Networking | Programming | Security | Linux | Computer Science | About

Follow the Python PEP 8 Style Guide

Python Enhancement Proposal #8, otherwise known as PEP 8, is the style guide for how to format Python code. You are welcome to write Python code however you want, as long as it has valid syntax. However, using a consistent style makes your code more approachable and easier to read.

Sharing a common style with other Python programmers in the larger community facilitates collaboration on projects. But even if you are the only one who will ever read your code, following the style guide will make it easier to change things later. PEP 8 has a wealth of details about how to write clear Python code. It continues to be updated as the Python language evolves. It’s worth reading the whole PEP 8 guide online.

PEP 8 rules

Here are a few rules you should be sure to follow:


In Python, whitespace is syntactically significant. Python programmers are especially sensitive to the effects of whitespace on code clarity.


PEP 8 suggests unique styles of naming for different parts in the language. This makes it easy to distinguish which type corresponds to each name when reading code.

Expressions and Statements

The Zen of Python states: “There should be one—and preferably only one—obvious way to do it.” PEP 8 attempts to codify this style in its guidance for expressions and statements.

Note: The Pylint tool is a popular static analyzer for Python source code. Pylint provides automated enforcement of the PEP 8 style guide and detects many other types of common errors in Python programs.

Things to Remember

Published on Sun 13 January 2019 by Ben Bradshaw in Programming with tag(s): programming python style guide