Get a distribution file

Quick Test Drive

If you want to do a quick test of perltidy without doing any installation, get a .tar.gz or a .zip source file and see the section below "Method 2: Installation as a single binary script".

Uninstall older versions

In certain circumstances, it is best to remove an older version of perltidy before installing the latest version. These are:

Two Installation Methods - Overview

These are generic instructions. Some system-specific notes and hints are given in later sections.

Two separate installation methods are possible.

Unix Installation Notes

Windows Installation Notes

On a Windows 9x/Me system you should CLOSE ANY OPEN APPLICATIONS to avoid losing unsaved data in case of trouble.

VMS Installation Notes

Troubleshooting / Other Operating Systems

If there seems to be a problem locating a configuration file, you can see what is going on in the config file search with:

perltidy -dpro

If you want to customize where perltidy looks for configuration files, look at the routine 'find_config_file' in module ''. You should be able to at least use the '-pro=filename' method under most systems.

Remember to place quotes (either single or double) around input parameters which contain spaces, such as file names. For example:

perltidy "file name with spaces"

Without the quotes, perltidy would look for four files: file, name, with, and spaces.

If you develop a system-dependent patch that might be of general interest, please let us know.


You do not need a configuration file, but you may eventually want to create one to save typing; the tutorial and man page discuss this.


Perltidy needs to create a system temporary file when it invokes Pod::Html to format pod text under the -html option. For Unix systems, this will normally be a file in /tmp, and for other systems, it will be a file in the current working directory named perltidy.TMP. This file will be removed when the run finishes.


Documentation is contained in .pod format, either in the docs directory or appended to the scripts.

These documents can also be found at

Reading the brief tutorial should help you use perltidy effectively.
The tutorial can be read interactively with perldoc, for example

cd docs
perldoc tutorial.pod

or else an html version can be made with pod2html:

pod2html tutorial.pod >tutorial.html

If you use the Makefile.PL installation method on a Unix system, the perltidy and Perl::Tidy man pages should automatically be installed. Otherwise, you can extract the man pages with the pod2xxxx utilities, as follows:

cd bin
pod2text perltidy >perltidy.txt
pod2html perltidy >perltidy.html

cd lib/Perl
pod2text >Tidy.txt
pod2html >Tidy.html

After installation, the installation directory of files may be deleted.

Perltidy is still being developed, so please check sourceforge occasionally for updates if you find that it is useful. New releases are announced on


Thanks to the many programmers who have documented problems, made suggestions and sent patches.


If you see ways to improve these notes, please let us know.

A list of current bugs and issues can be found at the CPAN site

To report a new bug or problem, use the link on this page .