A collection of pre-commit hooks for handling text files.

In particular, hooks for handling unicode characters which may be undesirable in a repository.

Usage with pre-commit

To use with pre-commit, include this repo and the desired hooks in .pre-commit-config.yaml:

- repo: https://github.com/sirosen/texthooks
  rev: 0.1.0
    - id: fix-smartquotes
    - id: fix-ligatures

Standalone Usage

Each hook is usable as a CLI script. Simply

pip install texthooks

and then invoke, e.g.

fix-smartquotes FILENAME

Supported Hooks


This fixes copy-paste from some applications which replace double-quotes with curly quotes. It does not convert corner brackets, braile quotation marks, or angle quotation marks. Those characters are not typically the result of copy-paste errors, so they are allowed.

Low quotation marks vary in usage and meaning by language, and some languages use quotation marks which are facing “outwards” (opposite facing from english). For the most part, these and exotic characters (double-prime quotes) are ignored.

In files with the offending marks, they are replaced and the run is marked as failed.

Overriding Quotation Characters

Two options are available for specifying exactly which characters will be replaced. For ease of use, they are specified as hex-encoded unicode codepoints.

Suppose you wanted to avoid replacing the “Heavy single comma quotation mark ornament” (275C) and the “Heavy single turned comma quotation mark ornament” (275B) characters. You could override the single quote codepoints as follows:

- repo: https://github.com/sirosen/texthooks
  rev: 0.1.0
    - id: fix-smartquotes
      # replace default single quote chars with this set:
      # apostrophe, fullwidth apostrophe, left single quote, single high
      # reversed-9 quote, right single quote
      args: ["--single-quote-codepoints", "0027,FF07,2018,201B,2019"]


Automatically find and replace ligature characters with their ascii equivalents.

This replaces liguatures which may be created by programs like LaTeX for presentation with their strictly-equivalent ASCII counterparts. For example, fi and ff may be ligature-ized.

This hook converts these back into ASCII so that tools like grep will behave as expected.


This is checker which forbids the use of unicode bidirectional text control characters.

These are directional formatting characters which can be used to construct text with unexpected or unclear semantics. For example, in programming languages which allow bidirectional text in statements, "X" = ייִדיש can be written with right-to-left reversal to mean that the variable ייִדיש is assigned a value of "X".



  • Fix a bug in CLI argument handling for all hooks


  • Fix a typo in forbid-bidi-controls entrypoint


  • Add the forbid-bidi-controls hook
  • Adjust the handling of file encodings. Files will be read with UTF-8 encoding by default in most cases.


  • Initial release with fix-ligatures and fix-smartquotes hooks


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