Customizing Git Log Output with Pretty Formats

Customizing Git Log Output with Pretty Formats, Git log pretty formats

When using Git, one of the most common tasks is to review the commit history using the git log command. By default, Git displays a compact commit log, but did you know that you can customize the output using various pretty formats? In this blog post, we'll explore different pretty formats available in Git and how to use them effectively.

Built-in Pretty Formats

Git provides several built-in pretty formats that offer different levels of information. Let's take a closer look at each of them:


The oneline format is designed to be as compact as possible. It displays the commit hash and the commit title on a single line.

git log --pretty=oneline


The short format shows the commit hash, author, and title.

git log --pretty=short


The medium format includes the author date and the full commit message.

git log --pretty=medium


The full format adds committer information to the medium format.

git log --pretty=full


The fuller format provides even more details, including committer date and commit date.

git log --pretty=fuller


The reference format is useful for referring to other commits in commit messages.

git log --pretty=reference


The email format resembles an email-like format with the commit information.

git log --pretty=email


The mboxrd format is similar to email but handles lines starting with "From" differently.

git log --pretty=mboxrd


The raw format displays the complete raw commit object information.

git log --pretty=raw


Custom Formats

In addition to the built-in formats, Git allows you to create your own custom formats using placeholders. Placeholders are used to extract specific information from commits and format the output accordingly.

For example, let's create a custom format that displays the commit hash, author name, and commit title:

git log --pretty=format:"%h %an: %s"

This format string uses %h for the abbreviated commit hash, %an for the author name, and %s for the commit title.


Using Pretty Formats

To use any pretty format, simply add the --pretty option followed by the desired format when running git log. For built-in formats, you can use their names directly:

git log --oneline
git log --medium
# and so on...

For custom formats, specify the format string inside quotes:

git log --pretty=format:"<your-custom-format>"



Customizing Git log output with pretty formats can significantly improve the readability and relevance of commit history. Whether you prefer a compact view or a detailed representation, Git has you covered with a range of built-in and custom formats.

So, the next time you're browsing through your project's history, consider using the appropriate pretty format to get the information you need at a glance!

Happy version controlling!


Story Time

I wanted to list all the commits in a repository that were made and want to see details like the author, date, and commit message. I searched for a way to do this and found this command, which worked puuurfectly!

So, I wanted to share this with you all. I hope you find it useful.


Special Thanks

Photo by Roman Synkevych on Unsplash

git-scm.com for the pretty formats



Feel free to share your thoughts, feedback, or questions about customizing Git log output with pretty formats in the comments section below. Let's engage in meaningful discussions and explore the endless possibilities of enhancing Git log readability!

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