podtidy man page

podtidy — reformat Pod documents without affecting other text or code


podtidy [--inplace] [--nobackup] [--recursive] [--verbose]
        [--columns=NUM] {[--Ignore <pattern>]} [<filelist>]
podtidy [--help|-h|-?]


This program processes a Pod document and attempts to tidy it's formatting. Currently this is limited to redoing the line breaks in text Pod paragraphs but it is hoped that more features will be added in the future.


The default behavior of "podtidy" is to read in a list of filenames and to write the reformatted contents of these files to the "STDOUT". If no file list is provided input is read from "STDIN". The "--inplace" flag causes a backup of the input file to be made and the original file to overwritten with a reformatted version. It should be noted that only files that are actually having there format changed will to written to. When "--inplace" is combined with "--nobackup" the backup of the original file is omitted. If "--recursive" is specified then any directory names in <filelist> will be recursively expanded. File and directories may be explicitly omitted from processing by using the "--Ignore" option and specifying a Perl5 compatible regex. Multiple "--Ignore" options may be specified. Lastly, the "--verbose" flag enables additional warnings and error messages.


--Ignore|I <pattern>

Causes files and directories matching "pattern" to be omitted from processing. Where "pattern" is glob(3) compatible. Each pattern is tried for a match against (in order) the absolute file path, the relative file path (canonical), and the basename. In the case of directories, the "basename" is considered to be the right most path component. For example, the "basename" of "/foo/bar/baz/" would be "baz". Multiple "--Ignore" options may be specified.

This flag is optional.

Make a backup of the original file and overwrite it with a reformatted version. The backup file will have the same name as the original file with a "~" appended to it. This operation only applies to files that are having changes made to their formatting. Unmodified files will be skipped and no backup file will be created. "perltidy" guarantees to not change a file's "mtime" if no formatting changes need to be made.

This flag is optional.

When making an inplace reformatting, omit the backup file.

This flag is optional. This flag is only valid in combination with "--inplace".

Recursively expand any directories included in <filelist>.

This flag is optional.

Enable additional warnings and error messages that will be sent to "STDERR".

This flag is optional.

This is a list of filenames and/or directories if "--recursive" is specified. If it is omitted input will be read from "STDIN".

This list is optional.
--columns|-c NUM

Set the width of the wrapped columns to NUM, default is 76

This flag is optional.

Print usage info to "STDERR" and exit.

This flag is optional.

Developer Notes

Why reinvent the “podwrap” wheel?

Primarily because "podwrap" is based on the Pod::Wrap module, which is mostly concerned with breaking long lines and not the production of tidy paragraphs. Further, while this utility currently only handles Pod text block reformatting it is hoped that additional functionality that would cover other parts of a Pod document will be added in the future. "podwrap" is also missing a couple of other features that "podtidy" provides for convenience, including:

recursive file/directory processing
backups of files being modified in place
file ignore patterns
preservation of the file's "mtime" unless the file is actually being modified
verbose warnings/diagnostics

Subversion Working Copies

When using "podtidy" on a "svn" Working Copy it's important to remember that copies of all working files are stored under a directory named .svn, including copies of Pod files. If you use "podtidy"'s "--recursive" option Be Sure that you don't accidentally process a .svn directory. For example:

podtidy --recursive --inplace --nobackup --Ignore .svn docs

Note that because any Pod files are already under revision control that it's completely safe to use the "--nobackup" flag. Also, the above example may be shorted to just:

podtidy -rin -I .svn docs

Efficiency concerns

See "Efficiency concerns" in Pod::Tidy.


See "Gotchas" in Pod::Tidy.


See "Credits" in Pod::Tidy.


Please contact the author directly via e-mail.


Joshua Hoblitt <jhoblitt@cpan.org>

See Also

Pod::Tidy, Pod::Wrap::Pretty, podwrap, Pod::Wrap, Perl::Tidy


2016-05-16 perl v5.24.0 User Contributed Perl Documentation