Pretty Printer for Modern C++




  • Single header file
  • Requires C++17
  • MIT License

Quick Start

Simply include pprint.hpp and you're good to go.

#include <pprint.hpp>

To start printing, create a PrettyPrinter

pprint::PrettyPrinter printer;

You can construct a PrettyPrinter with any stream that inherits from std::ostream , e.g, std::stringstream

std::stringstream stream;
pprint::PrettyPrinter printer(stream);

Fundamental Types

printer.print("Hello, 世界");
Hello, 世界


Maybe you want your strings to be quoted? Simply set printer.quotes(true)

printer.print("A", "B", "C");
"A" "B" "C"

Complex Numbers

using namespace std::complex_literals;
std::complex<double> foo = 1. + 2.5i;
std::complex<double> bar = 9. + 4i;
printer.print(foo, "*", bar, "=", (foo * bar));   // parameter packing
(1 + 2.5i) * (9 + 4i) = (-1 + 26.5i)

Enumeration Types

enum Color { RED = 2, BLUE = 4, GREEN = 8 };
Color color = BLUE;

If you compile with

  • Clang/LLVM >= 5
  • Visual C++ >= 15.3 / Visual Studio >= 2017
  • Xcode >= 10.2
  • GCC >= 9

then pprint will print the name of the enum for you (thanks to magic_enum)

enum Level { LOW, MEDIUM, HIGH };
Level current_level = MEDIUM;
std::cout << "Current level: ";
Current level: MEDIUM

STL Sequence Containers

pprint supports a variety of STL sequence containers including std::vector, std::list, std::deque, and std::array.

Here's an example pretty print of a simple 3x3 matrix:

typedef std::array<std::array<int, 3>, 3> Mat3x3;
Mat3x3 matrix;
matrix[0] = {1, 2, 3};
matrix[1] = {4, 5, 6};
matrix[2] = {7, 8, 9};
printer.print("Matrix =", matrix);
Matrix = [
  [1, 2, 3], 
  [4, 5, 6], 
  [7, 8, 9]

Compact Printing

pprint also supports compact printing of containers. Simply call printer.compact(true) to enable this:

std::vector<std::map<std::string, int>> foo {{{"a", 1}, {"b", 2}}, {{"c", 3}, {"d", 4}}};
printer.print("Foo =", foo);
Foo = [{a : 1, b : 2}, {c : 3, d : 4}]

STL Associative Containers

Support for associative containers includes pretty printing of std::map, std::multimap, std::unordered_map, std::unordered_multimap, std::set, std::multiset, std::unordered_set and , std::unordered_multiset

printer.print(std::map<std::string, std::set<int>>{ 
    {"foo", {1, 2, 3, 3, 2, 1}}, {"bar", {7, 6, 5, 4}}});
  "bar" : {4, 5, 6, 7}, 
  "foo" : {1, 2, 3}

STL Container Adaptors

pprint can print container adaptors including std::queue, std::priority_queue and std::stack. Here's an example print of a priority queue:

std::priority_queue<int> queue;
for(int n : {1,8,5,6,3,4,0,9,7,2}) queue.push(n);
[9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0]

Fixed-size Heterogeneous Tuples

auto get_student = [](int id) {
  if (id == 0) return std::make_tuple(3.8, 'A', "Lisa Simpson");
  if (id == 1) return std::make_tuple(2.9, 'C', "Milhouse Van Houten");
  if (id == 2) return std::make_tuple(1.7, 'D', "Ralph Wiggum");
  throw std::invalid_argument("id");
printer.print({ get_student(0), get_student(1), get_student(2) });
{(1.7, 'D', "Ralph Wiggum"), (2.9, 'C', "Milhouse Van Houten"), (3.8, 'A', "Lisa Simpson")}

Type-safe Unions

// Construct a vector of values
std::vector<std::variant<bool, int, int *, float, std::string, std::vector<int>,		      
       std::map<std::string, std::map<std::string, int>>, 
       std::pair<double, double>>> var;
var.push_back(std::string{"Hello World"});
var.push_back(std::vector<int>{1, 2, 3, 4});
var.push_back(std::map<std::string, std::map<std::string, int>>{{"a",{{"b",1}}}, {"c",{{"d",2}, {"e",3}}}});
var.push_back(std::pair<double, double>{1.1, 2.2});

// Print the vector
pprint::PrettyPrinter printer;
  "Hello World", 
  [1, 2, 3, 4], 
  {"a" : {"b" : 1}, "c" : {"d" : 2, "e" : 3}}, 
  (1.1, 2.2)

Optional Values

std::optional<int> opt = 5;
std::optional<int> opt2;


Class Objects

pprint print class objects with or without an overloaded << operator

class Foo {};
Foo foo;
<Object main::Foo>

If an << operator is available, pprint will use it to print your object:

class Date {
  unsigned int month, day, year;
  Date(unsigned int m, unsigned int d, unsigned int y) : month(m), day(d), year(y) {}
  friend std::ostream& operator<<(std::ostream& os, const Date& dt);

std::ostream& operator<<(std::ostream& os, const Date& dt) {
  os << dt.month << '/' << << '/' << dt.year;
  return os;
Date date(04, 07, 2019);
printer.print("Today's date is", date);
Today's date is 4/7/2019

User-defined types

Here's an example to print user-defined types. Let's say you want to print Mesh objects

struct Vector3 {
  float x, y, z;

struct Mesh {
  std::vector<Vector3> vertices;

