#text #formatting #wrap #typesetting #hyphenation


Textwrap is a small library for word wrapping, indenting, and dedenting strings. You can use it to format strings (such as help and error messages) for display in commandline applications. It is designed to be efficient and handle Unicode characters correctly.

9 breaking releases

0.10.0 Apr 28, 2018
0.9.0 Oct 5, 2017
0.8.0 Sep 4, 2017
0.7.0 Jul 20, 2017
0.2.0 Dec 29, 2016

#6 in Text processing

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Textwrap is a small Rust crate for word wrapping text. You can use it to format strings for display in commandline applications. The crate name and interface is inspired by the Python textwrap module.


Add this to your Cargo.toml:

textwrap = "0.10"

and this to your crate root:

extern crate textwrap;

If you would like to have automatic hyphenation, specify the dependency as:

textwrap = { version = "0.10", features = ["hyphenation"] }

To conveniently wrap text at the current terminal width, enable the term_size feature:

textwrap = { version = "0.10", features = ["term_size"] }


API documentation

Getting Started

Word wrapping single strings is easy using the fill function:

extern crate textwrap;
use textwrap::fill;

fn main() {
    let text = "textwrap: a small library for wrapping text.";
    println!("{}", fill(text, 18));

The output is

textwrap: a small
library for
wrapping text.

With the hyphenation feature, you can get automatic hyphenation for about 70 languages. Your program must load and configure the hyphenation patterns to use:

extern crate hyphenation;
extern crate textwrap;

use hyphenation::Language;
use textwrap::Wrapper;

fn main() {
    let corpus = hyphenation::load(Language::English_US).unwrap();
    let wrapper = Wrapper::with_splitter(18, corpus);
    let text = "textwrap: a small library for wrapping text.";
    println!("{}", wrapper.fill(text))

The output now looks like this:

textwrap: a small
library for wrap-
ping text.

The hyphenation uses high-quality TeX hyphenation patterns.


The library comes with some small example programs that shows various features.

Layout Example

The layout example shows how a fixed example string is wrapped at different widths. Run the example with:

$ cargo run --features hyphenation --example layout

The program will use the following string:

Memory safety without garbage collection. Concurrency without data races. Zero-cost abstractions.

The string is wrapped at all widths between 15 and 60 columns. With narrow columns the output looks like this:

.--- Width: 15 ---.
| Memory safety   |
| without garbage |
| collection.     |
| Concurrency     |
| without data    |
| races. Zero-    |
| cost abstrac-   |
| tions.          |
.--- Width: 16 ----.
| Memory safety    |
| without garbage  |
| collection. Con- |
| currency without |
| data races. Ze-  |
| ro-cost abstrac- |
| tions.           |

Later, longer lines are used and the output now looks like this:

.-------------------- Width: 49 --------------------.
| Memory safety without garbage collection. Concur- |
| rency without data races. Zero-cost abstractions. |
.---------------------- Width: 53 ----------------------.
| Memory safety without garbage collection. Concurrency |
| without data races. Zero-cost abstractions.           |
.------------------------- Width: 59 -------------------------.
| Memory safety without garbage collection. Concurrency with- |
| out data races. Zero-cost abstractions.                     |

Notice how words are split at hyphens (such as "zero-cost") but also how words are hyphenated using automatic/machine hyphenation.

Terminal Width Example

The termwidth example simply shows how the width can be set automatically to the current terminal width. Run it with this command:

$ cargo run --example termwidth

If you run it in a narrow terminal, you'll see output like this:

Formatted in within 60 columns:
Memory safety without garbage collection. Concurrency
without data races. Zero-cost abstractions.

If stdout is not connected to the terminal, the program will use a default of 80 columns for the width:

$ cargo run --example termwidth | cat
Formatted in within 80 columns:
Memory safety without garbage collection. Concurrency without data races. Zero-
cost abstractions.

Release History

This section lists the largest changes per release.

Version 0.10.0 — April 28th, 2018

Due to our dependencies bumping their minimum supported version of Rust, the minimum version of Rust we test against is now 1.17.0.

Issues closed:

  • Fixed #99: Word broken even though it would fit on line.
  • Fixed #107: Automatic hyphenation is off by one.
  • Fixed #122: Take newlines into account when wrapping.
  • Fixed #129: Panic on string with em-dash.

Version 0.9.0 — October 5th, 2017

The dependency on term_size is now optional, and by default this feature is not enabled. This is a breaking change for users of Wrapper::with_termwidth. Enable the term_size feature to restore the old functionality.

Added a regression test for the case where width is set to usize::MAX, thanks @Fraser999! All public structs now implement Debug, thanks @hcpl!

Issues closed:

  • Fixed #101: Make term_size an optional dependency.

Version 0.8.0 — September 4th, 2017

The Wrapper stuct is now generic over the type of word splitter being used. This means less boxing and a nicer API. The Wrapper::word_splitter method has been removed. This is a breaking API change if you used the method to change the word splitter.

The Wrapper struct has two new methods that will wrap the input text lazily: Wrapper::wrap_iter and Wrapper::into_wrap_iter. Use those if you will be iterating over the wrapped lines one by one.

Issues closed:

  • Fixed #59: wrap could return an iterator. Thanks @hcpl!

  • Fixed #81: Set html_root_url

Version 0.7.0 — July 20th, 2017

Version 0.7.0 changes the return type of Wrapper::wrap from Vec<String> to Vec<Cow<'a, str>>. This means that the output lines borrow data from the input string. This is a breaking API change if you relied on the exact return type of Wrapper::wrap. Callers of the textwrap::fill convenience function will see no breakage.

The above change and other optimizations makes version 0.7.0 roughly 15-30% faster than version 0.6.0.

The squeeze_whitespace option has been removed since it was complicating the above optimization. Let us know if this option is important for you so we can provide a work around.

Issues closed:

  • Fixed #58: Add a "fast_wrap" function that reuses the input string

  • Fixed #61: Documentation errors

Version 0.6.0 — May 22nd, 2017

Version 0.6.0 adds builder methods to Wrapper for easy one-line initialization and configuration:

let wrapper = Wrapper::new(60).break_words(false);

It also add a new NoHyphenation word splitter that will never split words, not even at existing hyphens.

Issues closed:

  • Fixed #28: Support not squeezing whitespace

Version 0.5.0 — May 15th, 2017

Version 0.5.0 has breaking API changes. However, this only affects code using the hyphenation feature. The feature is now optional, so you will first need to enable the hyphenation feature as described above. Afterwards, please change your code from

wrapper.corpus = Some(&corpus);


wrapper.splitter = Box::new(corpus);

Other changes include optimizations, so version 0.5.0 is roughly 10-15% faster than version 0.4.0.

Issues closed:

  • Fixed #19: Add support for finding terminal size
  • Fixed #25: Handle words longer than self.width
  • Fixed #26: Support custom indentation
  • Fixed #36: Support building without hyphenation
  • Fixed #39: Respect non-breaking spaces

Version 0.4.0 — January 24th, 2017

Documented complexities and tested these via cargo bench.

  • Fixed #13: Immediatedly add word if it fits
  • Fixed #14: Avoid splitting on initial hyphens in --foo-bar

Version 0.3.0 — January 7th, 2017

Added support for automatic hyphenation.

Version 0.2.0 — December 28th, 2016

Introduced Wrapper struct. Added support for wrapping on hyphens.

Version 0.1.0 — December 17th, 2016

First public release with support for wrapping strings on whitespace.


Textwrap can be distributed according to the MIT license. Contributions will be accepted under the same license.

MIT license


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