hledger

version: dev | 0.27

NAME

hledger - a command-line accounting tool

SYNOPSIS

hledger [-f FILE] COMMAND [OPTIONS] [CMDARGS]
hledger [-f FILE] ADDONCMD -- [OPTIONS] [CMDARGS]

DESCRIPTION

hledger is a cross-platform program for tracking money, time, or any other commodity, using double-entry accounting and a simple, editable file format. hledger is inspired by and largely compatible with ledger(1).
Tested on unix, mac, windows, hledger aims to be a reliable, practical tool for daily use.

This is hledger’s command-line interface (there are also curses and web interfaces). Its basic function is to read a plain text file describing financial transactions (in accounting terms, a general journal) and print useful reports on standard output, or export them as CSV. hledger can also read some other file formats such as CSV files, translating them to journal format. Additionally, hledger lists other hledger-* executables found in the user’s $PATH and can invoke them as subcommands.

hledger reads data from one or more files in hledger journal, timeclock, timedot, or CSV format specified with -f, or $LEDGER_FILE, or $HOME/.hledger.journal (on windows, perhaps C:/Users/USER/.hledger.journal). If using $LEDGER_FILE, note this must be a real environment variable, not a shell variable. You can specify standard input with -f-.

Transactions are dated movements of money between two (or more) named accounts, and are recorded with journal entries like this:

2015/10/16 bought food
 expenses:food          $10
 assets:cash

For more about this format, see hledger_journal(5).

Most users use a text editor to edit the journal, usually with an editor mode such as ledger-mode for added convenience. hledger’s interactive add command is another way to record new transactions. hledger never changes existing transactions.

To get started, you can either save some entries like the above in ~/.hledger.journal, or run hledger add and follow the prompts. Then try some commands like hledger print or hledger balance. See COMMANDS and EXAMPLES below.

EXAMPLES

Two simple transactions in hledger journal format:

2015/9/30 gift received
  assets:cash   $20
  income:gifts

2015/10/16 farmers market
  expenses:food    $10
  assets:cash

Some basic reports:

$ hledger print
2015/09/30 gift received
    assets:cash            $20
    income:gifts          $-20

2015/10/16 farmers market
    expenses:food           $10
    assets:cash            $-10
$ hledger accounts --tree
assets
  cash
expenses
  food
income
  gifts
$ hledger balance
                 $10  assets:cash
                 $10  expenses:food
                $-20  income:gifts
--------------------
                   0
$ hledger register cash
2015/09/30 gift received   assets:cash               $20           $20
2015/10/16 farmers market  assets:cash              $-10           $10

More commands:

$ hledger                                 # show available commands
$ hledger add                             # add more transactions to the journal file
$ hledger balance                         # all accounts with aggregated balances
$ hledger balance --help                  # show detailed help for balance command
$ hledger balance --depth 1               # only top-level accounts
$ hledger register                        # show account postings, with running total
$ hledger reg income                      # show postings to/from income accounts
$ hledger reg 'assets:some bank:checking' # show postings to/from this checking account
$ hledger print desc:shop                 # show transactions with shop in the description
$ hledger activity -W                     # show transaction counts per week as a bar chart

With the journal

2016/02/16 Member Fee Payment John Doe
    assets:bank account                                   2 EUR
    income:member fees                                  -2 EUR
      ; member: John Doe

the --pivot comand will output the following:

$ hledger bal --pivot member
    2 EUR  assets:bank account
   -2 EUR  member:John Doe

OPTIONS

To see general usage and the command list: hledger -h or just hledger. To see usage for a specific command: hledger COMMAND -h.

hledger has several kinds of options:

Command arguments may also follow the command name. In most cases these specify a query which filters the data. Command options and arguments can be intermixed.

Option and argument values containing problematic characters should be escaped with double quotes, backslashes, or (best) single quotes. This means spaces, but also characters which are significant to your command shell, such as less-than/greater-than. Eg: hledger register -p 'last year' "accounts receivable (receivable|payable)" amt:\>100.

Characters which are significant to the shell and also in regular expressions, like parentheses, the pipe symbol and the dollar sign, must sometimes be double-escaped. Eg, to match the dollar symbol: hledger balance cur:'\$' or hledger balance cur:\\$.

There's more.. options and arguments being passed by hledger to an add-on executable get de-escaped once in the process. In this case you might need triple-escaping. Eg: hledger ui cur:'\\$' or hledger ui cur:\\\\$.

If in doubt, keep things simple:

If you're really curious, add --debug=2 for troubleshooting.

