Formatting Erlang code in Visual Studio Code

5 Oct 2022 10:23 vscode erlang

The ErlangLS extension for VS Code includes formatting, using rebar3_format. I’d prefer to use erlfmt, so here’s how I set it up.

These instructions are mostly lifted from

Install rebar3

cd ~/projects
git clone
cd rebar3
./rebar3 local install
export PATH=$PATH:~/.cache/rebar3/bin

Choose default rebar3 formatter

mkdir -p ~/.config/rebar3/
echo -e "{plugins, [erlfmt]}." >> ~/.config/rebar3/rebar.config

Install VS Code Extensions

  • Install both erlang-ls.erlang-ls and sztheory.erlang-formatter extensions.

Configure VS Code

Configure VS Code to use sztheory.erlang-formatter:

"[erlang]": {
  "editor.defaultFormatter": "szTheory.erlang-formatter",
  "editor.formatOnSave": false
"erlangFormatter.formatter": "erlfmt",

Note that I turned off formatOnSave and chose erlfmt instead of rebar3_format.