Release Notes

Details of changes can be found in the changelog, but this file will contain some high level notes and highlights from each release.

v0.5 series


This is a maintanance release fixing a couple of bugs and adding some missing documentation. One notable feature added is that, during in-place formatting, if the file content is unchanged cmake-format will no-longer write the file.


This release fixes a few bugs and does some internal prep work for upcoming format algorithm changes. The documentation on the format algorithm is a little ahead of the code state in this release. Also, the documentation theme has changed to something based on read-the-docs (I hope you like it).

  • Add missing forms of add_library() and add_executable()
  • --autosort now defaults to False (it can be somewhat suprising) and it doesn’t always get it right.
  • Configuration options in --help and in the example configurations from --dump-config are now split into hopefully meaningful sections.
  • cmake-format no longer tries to infer “keywords” or “flags” from COMMAND strings. This matching wasn’t good enough as there is way too much variance in how programs design their command line options.


The 0.5.0 release involved some pretty big changes to the parsing engine and introduced a new format algorithm. These two things combined unfortunately lead to a lot of new bugs. The full battery of pre-release tests wasn’t run and so a lot of those issues popped up after release. Hopefully most of those are squashed in this release.

  • Fixed lots of bugs introduced in 0.5.0
  • cmake-format has a channel on discord now. Come chat about it at


  • Overhauled the parser logic enabling arbitrary implementations of statement parsers. The generic statement parser is now implemented by the standard_parse function (or the StandardParser functor, which is used to load legacy additional_commands).

  • New custom parser logic for deep cmake statements such as:

    • install
    • file
    • ExternalProject_XXX
    • FetchContent_XXX
  • cmake-format can now sort your argument lists for you (such as lists of files). This enabled with the autosort config option. Some argument lists are inherently sortable (e.g. the list of sources supplied to add_library or add_executable). Other commands (e.g. set() which cannot be inferred sortable can be explicitly tagged using a comment at the beginning of the list. See the README for more information.

  • A consequence of the above is that the parse tree for set() has changed, and so it’s default formatting in many cases has also changed. You can restore the old behavior by adding the following to your config:

    additional_commands = {
      "set": {
        "flags": ["FORCE", "PARENT_SCOPE"],
        "kwargs": {
          "CACHE": "*"
  • The default command case has changed from lower to canonical (which is a new option). In most cases this is the same as lower but for some standard, non-builtin commands the canonical spelling is CamelCase (i.e. ExternalProject_Add).

  • There is a new cmake-annotate program distributed with the package. It can generate semantic HTML renderings of your listfiles (see the documentation for details).

v0.4 series


  • Add travis CI configuration for public github repo


  • Add the ability to dump out markup parse lists for debugging.
  • Add the ability to dump out a semantic HTML markup of a listfile, allowing for easy server-side semantic highlighting of documentation pages. See HTML Rendering of Listfiles.


  • Added the brand new Visual Studio Code extension, which can be found in the vscode marketplace! You can now use cmake-format to “Format Document” in vscode.
  • Some new configuration options to allow user-specified literal fences and rulers in comment markup.
  • New configuration options to preserve literal comment blocks at the start of your listfiles (intended for copyright statements), as well as to disable comment reflow alltogether.
  • Fixed some bugs and improved some error messages