General options:

-h
show general usage (or after COMMAND, the command's usage)
--help
show the current program's manual as plain text (or after an add-on COMMAND, the add-on's manual)
--man
show the current program's manual with man
--info
show the current program's manual with info
--version
show version
--debug[=N]
show debug output (levels 1-9, default: 1)
-f FILE --file=FILE
use a different input file. For stdin, use -
--rules-file=RULESFILE
Conversion rules file to use when reading CSV (default: FILE.rules)
--alias=OLD=NEW
display accounts named OLD as NEW
-I --ignore-assertions
ignore any failing balance assertions in the journal

Common reporting options:

-b --begin=DATE
include postings/txns on or after this date
-e --end=DATE
include postings/txns before this date
-D --daily
multiperiod/multicolumn report by day
-W --weekly
multiperiod/multicolumn report by week
-M --monthly
multiperiod/multicolumn report by month
-Q --quarterly
multiperiod/multicolumn report by quarter
-Y --yearly
multiperiod/multicolumn report by year
-p --period=PERIODEXP
set start date, end date, and/or reporting interval all at once (overrides the flags above)
--date2
show, and match with -b/-e/-p/date:, secondary dates instead
-C --cleared
include only cleared postings/txns
--pending
include only pending postings/txns
-U --uncleared
include only uncleared (and pending) postings/txns
-R --real
include only non-virtual postings
--depth=N
hide accounts/postings deeper than N
-E --empty
show items with zero amount, normally hidden
-B --cost
show amounts in their cost price's commodity
--pivot TAG
will transform the journal before any other processing by replacing the account name of every posting having the tag TAG with content VALUE by the account name "TAG:VALUE".
The TAG will only match if it is a full-length match. The pivot will only happen if the TAG is on a posting, not if it is on the transaction. If the tag value is a multi:level:account:name the new account name will be "TAG:multi:level:account:name".

Multiple files

You can specify multiple -f/--file FILE options. This is like combining all the files into one, except they can have different formats. Also directives and aliases in one file do not affect subsequent files (if you need that, use the include directive instead).

Repeated options

Otherwise, if a reporting option is repeated, the last one takes precedence. Eg -p jan -p feb is equivalent to -p feb.

Depth limiting

With the --depth N option, commands like account, balance and register will show only the uppermost accounts in the account tree, down to level N. Use this when you want a summary with less detail.

Smart dates

hledger's user interfaces accept a flexible "smart date" syntax (unlike dates in the journal file). Smart dates allow some english words, can be relative to today's date, and can have less-significant date parts omitted (defaulting to 1).

Examples:

2009/1/1, 2009/01/01, 2009-1-1, 2009.1.1 simple dates, several separators allowed
2009/1, 2009 same as above - a missing day or month defaults to 1
1/1, january, jan, this year relative dates, meaning january 1 of the current year
next year january 1 of next year
this month the 1st of the current month
this week the most recent monday
last week the monday of the week before this one
lastweek spaces are optional
today, yesterday, tomorrow

Reporting interval

A reporting interval can be specified so that commands like register, balance and activity will divide their reports into multiple report periods. The basic intervals can be selected with one of -D/--daily, -W/--weekly, -M/--monthly, -Q/--quarterly, or -Y/--yearly. More complex intervals may be specified with a period expression.

Period expressions

The -p/--period option accepts period expressions, a shorthand way of expressing a start date, end date, and or reporting interval all at once. Note a period expression on the command line will cause any other date flags (-b/-e/-D/-W/-M/-Q/-Y) to be ignored.

hledger's period expressions are similar to Ledger's, though not identical. Here's a basic period expression specifying the first quarter of 2009. Note, hledger always treats start dates as inclusive and end dates as exclusive:

-p "from 2009/1/1 to 2009/4/1"

Keywords like "from" and "to" are optional, and so are the spaces, as long as you don't run two dates together. "to" can also be written as "-". These are equivalent to the above:

-p "2009/1/1 2009/4/1"
-p2009/1/1to2009/4/1
-p2009/1/1-2009/4/1

Dates are smart dates, so if the current year is 2009, the above can also be written as:

-p "1/1 4/1"
-p "january-apr"
-p "this year to 4/1"

If you specify only one date, the missing start or end date will be the earliest or latest transaction in your journal:

-p "from 2009/1/1" everything after january 1, 2009
-p "from 2009/1" the same
-p "from 2009" the same
-p "to 2009" everything before january 1, 2009

A single date with no "from" or "to" defines both the start and end date like so:

-p "2009" the year 2009; equivalent to "2009/1/1 to 2010/1/1"
-p "2009/1" the month of jan; equivalent to "2009/1/1 to 2009/2/1"
-p "2009/1/1" just that day; equivalent to "2009/1/1 to 2009/1/2"

Period expressions can also start with (or be) a reporting interval: daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, or one of the every ... expressions below. Optionally the word in may appear between the reporting interval and the start/end dates. Examples:

-p "weekly from 2009/1/1 to 2009/4/1"
-p "monthly in 2008"
-p "bimonthly from 2008"
-p "quarterly"
-p "every 2 weeks"
-p "every 5 days from 1/3"
-p "every 15th day of month"
-p "every 4th day of week"

Regular Expressions

hledger uses regular expressions in a number of places:

hledger's regular expressions come from the regex-tdfa library. In general they:

Some things to note:

QUERIES

One of hledger's strengths is being able to quickly report on precise subsets of your data. Most commands accept an optional query expression, written as arguments after the command name, to filter the data by date, account name or other criteria. The syntax is similar to a web search: one or more space-separated search terms, quotes to enclose whitespace, optional prefixes to match specific fields. Multiple search terms are combined as follows:

All commands except print: show transactions/postings/accounts which match (or negatively match)

The print command: show transactions which

The following kinds of search terms can be used:

