It’s important to choose a specific Black version to use (rather than just “master”). The versions you use in Vim, pre-commit, and used by other contributors must be the same so there are no inconsistencies.

Vim 8

This method uses the built-in plugin management in Vim 8+.

sudo rm -rf ~/.vim/black
mkdir -p ~/.vim/pack/start/black/plugin
curl -o ~/.vim/pack/start/black/plugin/black.vim

Add the following to ~/.vimrc to format with Black every time you save.

autocmd BufWritePre *.py execute ':Black'

Next time you open a Python file in Vim, Black will install.

Pre-commit hooks

Add to the .pre-commit-config.yaml file in the root of your repository, replacing 20.8b1 with the Black version you want to use.

  - repo:
    rev: 20.8b1
      - id: black
        args: [--diff, --check]

This will abort a commit if a module hasn’t been formatted.


I like to fail builds if code hasn’t been formatted. This ensures every developer must format their code. Add the following to your build scripts.

black --diff --check /path/to/code

Black will exit with a non-zero exit status if code isn’t formatted, which should fail your build.