3 Python libraries to make your code more pythonic


January 21, 2021

Python is one of the most used programming libraries. It is important to follow proper decorum while coding in Python by following rules such as PEP8. Today I am going to introduce a few libraries for formatting and making your code prettier in Python.


It is an uncompromising python code formatter. The best thing about black is the project is built with a core goal to avoid any conflicts in the python coding formats over the time and act as a unifying interface for code formatting. To use black, it’s pretty easy:

black {source_file or directory}

By default, it’s a bit intentional by only allowing double-quoted string, with a maximum line number by default set as 88 and follow some more opinions which are PEP8-compliant. black is widely used in the python community. To check more options about black, look at the documentation. Thanks to ambv & PSF volunteers for this awesome library.


isort is a python library for sorting your imports in python. According to PEP8, there are few recommendations to order when importing libraries:

  1. standard library imports
  2. related third party imports
  3. local application/library specific imports

isort contains 12 possible settings for multiple line imports. Also, you can add comments, change the import order and remove or append imports with the various setting in isort.


The default configuration of isort and black has a few style conflicts, which we will cover how to fix in the latter part of this article.


pip-chill is a library for fixing the ugly output of pip-freeze which lists all the packages and associated sub-packages. Most of the people create their requirements based pip freeze output. This is where pip-chill to list just the packages you have installed with the command pip-chill.


Inter-operability with black and isort

Let’s look at how we can make both black and isort compatible with each other. The compatibility crisis can be solved by two approaches:

1. Using Scripts to run both black and isort


isort --profile black .
black -S -t py38 .
ECHO Complete formatting code with black and isort


isort --profile black .
black -S -t py38 .
echo "Complete formatting code with black and isort"

2. Integrating with pre-commit

pre-commit is an awesome git hook to identify simple issues and autoformatting the code with black and isort before the project is being run. Install pre-commit and create a .pre-commit-config.yaml file for setting up formatting with black and isort.


-   repo: https://github.com/psf/black
    rev: 19.3b0
    -   id: black
-   repo: https://github.com/pycqa/isort
    rev: 5.6.4
      - id: isort
        args: ["--profile", "black", "--filter-files"]
Then run the git commit and the file gets added to git only if the tests for both black and isort are passed.

Kurian Benoy