REGEX
match account names by this regular expression
acct:REGEX
same as above
amt:N, amt:<N, amt:<=N, amt:>N, amt:>=N
match postings with a single-commodity amount that is equal to, less than, or greater than N. (Multi-commodity amounts are not tested, and will always match.) The comparison has two modes: if N is preceded by a + or - sign (or is 0), the two signed numbers are compared. Otherwise, the absolute magnitudes are compared, ignoring sign.
code:REGEX
match by transaction code (eg check number)
cur:REGEX
match postings or transactions including any amounts whose currency/commodity symbol is fully matched by REGEX. (For a partial match, use .*REGEX.*). Note, to match characters which are regex-significant, like the dollar sign ($), you need to prepend \. And when using the command line you need to add one more level of quoting to hide it from the shell, so eg do: hledger print cur:'\$' or hledger print cur:\\$.
desc:REGEX
match transaction descriptions
date:PERIODEXPR
match dates within the specified period. PERIODEXPR should not include a reporting interval. The command-line --date2 flag makes this match secondary dates instead (like the -b/-e/-p options).
date2:PERIODEXPR
match secondary dates within the specified period. PERIODEXPR should not include a reporting interval.
depth:N
match (or display, depending on command) accounts at or above this depth
real:, real:0
match real or virtual postings respectively
status:*, status:!, status:
match cleared, pending, or uncleared/pending transactions respectively
tag:REGEX[=REGEX]
match by tag name, and optionally also by tag value. Note a tag: query is considered to match a transaction if it matches any of the postings. Also remember that postings inherit the tags of their parent transaction.
not:
before any of the above negates the match.

Some of these can also be expressed as command-line options (eg depth:2 is equivalent to --depth 2). Generally you can mix options and query arguments, and the resulting query will be their intersection (perhaps excluding the -p/--period option).

COMMANDS

hledger provides a number of subcommands; hledger with no arguments shows a list.

If you install additional hledger-* packages, or if you put programs or scripts named hledger-NAME in your PATH, these will also be listed as subcommands.

Run a subcommand by writing its name as first argument (eg hledger incomestatement). You can also write any unambiguous prefix of a command name (hledger inc), or one of the standard short aliases displayed in the command list (hledger is).

accounts

Show account names.

--tree
show short account names, as a tree
--flat
show full account names, as a list (default)
--drop=N
in flat mode: omit N leading account name parts

This command lists all account names that are in use (ie, all the accounts which have at least one transaction posting to them). With query arguments, only matched account names are shown.

It shows a flat list by default. With --tree, it uses indentation to show the account hierarchy.

In flat mode you can add --drop N to omit the first few account name components.

Examples:

$ hledger accounts --tree
assets
  bank
    checking
    saving
  cash
expenses
  food
  supplies
income
  gifts
  salary
liabilities
  debts
$ hledger accounts --drop 1
bank:checking
bank:saving
cash
food
supplies
gifts
salary
debts
$ hledger accounts
assets:bank:checking
assets:bank:saving
assets:cash
expenses:food
expenses:supplies
income:gifts
income:salary
liabilities:debts

activity

Show an ascii barchart of posting counts per interval.

The activity command displays an ascii histogram showing transaction counts by day, week, month or other reporting interval (by day is the default). With query arguments, it counts only matched transactions.

$ hledger activity --quarterly
2008-01-01 **
2008-04-01 *******
2008-07-01 
2008-10-01 **

add

Prompt for transactions and add them to the journal.

--no-new-accounts
don't allow creating new accounts; helps prevent typos when entering account names

Many hledger users edit their journals directly with a text editor, or generate them from CSV. For more interactive data entry, there is the add command, which prompts interactively on the console for new transactions, and appends them to the journal file (if there are multiple -f FILE options, the first file is used.) Existing transactions are not changed. This is the only hledger command that writes to the journal file.

To use it, just run hledger add and follow the prompts. You can add as many transactions as you like; when you are finished, enter . or press control-d or control-c to exit.

Features:

Example (see the tutorial for a detailed explanation):

$ hledger add
Adding transactions to journal file /src/hledger/data/sample.journal
Any command line arguments will be used as defaults.
Use tab key to complete, readline keys to edit, enter to accept defaults.
An optional (CODE) may follow transaction dates.
An optional ; COMMENT may follow descriptions or amounts.
If you make a mistake, enter < at any prompt to restart the transaction.
To end a transaction, enter . when prompted.
To quit, enter . at a date prompt or press control-d or control-c.
Date [2015/05/22]: 
Description: supermarket
Account 1: expenses:food
Amount  1: $10
Account 2: assets:checking
Amount  2 [$-10.0]: 
Account 3 (or . or enter to finish this transaction): .
2015/05/22 supermarket
    expenses:food             $10
    assets:checking        $-10.0

Save this transaction to the journal ? [y]: 
Saved.
Starting the next transaction (. or ctrl-D/ctrl-C to quit)
Date [2015/05/22]: <CTRL-D> $

balance

Show accounts and their balances. Alias: bal.