First, overload the << operator for these structs:

std::ostream& operator<<(std::ostream& os, const Vector3& v) {
  pprint::PrettyPrinter printer(os);
  printer.print_inline(std::make_tuple(v.x, v.y, v.z));
  return os;

std::ostream& operator<<(std::ostream& os, const Mesh& mesh) {
  pprint::PrettyPrinter printer(os);
  printer.print("Mesh {");
  printer.print_inline("vertices:", mesh.vertices);
  return os;

then simply call printer.print(Mesh)

Mesh quads = {{
  {0, 0, 0}, {1, 0, 0}, {1, 1, 0}, {0, 0, 0}, {1, 1, 0}, {0, 1, 0},
  {0, 0, 1}, {1, 0, 1}, {1, 1, 1}, {0, 0, 1}, {1, 1, 1}, {0, 1, 1},

pprint::PrettyPrinter printer;
Mesh {
  vertices: [
      (0, 0, 0), 
      (1, 0, 0), 
      (1, 1, 0), 
      (0, 0, 0), 
      (1, 1, 0), 
      (0, 1, 0), 
      (0, 0, 1), 
      (1, 0, 1), 
      (1, 1, 1), 
      (0, 0, 1), 
      (1, 1, 1), 
      (0, 1, 1)


The project is available under the MIT license.

  • [SOLVED] Printing hex numbers

    [SOLVED] Printing hex numbers

    Tried to define a specific operator for uint to be printed as hex in my client code:

    std::ostream& operator<<(std::ostream& os, const uint64_t& uNum) {
      os << std::hex << uNum << std::dec;
      return os;

    But it fails with

    src/ext/pprint/pprint.hpp:526:43: error: ambiguous overload for 'operator<<' (operand types are 'std::basic_ostream<char>' and 'long unsigned int')
      526 |       stream_ << std::string(indent, ' ') << value << line_terminator;
          |       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~^~~~~~~~

    Is there maybe already a way to print integers in hex format?

    opened by pyramid3d 2
  • Doesn't compile when printing std::unordered_set

    Doesn't compile when printing std::unordered_set

    This test case can't compile w/ Apple clang version 11.0.0 or gcc 8.3.0.

    TEST_CASE("Print empty set (line_terminator = '\n', indent = 2)",
    	  "[std::unordered_set]") {
      std::unordered_set<int> foo {};
      std::stringstream stream;
      pprint::PrettyPrinter printer(stream);
      const std::string expected = "{}\n";
      REQUIRE(stream.str() == expected);
    opened by ncihnegn 1
  • Enable CMake release

    Enable CMake release

    1. Include CMakeLists.txt in the archive
    2. Add pprintConfigVersion.cmake
    3. Fix inconsistency: CMake install to <pprint/pprint.hpp>, not <pprint.hpp>.
    opened by ncihnegn 1
  • Add canon support

    Add canon support

    The title says it all...

    Using this lib in corporate invironments requires using packaging instead of copy pasting code due to software clearing... so conan and cmake would be great...

    opened by gocarlos 1
  • Newlines, quotes, escape characters, etc in strings?

    Newlines, quotes, escape characters, etc in strings?

    I'm not sure what's the intended behavior, but this library doesn't seem to do anything special to handle quotes or newlines or other "special" characters within strings.

    int main() {
      pprint::PrettyPrinter printer;

    It produces just the contents of the string with quotes. Is this intended behavior?

    opened by kccqzy 1
  • CMake fixes

    CMake fixes

    1. use CPack to create source packages: this should make it easy and fast to create a new release. Simply run mkdir build && cd build && cmake .. && make --build . --target package_source. To create the release, cmake copies all files in the source directory except those in the ignore list, which I've created from the .gitignore file. So it is important to keep the source tree clean when doing a source release.
    2. create+install a pprint.pc pkg-config file
    3. optionally use catch2 from the system repositories 4.. only enable install+cpack when pprint is built as a main project
    4. test install + packaging on ci
    5. add appveyor script: sample output:
    opened by madebr 0
  • conan: conan 'create .' will now build the recipe

    conan: conan 'create .' will now build the recipe

    My previous pr broke conan in that it the version of the conanfile was not set properly. Also, conan build did not work at all.. This is fixed in this pr. It is now possible to create a conan package using:

    conan create .
    opened by madebr 0
  • CMake updates + ci

    CMake updates + ci

    • create & install pprintConfigVersion.cmake
    • add .travis.yml file: sample ci result:
    • update
    • enable ctest support
    opened by madebr 0
  • added inline so pprint can be included in multiple translation units …

    added inline so pprint can be included in multiple translation units …

    …of larger codebases

    This allows various header files can include pprint and with no conflict of multiple redefinition. Maybe I missed more, but this fixes it for my needs at the moment.

    opened by JorySchossau 0
  • Fix incorrect setting of INTERFACE_INCLUDE_DIRECTORIES

    Fix incorrect setting of INTERFACE_INCLUDE_DIRECTORIES

    Currently, the INTERFACE_INCLUDE_DIRECTORIES property in pprintConfig.cmake is set as:

    set_target_properties(pprint::pprint PROPERTIES

    and it causes building error for some users: .

    opened by myd7349 0
  • Enable warnings as errors in tests and fix warning

    Enable warnings as errors in tests and fix warning

    Great library, I have warnings as errors which I'd like to not exempt dependencies from. I think this helps improve the quality of this project. Thanks.

    opened by wrayste 0
  • Compiling with structopt fails

    Compiling with structopt fails

    It seems like including both <pprint.hpp> and <structopt/structopt.hpp> will lead to conflicts, as magic_enum gets redefined. Is there a standard way to use both pprint and structopt or am I missing something obvious?

    opened by GaniAliguzhinov 1
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