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Pretty print a JSON file

This post is based on the following SO threads: one; two.


You have an unreadable JSON file from which you want to extract some data… How to prettify it, i.e. how to make it human readable?


There are web-based and command-line solutions. As an extra, we show you how to do it in Vim too.

Web-based prettifiers

Command-line beautifiers

Vim :)

This tip is based on this post: Editing json files in vim.

In my .vimrc file I had to add the following lines:

" pretty-print JSON files
autocmd BufRead,BufNewFile *.json set filetype=json
" json.vim is here: http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=1945
autocmd Syntax json sou ~/.vim/syntax/json.vim
" json_reformat is part of yajl: http://lloyd.github.com/yajl/
autocmd FileType json set equalprg=json_reformat

When opening a .json file, it will be colored using the json.vim syntax file. Selecting a text and pressing the “=” button will indent the marked text using json_reformat.

Firefox add-on

There are several JSON visualizer add-ons for Firefox, e.g. JSONView.

  1. spreadsheetpro
    November 10, 2014 at 15:34

    You can also use http://www.jsonprettyprint.net as an online tool.

  2. September 1, 2016 at 23:03

    Here is a cute one: http://jsonformatter.info

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