--tree
show short account names, as a tree
--flat
show full account names, as a list (default)
--drop=N
in flat mode: omit N leading account name parts
--format=LINEFORMAT
in single-column balance reports: use this custom line format
--no-elide
in tree mode: don't squash boring parent accounts
-H --historical
in multicolumn mode: show historical ending balances
--cumulative
in multicolumn mode: show accumulated ending balances
-A --average
in multicolumn mode: show a row average column
-T --row-total
in multicolumn mode: show a row total column
-N --no-total
don't show the final total row
-V --value
show amounts as their current market value in their default valuation commodity
-o FILE[.FMT] --output-file=FILE[.FMT]
write output to FILE instead of stdout. A recognised FMT suffix influences the format.
-O FMT --output-format=FMT
select the output format. Supported formats: txt, csv.

The balance command displays accounts and balances. It is hledger's most featureful and most useful command.

$ hledger balance
                 $-1  assets
                  $1    bank:saving
                 $-2    cash
                  $2  expenses
                  $1    food
                  $1    supplies
                 $-2  income
                 $-1    gifts
                 $-1    salary
                  $1  liabilities:debts
--------------------
                   0

More precisely, the balance command shows the change to each account's balance caused by all (matched) postings. In the common case where you do not filter by date and your journal sets the correct opening balances, this is the same as the account's ending balance.

By default, accounts are displayed hierarchically, with subaccounts indented below their parent. "Boring" accounts, which contain a single interesting subaccount and no balance of their own, are elided into the following line for more compact output. (Use --no-elide to prevent this.)

Each account's balance is the "inclusive" balance - it includes the balances of any subaccounts.

Accounts which have zero balance (and no non-zero subaccounts) are omitted. Use -E/--empty to show them.

A final total is displayed by default; use -N/--no-total to suppress it:

$ hledger balance -p 2008/6 expenses --no-total
                  $2  expenses
                  $1    food
                  $1    supplies
Flat mode

To see a flat list of full account names instead of the default hierarchical display, use --flat. In this mode, accounts (unless depth-clipped) show their "exclusive" balance, excluding any subaccount balances. In this mode, you can also use --drop N to omit the first few account name components.

$ hledger balance -p 2008/6 expenses -N --flat --drop 1
                  $1  food
                  $1  supplies
Depth limited balance reports

With --depth N, balance shows accounts only to the specified depth. This is very useful to show a complex charts of accounts in less detail. In flat mode, balances from accounts below the depth limit will be shown as part of a parent account at the depth limit.

$ hledger balance -N --depth 1
                 $-1  assets
                  $2  expenses
                 $-2  income
                  $1  liabilities
Multicolumn balance reports

With a reporting interval, multiple balance columns will be shown, one for each report period. There are three types of multi-column balance report, showing different information:

  1. By default: each column shows the sum of postings in that period, ie the account's change of balance in that period. This is useful eg for a monthly income statement:

    $ hledger balance --quarterly income expenses -E
    Balance changes in 2008:
    
                       ||  2008q1  2008q2  2008q3  2008q4 
    ===================++=================================
     expenses:food     ||       0      $1       0       0 
     expenses:supplies ||       0      $1       0       0 
     income:gifts      ||       0     $-1       0       0 
     income:salary     ||     $-1       0       0       0 
    -------------------++---------------------------------
                       ||     $-1      $1       0       0 
  2. With --cumulative: each column shows the ending balance for that period, accumulating the changes across periods, starting from 0 at the report start date:

    $ hledger balance --quarterly income expenses -E --cumulative
    Ending balances (cumulative) in 2008:
    
                       ||  2008/03/31  2008/06/30  2008/09/30  2008/12/31 
    ===================++=================================================
     expenses:food     ||           0          $1          $1          $1 
     expenses:supplies ||           0          $1          $1          $1 
     income:gifts      ||           0         $-1         $-1         $-1 
     income:salary     ||         $-1         $-1         $-1         $-1 
    -------------------++-------------------------------------------------
                       ||         $-1           0           0           0 
  3. With --historical/-H: each column shows the actual historical ending balance for that period, accumulating the changes across periods, starting from the actual balance at the report start date. This is useful eg for a multi-period balance sheet, and when you are showing only the data after a certain start date:

    $ hledger balance ^assets ^liabilities --quarterly --historical --begin 2008/4/1
    Ending balances (historical) in 2008/04/01-2008/12/31:
    
                          ||  2008/06/30  2008/09/30  2008/12/31 
    ======================++=====================================
     assets:bank:checking ||          $1          $1           0 
     assets:bank:saving   ||          $1          $1          $1 
     assets:cash          ||         $-2         $-2         $-2 
     liabilities:debts    ||           0           0          $1 
    ----------------------++-------------------------------------
                          ||           0           0           0 

Multi-column balance reports display accounts in flat mode by default; to see the hierarchy, use --tree.

With a reporting interval (like --quarterly above), the report start/end dates will be adjusted if necessary so that they encompass the displayed report periods. This is so that the first and last periods will be "full" and comparable to the others.

The -E/--empty flag does two things in multicolumn balance reports: first, the report will show all columns within the specified report period (without -E, leading and trailing columns with all zeroes are not shown). Second, all accounts which existed at the report start date will be considered, not just the ones with activity during the report period (use -E to include low-activity accounts which would otherwise would be omitted).

The -T/--row-total flag adds an additional column showing the total for each row.

The -A/--average flag adds a column showing the average value in each row.

