clone
  3. cd commandbox-cfformat
  4. box install
  5. Ensure the correct cftokens binary has been downloaded: task run build cftokens
  6. box start, and wait for the test suite to open in your browser.
  7. If you're on macOS, click "Cancel" in the "unverified developer" dialog that appears. Open System Preferences and go to Security and Privacy. Click "Allow" to place the downloaded file on a safelist so that it can be executed. Reload the page in your browser, then click "Open" in the dialog that appears.
  8. You should have a passing test suite at this point.

$ box install commandbox-cfformat

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