C++ EditorConfig formatting conventions

The Visual Studio C++ formatter has a rich set of configurable settings that can be applied globally. To set C++ formatting settings for a specific workspace, use clangformat or EditorConfig. Both Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code have built-in EditorConfig support for each of the global Visual Studio C++ formatting settings, with the EditorConfig settings taking precedence. This means you can add EditorConfig files to your workspace to configure C++ formatting on a more granular level and enforce consistent code style for everyone contributing to the project.

C++ formatting conventions

C++ formatting EditorConfig settings are prefixed with _cpp__. Here's an example of what your EditorConfig file might look like:

[\*.{c++,cc,cpp,cxx,h,h++,hh,hpp,hxx,inl,ipp,tlh,tli}]

cpp_indent_case_contents_when_block = true
cpp_new_line_before_open_brace_namespace = same_line

The rest of this document lists all the EditorConfig C++ formatting settings supported by Visual Studio and VS Code.

Indentation settings

Indent braces

  • Name: cpp_indent_braces
  • Values: true, false

Indent each line relatively to

  • Name: cpp_indent_multi_line_relative_to
  • Values:
    • outermost_parenthesis - When a new line is typed, it's indented relatively to the outermost open parenthesis.
    • innermost_parenthesis - When a new line is typed, it's indented relatively to the innermost open parenthesis.
    • statement_begin - When a new line is typed, it's indented relatively to the beginning of the current statement.

Within parentheses, align new lines when I type them

  • Name: cpp_indent_within_parentheses
  • Values:
    • align_to_parenthesis - Align contents to opening parenthesis.
    • indent - Indent new lines.

In existing code, do not use the setting for alignment of new lines within parentheses

  • Name: cpp_indent_preserve_within_parentheses
  • Values: true, false

Indent case contents

  • Name: cpp_indent_case_contents
  • Values: true, false

Indent case labels

  • Name: cpp_indent_case_labels
  • Values: true, false

Indent braces following a case statement

  • Name: cpp_indent_case_contents_when_block
  • Values: true, false

Indent braces of lambdas used as parameters

  • Name: cpp_indent_lambda_braces_when_parameter
  • Values: true, false

Position of goto labels

  • Name: cpp_indent_goto_labels
  • Values:
    • one_left - One indent to the left
    • leftmost_column - Move to the leftmost column
    • none - Leave indented

Position of preprocessor directives

  • Name: cpp_indent_preprocessor
  • Values:
    • one_left - One indent to the left
    • leftmost_column - Move to the leftmost column
    • none - Leave indented

Indent access specifiers

  • Name: cpp_indent_access_specifiers
  • Values: true, false

Indent namespace contents

  • Name: cpp_indent_namespace_contents
  • Values: true, false

Preserve indentation of comments

  • Name: cpp_indent_preserve_comments
  • Values: true, false

Newline settings

Position of open braces for namespaces

  • Name: cpp_new_line_before_open_brace_namespace
  • Values:
    • new_line - Move to a new line
    • same_line - Keep on the same line, but add a space before
    • ignore - Don't automatically reposition

Position of open braces for types

  • Name: cpp_new_line_before_open_brace_type
  • Values:
    • new_line - Move to a new line
    • same_line - Keep on the same line, but add a space before
    • ignore - Don't automatically reposition

Position of open braces for functions

  • Name: cpp_new_line_before_open_brace_function
  • Values:
    • new_line - Move to a new line
    • same_line - Keep on the same line, but add a space before
    • ignore - Don't automatically reposition

Position of open braces for control blocks

  • Name: cpp_new_line_before_open_brace_block
  • Values:
    • new_line - Move to a new line
    • same_line - Keep on the same line, but add a space before
    • ignore - Don't automatically reposition

Position of open braces for lambdas

  • Name: cpp_new_line_before_open_brace_lambda
  • Values:
    • new_line - Move to a new line
    • same_line - Keep on the same line, but add a space before
    • ignore - Don't automatically reposition

Place scope braces on separate lines

  • Name: cpp_new_line_scope_braces_on_separate_lines
  • Values: true, false

For empty types, move closing braces to the same line as opening braces

  • Name: cpp_new_line_close_brace_same_line_empty_type
  • Values: true, false

For empty function bodies, move closing braces to the same line as opening braces

  • Name: cpp_new_line_close_brace_same_line_empty_function
  • Values: true, false

Place 'catch' and similar keywords on a new line

  • Name: cpp_new_line_before_catch
  • Values: true, false

Place 'else' on a new line

  • Name: cpp_new_line_before_else
  • Values: true, false

Place 'while' in a do-while loop on a new line

  • Name: cpp_new_line_before_while_in_do_while
  • Values: true, false

Spacing settings

Spacing between function names and opening parentheses of argument lists

  • Name: cpp_space_before_function_open_parenthesis
  • Values:
    • insert - Insert a space
    • remove - Remove spaces
    • ignore - Don't change spaces