Here's an example of all three:

$ hledger balance -Q income expenses --tree -ETA
Balance changes in 2008:

            ||  2008q1  2008q2  2008q3  2008q4    Total  Average 
============++===================================================
 expenses   ||       0      $2       0       0       $2       $1 
   food     ||       0      $1       0       0       $1        0 
   supplies ||       0      $1       0       0       $1        0 
 income     ||     $-1     $-1       0       0      $-2      $-1 
   gifts    ||       0     $-1       0       0      $-1        0 
   salary   ||     $-1       0       0       0      $-1        0 
------------++---------------------------------------------------
            ||     $-1      $1       0       0        0        0 

# Average is rounded to the dollar here since all journal amounts are
Market value

The -V/--value flag converts all the reported amounts to their "current market value" using their default market price. That is the latest market price (P directive) found in the journal (or an included file), for the amount's commodity, dated on or before the report end date.

Unlike Ledger, hledger's -V only uses the market prices recorded with P directives, ignoring transaction prices recorded as part of posting amounts (which -B/--cost uses). Using -B and -V together is allowed.

Custom balance output

In simple (non-multi-column) balance reports, you can customise the output with --format FMT:

$ hledger balance --format "%20(account) %12(total)"
              assets          $-1
         bank:saving           $1
                cash          $-2
            expenses           $2
                food           $1
            supplies           $1
              income          $-2
               gifts          $-1
              salary          $-1
   liabilities:debts           $1
---------------------------------
                                0

The FMT format string (plus a newline) specifies the formatting applied to each account/balance pair. It may contain any suitable text, with data fields interpolated like so:

%[MIN][.MAX](FIELDNAME)

Also, FMT can begin with an optional prefix to control how multi-commodity amounts are rendered:

There are some quirks. Eg in one-line mode, %(depth_spacer) has no effect, instead %(account) has indentation built in. Experimentation may be needed to get pleasing results.

Some example formats:

Output destination

The balance, print, register and stats commands can write their output to a destination other than the console. This is controlled by the -o/--output-file option.

$ hledger balance -o -     # write to stdout (the default)
$ hledger balance -o FILE  # write to FILE
CSV output

The balance, print and register commands can write their output as CSV. This is useful for exporting data to other applications, eg to make charts in a spreadsheet. This is controlled by the -O/--output-format option, or by specifying a .csv file extension with -o/--output-file.

$ hledger balance -O csv       # write CSV to stdout
$ hledger balance -o FILE.csv  # write CSV to FILE.csv

balancesheet

Show a balance sheet. Alias: bs.

--flat
show full account names, as a list (default)
--drop=N
in flat mode: omit N leading account name parts

This command displays a simple balance sheet. It currently assumes that you have top-level accounts named asset and liability (plural forms also allowed.)

$ hledger balancesheet
Balance Sheet

Assets:
                 $-1  assets
                  $1    bank:saving
                 $-2    cash
--------------------
                 $-1

Liabilities:
                  $1  liabilities:debts
--------------------
                  $1

Total:
--------------------
                   0

cashflow

Show a cashflow statement. Alias: cf.

--flat
show full account names, as a list (default)
--drop=N
in flat mode: omit N leading account name parts

This command displays a simple cashflow statement It shows the change in all "cash" (ie, liquid assets) accounts for the period. It currently assumes that cash accounts are under a top-level account named asset and do not contain receivable or A/R (plural forms also allowed.)

$ hledger cashflow
Cashflow Statement

Cash flows:
                 $-1  assets
                  $1    bank:saving
                 $-2    cash
--------------------
                 $-1

Total:
--------------------
                 $-1

help

Show any of the hledger manuals.

The help command displays any of the main hledger man pages. (Unlike hledger --help, which displays only the hledger man page.) Run it with no arguments to list available topics (their names are shortened for easier typing), and run hledger help TOPIC to select one. The output is similar to a man page, but fixed width. It may be long, so you may wish to pipe it into a pager. See also info and man.

$ hledger help
Choose a topic, eg: hledger help cli
cli, ui, web, api, journal, csv, timeclock, timedot
$ hledger help cli | less

hledger(1)                   hledger User Manuals                   hledger(1)



NAME
       hledger - a command-line accounting tool

SYNOPSIS
       hledger [-f FILE] COMMAND [OPTIONS] [CMDARGS]
       hledger [-f FILE] ADDONCMD -- [OPTIONS] [CMDARGS]
:

incomestatement

Show an income statement. Alias: is.

--flat
show full account names, as a list (default)
--drop=N
in flat mode: omit N leading account name parts

This command displays a simple income statement. It currently assumes that you have top-level accounts named income (or revenue) and expense (plural forms also allowed.)

$ hledger incomestatement
Income Statement

Revenues:
                 $-2  income
                 $-1    gifts
                 $-1    salary
--------------------
                 $-2

Expenses:
                  $2  expenses
                  $1    food
                  $1    supplies
--------------------
                  $2

Total:
--------------------
                   0

info

Show any of the hledger manuals using info.

The info command displays any of the hledger reference manuals using the info hypertextual documentation viewer. This can be a very efficient way to browse large manuals. It requires the "info" program to be available in your PATH.

As with help, run it with no arguments to list available topics (manuals).

man

Show any of the hledger manuals using man.

The man command displays any of the hledger reference manuals using man, the standard documentation viewer on unix systems. This will fit the text to your terminal width, and probably invoke a pager automatically. It requires the "man" program to be available in your PATH.

