Resolving Extra Indentation on Closing Parentheses in VSCode for Python

Adjusting VSCode Settings for Python Indentation

Encountering extra indentation on closing parentheses while coding in Visual Studio Code (VSCode) for Python can be bothersome. This guide aims to help you resolve this issue by adjusting your VSCode settings, ensuring your code remains neat and well-formatted.

What You’ll Learn

In the upcoming sections, you’ll discover how to tweak your VSCode settings to eliminate unintended extra indents on closing parentheses. This adjustment will enhance the appearance of your Python code, making it look more polished and professional.

Introduction to Problem and Solution

When writing Python code in VSCode, you may observe that pressing Enter after an opening parenthesis causes the closing parenthesis to be excessively indented. This deviation from the PEP 8 style guidelines can hinder code readability and aesthetics. Fortunately, this issue is typically a result of editor settings within VSCode that can be easily modified.

To rectify this problem, we will delve into adjusting specific settings within VSCode to fine-tune auto-indentation behavior and align it with our coding preferences effectively.


# Before adjusting settings
def example_function(

# After adjusting settings
def example_function(

# Copyright PHD

To resolve this issue:

  1. Open Command Palette: Use Ctrl+Shift+P or Cmd+Shift+P on macOS.
  2. Find “Preferences: Open Settings (JSON)”: Access the JSON file controlling your user or workspace settings directly.
  3. Modify Settings: Add or adjust the following lines in your settings.json:
"editor.autoIndent": "full",
"[python]": {
    "editor.formatOnType": true,
    "editor.formatOnPaste": true,

# Copyright PHD
  1. Save Changes: Remember to save the modifications made to your settings.json.


By customizing these sections within our settings.json, we instruct VSCode on when and how auto-indentation and formatting should be applied specifically for Python files:

  • “editor.autoIndent”: “full” ensures intelligent indentation based on language configurations.
  • The [python] block specifies that these rules target Python scripts.
  • Enabling “editor.formatOnType” and “editor.formatOnPaste” ensures automatic formatting while typing or pasting code, promoting consistency with PEP 8 standards.

These adjustments promote best practices by aligning with PEP 8 recommendations directly within our development environment, enhancing code aesthetics without manual intervention.

  1. How can I revert changes if needed?

  2. You can simply remove or comment out the added lines in your settings.json.

  3. Will these modifications affect other languages?

  4. No, as they are scoped under [python], applying solely to .py files.

  5. Can similar fixes be applied to different languages?

  6. Certainly! Replace [python] with another language identifier (e.g., [javascript]) and adjust formatting options accordingly.

  7. Are extensions necessary for this solution?

  8. Extensions are not required; however, tools like Pylint or Black can further improve coding standards compliance.

  9. Is there a way to format the entire file at once?

  10. Yes! Utilize Alt+Shift+F on Windows/Linux or Option+Shift+F on macOS.

  11. What if my project has distinct formatting guidelines?

  12. Consider having a local .vscode/settings.json per project overriding global preferences for consistent team environments.


Adjusting VSCode’s behavior regarding indentation goes beyond aesthetics�it plays a vital role in maintaining readability and adhering to established stylistic norms like those outlined in PEP 8. By implementing these simple tweaks in our editor’s configuration file (settings.json), we streamline routine formatting tasks, allowing us to focus more on crafting high-quality software efficiently.

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