Insert space within parentheses of an argument list

  • Name cpp_space_within_parameter_list_parentheses Values: true, false

Insert space between parentheses when argument list is empty

  • Name: cpp_space_between_empty_parameter_list_parentheses
  • Values: true, false

Insert space between keyword and opening parenthesis in control flow statements

  • Name: cpp_space_after_keywords_in_control_flow_statements
  • Values: true, false

Insert space within parentheses of a control statement

  • Name: cpp_space_within_control_flow_statement_parentheses
  • Values: true, false

Insert space before opening parenthesis of lambda argument lists

  • Name: cpp_space_before_lambda_open_parenthesis
  • Values: true, false

Insert space within parentheses of a C-style cast

  • Name: cpp_space_within_cast_parentheses
  • Values: true, false

Insert space after closing parenthesis of C-style cast

  • Name: cpp_space_after_cast_close_parenthesis
  • Values: true, false

Insert space within parentheses of a parenthesized expression

  • Name: cpp_space_within_expression_parentheses
  • Values: true, false

Insert space before opening brace of blocks

  • Name: cpp_space_before_block_open_brace
  • Values: true, false

Insert space between empty braces

  • Name: cpp_space_between_empty_braces
  • Values: true, false

Insert space before opening brace of uniform initialization and initializer lists

  • Name: cpp_space_before_initializer_list_open_brace
  • Values: true, false

Insert space within braces of uniform initialization and initializer lists

  • Name: cpp_space_within_initializer_list_braces
  • Values: true, false

Preserve spaces inside uniform initialization and initializer lists

  • Name: cpp_space_preserve_in_initializer_list
  • Values: true, false

Insert space before opening square brackets

  • Name: cpp_space_before_open_square_bracket
  • Values: true, false

Insert space within square bracket

  • Name: cpp_space_within_square_brackets
  • Values: true, false

Insert space before empty square brackets

  • Name: cpp_space_before_empty_square_brackets
  • Values: true, false

Insert space between empty square brackets

  • Name: cpp_space_between_empty_square_brackets
  • Values: true, false

Group square brackets for multi-dimensional arrays together

  • Name: cpp_space_group_square_brackets
  • Values: true, false

Insert space within square brackets for lambdas

  • Name: cpp_space_within_lambda_brackets
  • Values: true, false

SpaceBetweenEmptyLambdaBrackets

  • Name: cpp_space_between_empty_lambda_brackets
  • Values: true, false

Insert space before commas

  • Name: cpp_space_before_comma
  • Values: true, false

Insert space after commas

  • Name: cpp_space_after_comma
  • Values: true, false

Remove spaces before and after member operators

  • Name: cpp_space_remove_around_member_operators
  • Values: true, false

Insert space before colon for base in type declarations

  • Name: cpp_space_before_inheritance_colon
  • Values: true, false

Insert space before colon for constructors

  • Name: cpp_space_before_constructor_colon
  • Values: true, false

Remove space before semicolons

  • Name: cpp_space_remove_before_semicolon
  • Values: true, false

Insert space after semicolons

  • Name: cpp_space_after_semicolon
  • Values: true, false

Remove spaces between unary operators and their operands

  • Name: cpp_space_remove_around_unary_operator
  • Values: true, false

Spacing for binary operators

  • Name: cpp_space_around_binary_operator
  • Values:
    • insert - Insert spaces before and after binary operators.
    • remove - Remove spaces around binary operators.
    • ignore - Don't change spaces around binary operators.

Spacing for assignment operators

  • Name: cpp_space_around_assignment_operator
  • Values:
    • insert - Insert spaces around assignment operators.
    • remove - Remove spaces around assignment operators.
    • ignore - Don't change spaces around assignment operators.

Pointer/reference alignment

  • Name: cpp_space_pointer_reference_alignment
  • Values:
    • left - Align left.
    • center - Align center.
    • right - Align right.
    • ignore - Leave unchanged.

Spacing for conditional operators

  • Name: cpp_space_around_ternary_operator
  • Values:
    • insert - Insert spaces around conditional operators.
    • remove - Remove spaces around conditional operators.
    • ignore - Don't change spaces around conditional operators.

Wrapping options

Wrapping options for blocks

  • Name: cpp_wrap_preserve_blocks
  • Values:
    • one_liners - Don't wrap one-line code blocks.
    • all_one_line_scopes - Don't wrap code blocks where opening and closing braces are on the next line.
    • never - Always apply New Lines settings for blocks.

See also