As with help, run it with no arguments to list available topics (manuals).

print

Show transactions from the journal.

-m STR --match=STR
show the transaction whose description is most similar to STR, and is most recent
-o FILE[.FMT] --output-file=FILE[.FMT]
write output to FILE instead of stdout. A recognised FMT suffix influences the format.
-O FMT --output-format=FMT
select the output format. Supported formats: txt, csv.
$ hledger print
2008/01/01 income
    assets:bank:checking            $1
    income:salary                  $-1

2008/06/01 gift
    assets:bank:checking            $1
    income:gifts                   $-1

2008/06/02 save
    assets:bank:saving              $1
    assets:bank:checking           $-1

2008/06/03 * eat & shop
    expenses:food                $1
    expenses:supplies            $1
    assets:cash                 $-2

2008/12/31 * pay off
    liabilities:debts               $1
    assets:bank:checking           $-1

The print command displays full transactions from the journal file, tidily formatted and showing all amounts explicitly. The output of print is always a valid hledger journal, but it does always not preserve all original content exactly (eg directives).

hledger's print command also shows all unit prices in effect, or (with -B/--cost) shows cost amounts.

The print command also supports output destination and CSV output.

register

Show postings and their running total. Alias: reg.

-H --historical
include prior postings in the running total
-A --average
show a running average instead of the running total (implies --empty)
-r --related
show postings' siblings instead
-w N --width=N
set output width (default: terminal width or COLUMNS. -wN,M sets description width as well)
-o FILE[.FMT] --output-file=FILE[.FMT]
write output to FILE instead of stdout. A recognised FMT suffix influences the format.
-O FMT --output-format=FMT
select the output format. Supported formats: txt, csv.

The register command displays postings, one per line, and their running total. This is typically used with a query selecting a particular account, to see that account's activity:

$ hledger register checking
2008/01/01 income               assets:bank:checking            $1            $1
2008/06/01 gift                 assets:bank:checking            $1            $2
2008/06/02 save                 assets:bank:checking           $-1            $1
2008/12/31 pay off              assets:bank:checking           $-1             0

The --historical/-H flag adds the balance from any undisplayed prior postings to the running total. This is useful when you want to see only recent activity, with a historically accurate running balance:

$ hledger register checking -b 2008/6 --historical
2008/06/01 gift                 assets:bank:checking            $1            $2
2008/06/02 save                 assets:bank:checking           $-1            $1
2008/12/31 pay off              assets:bank:checking           $-1             0

The --depth option limits the amount of sub-account detail displayed.

The --average/-A flag shows the running average posting amount instead of the running total (so, the final number displayed is the average for the whole report period). This flag implies --empty (see below). It works best when showing just one account and one commodity.

The --related/-r flag shows the other postings in the transactions of the postings which would normally be shown.

With a reporting interval, register shows summary postings, one per interval, aggregating the postings to each account:

$ hledger register --monthly income
2008/01                 income:salary                          $-1           $-1
2008/06                 income:gifts                           $-1           $-2

Periods with no activity, and summary postings with a zero amount, are not shown by default; use the --empty/-E flag to see them:

$ hledger register --monthly income -E
2008/01                 income:salary                          $-1           $-1
2008/02                                                          0           $-1
2008/03                                                          0           $-1
2008/04                                                          0           $-1
2008/05                                                          0           $-1
2008/06                 income:gifts                           $-1           $-2
2008/07                                                          0           $-2
2008/08                                                          0           $-2
2008/09                                                          0           $-2
2008/10                                                          0           $-2
2008/11                                                          0           $-2
2008/12                                                          0           $-2

Often, you'll want to see just one line per interval. The --depth option helps with this, causing subaccounts to be aggregated:

$ hledger register --monthly assets --depth 1h
2008/01                 assets                                  $1            $1
2008/06                 assets                                 $-1             0
2008/12                 assets                                 $-1           $-1

Note when using report intervals, if you specify start/end dates these will be adjusted outward if necessary to contain a whole number of intervals. This ensures that the first and last intervals are full length and comparable to the others in the report.

Custom register output

register uses the full terminal width by default, except on windows. You can override this by setting the COLUMNS environment variable (not a bash shell variable) or by using the --width/-w option.

The description and account columns normally share the space equally (about half of (width - 40) each). You can adjust this by adding a description width as part of --width's argument, comma-separated: --width W,D . Here's a diagram:

<--------------------------------- width (W) ---------------------------------->
date (10)  description (D)       account (W-41-D)     amount (12)   balance (12)
DDDDDDDDDD dddddddddddddddddddd  aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa  AAAAAAAAAAAA  AAAAAAAAAAAA

and some examples:

$ hledger reg                     # use terminal width (or 80 on windows)
$ hledger reg -w 100              # use width 100
$ COLUMNS=100 hledger reg         # set with one-time environment variable
$ export COLUMNS=100; hledger reg # set till session end (or window resize)
$ hledger reg -w 100,40           # set overall width 100, description width 40
$ hledger reg -w $COLUMNS,40      # use terminal width, and set description width

The register command also supports the -o/--output-file and -O/--output-format options for controlling output destination and CSV output.

stats

Show some journal statistics.

-o FILE[.FMT] --output-file=FILE[.FMT]
write output to FILE instead of stdout. A recognised FMT suffix influences the format.
$ hledger stats
Main journal file        : /src/hledger/data/sample.journal
Included journal files   : 
Transactions span        : 2008-01-01 to 2009-01-01 (366 days)
Last transaction         : 2008-12-31 (2333 days ago)
Transactions             : 5 (0.0 per day)
Transactions last 30 days: 0 (0.0 per day)
Transactions last 7 days : 0 (0.0 per day)
Payees/descriptions      : 5
Accounts                 : 8 (depth 3)
Commodities              : 1 ($)

The stats command displays summary information for the whole journal, or a matched part of it. With a reporting interval, it shows a report for each report period.

The stats command also supports -o/--output-file for controlling output destination.

test

Run built-in unit tests.

$ hledger test
Cases: 74  Tried: 74  Errors: 0  Failures: 0

This command runs hledger's built-in unit tests and displays a quick report. With a regular expression argument, it selects only tests with matching names. It's mainly used in development, but it's also nice to be able to check your hledger executable for smoke at any time.

ADD-ON COMMANDS

Add-on commands are executables in your PATH whose name starts with hledger- and ends with any of these file extensions: none, .hs,.lhs,.pl,.py,.rb,.rkt,.sh,.bat,.com,.exe. Also, an add-on's name may not be the same as any built-in command or alias.

hledger will detect these and include them in the command list and let you invoke them with hledger ADDONCMD. However there are some limitations:

Sometimes it may be more convenient to just run the add-on directly, eg: hledger-web --server.

Add-ons which are written in haskell can take advantage of the hledger-lib library for journal parsing, reporting, command-line options, etc.

Here are some hledger add-ons available from Hackage, the extra directory in the hledger source, or elsewhere:

api

Web API server, see hledger-api.

autosync

Download OFX bank data and/or convert OFX to hledger journal format.

$ hledger autosync --help
usage: hledger-autosync [-h] [-m MAX] [-r] [-a ACCOUNT] [-l LEDGER] [-i INDENT]
                        [--initial] [--fid FID] [--assertions] [-d] [--hledger]
                        [--slow] [--which]
                        [PATH]

Synchronize ledger.

positional arguments:
  PATH                  do not sync; import from OFX file

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -m MAX, --max MAX     maximum number of days to process
  -r, --resync          do not stop until max days reached
  -a ACCOUNT, --account ACCOUNT
                        set account name for import
  -l LEDGER, --ledger LEDGER
                        specify ledger file to READ for syncing
  -i INDENT, --indent INDENT
                        number of spaces to use for indentation
  --initial             create initial balance entries
  --fid FID             pass in fid value for OFX files that do not supply it
  --assertions          create balance assertion entries
  -d, --debug           enable debug logging
  --hledger             force use of hledger (on by default if invoked as hledger-
                        autosync)
  --slow                use slow, but possibly more robust, method of calling ledger
                        (no subprocess)
  --which               display which version of ledger/hledger/ledger-python will
                        be used by ledger-autosync to check for previous
                        transactions
$ head acct1.ofx
OFXHEADER:100
DATA:OFXSGML
VERSION:102
SECURITY:NONE
ENCODING:USASCII
CHARSET:1252
COMPRESSION:NONE
OLDFILEUID:NONE
NEWFILEUIDe:8509488b59d1bb45

$ hledger autosync acct1.ofx
2013/08/30 MONTHLY SERVICE FEE
    ; ofxid: 3000.4303001832.201308301
    WF:4303001832                               -$6.00
    [assets:business:bank:wf:bchecking:banking]  $6.00

ledger-autosync, which includes a hledger-autosync alias, downloads transactions from your bank(s) via OFX, and prints just the new ones as journal entries which you can add to your journal. It can also operate on .OFX files which you've downloaded manually. It can be a nice alternative to hledger's built-in CSV reader, especially if your bank supports OFX download.

diff

Show transactions present in one journal file but not another

$ hledger diff --help
Usage: hledger-diff account:name left.journal right.journal
$ cat a.journal
1/1
 (acct:one)  1

$ cat b.journal
1/1
 (acct:one)  1
2/2
 (acct:two)  2

$ hledger diff acct:two a.journal b.journal
Unmatched transactions in the first journal:

Unmatched transactions in the second journal:

2015/02/02
    (acct:two)            $2

hledger-diff compares two journal files. Given an account name, it prints out the transactions affecting that account which are in one journal file but not in the other. This can be useful for reconciling existing journals with bank statements.

equity

Print a journal entry that resets account balances to zero.

$ hledger balance --flat -E assets liabilities
                   0  assets:bank:checking
                  $1  assets:bank:saving
                 $-2  assets:cash
                  $1  liabilities:debts
--------------------
                   0
$ hledger equity assets liabilities
2015/05/23
    assets:bank:saving                $-1
    assets:cash                        $2
    liabilities:debts                 $-1
    equity:closing balances             0

2015/05/23
    assets:bank:saving                 $1
    assets:cash                       $-2
    liabilities:debts                  $1
    equity:opening balances             0

This prints a journal entry which zeroes out the specified accounts (or all accounts) with a transfer to/from "equity:closing balances" (like Ledger's equity command). Also, it prints an similar entry with opposite sign for restoring the balances from "equity:opening balances".

These can be useful for ending one journal file and starting a new one, respectively. By zeroing your asset and liability accounts at the end of a file and restoring them at the start of the next one, you will see correct asset/liability balances whether you run hledger on just one file, or on several files concatenated with include.

interest

Generate interest transactions.

$ hledger interest --help
Usage: hledger-interest [OPTION...] ACCOUNT
  -h          --help            print this message and exit
  -V          --version         show version number and exit
  -v          --verbose         echo input ledger to stdout (default)
  -q          --quiet           don't echo input ledger to stdout
              --today           compute interest up until today
  -f FILE     --file=FILE       input ledger file (pass '-' for stdin)
  -s ACCOUNT  --source=ACCOUNT  interest source account
  -t ACCOUNT  --target=ACCOUNT  interest target account
              --act             use 'act' day counting convention
              --30-360          use '30/360' day counting convention
              --30E-360         use '30E/360' day counting convention
              --30E-360isda     use '30E/360isda' day counting convention
              --constant=RATE   constant interest rate
              --annual=RATE     annual interest rate
              --bgb288          compute interest according to German BGB288
              --ing-diba        compute interest according for Ing-Diba Tagesgeld account
$ cat interest.journal
2008/09/26 Loan
     Assets:Bank          EUR 10000.00
     Liabilities:Bank

2008/11/27 Payment
     Assets:Bank          EUR -3771.12
     Liabilities:Bank

2009/05/03 Payment
     Assets:Bank          EUR -1200.00
     Liabilities:Bank

2010/12/10 Payment
     Assets:Bank          EUR -3700.00
     Liabilities:Bank
$ hledger interest -- -f interest.journal --source=Expenses:Interest \
    --target=Liabilities:Bank --30-360 --annual=0.05 Liabilities:Bank
2008/09/26 Loan
    Assets:Bank       EUR 10000.00
    Liabilities:Bank  EUR -10000.00

2008/11/27 0.05% interest for EUR -10000.00 over 61 days
    Liabilities:Bank     EUR -84.72
    Expenses:Interest     EUR 84.72

2008/11/27 Payment
    Assets:Bank       EUR -3771.12
    Liabilities:Bank   EUR 3771.12

2008/12/31 0.05% interest for EUR -6313.60 over 34 days
    Liabilities:Bank     EUR -29.81
    Expenses:Interest     EUR 29.81

2009/05/03 0.05% interest for EUR -6343.42 over 123 days
    Liabilities:Bank    EUR -108.37
    Expenses:Interest    EUR 108.37

2009/05/03 Payment
    Assets:Bank       EUR -1200.00
    Liabilities:Bank   EUR 1200.00

2009/12/31 0.05% interest for EUR -5251.78 over 238 days
    Liabilities:Bank    EUR -173.60
    Expenses:Interest    EUR 173.60

2010/12/10 0.05% interest for EUR -5425.38 over 340 days
    Liabilities:Bank    EUR -256.20
    Expenses:Interest    EUR 256.20

2010/12/10 Payment
    Assets:Bank       EUR -3700.00
    Liabilities:Bank   EUR 3700.00

hledger-interest computes interests for a given account. Using command line flags, the program can be configured to use various schemes for day-counting, such as act/act, 30/360, 30E/360, and 30/360isda. Furthermore, it supports a (small) number of interest schemes, i.e. annual interest with a fixed rate and the scheme mandated by the German BGB288 (Basiszins für Verbrauchergeschäfte). See the package page for more.

irr

Calculate internal rate of return.

$ hledger irr --help
Usage: hledger-irr [OPTION...]
  -h          --help                        print this message and exit
  -V          --version                     show version number and exit
  -c          --cashflow                    also show all revant transactions
  -f FILE     --file=FILE                   input ledger file (pass '-' for stdin)
  -i ACCOUNT  --investment-account=ACCOUNT  investment account
  -t ACCOUNT  --interest-account=ACCOUNT    interest/gain/fees/losses account
  -b DATE     --begin=DATE                  calculate interest from this date
  -e DATE     --end=DATE                    calculate interest until this date
  -D          --daily                       calculate interest for each day
  -W          --weekly                      calculate interest for each week
  -M          --monthly                     calculate interest for each month
  -Y          --yearly                      calculate interest for each year
$ cat irr.journal 
2011-01-01 Some wild speculation – I wonder if it pays off
   Speculation   €100.00
   Cash

2011-02-01 More speculation (and adjustment of value)
   Cash         -€10.00
   Rate Gain     -€1.00
   Speculation

2011-03-01 Lets pull out some money (and adjustment of value)
   Cash          €30.00
   Rate Gain     -€3.00
   Speculation

2011-04-01 More speculation (and it lost some money!)
   Cash         -€50.00
   Rate Gain     € 5.00
   Speculation

2011-05-01 Getting some money out (and adjustment of value)
   Speculation  -€44.00
   Rate Gain    -€ 3.00
   Cash

2011-06-01 Emptying the account (after adjusting the value)
   Speculation   -€85.00
   Cash           €90.00
   Rate Gain     -€ 5.00
$ hledger-irr -f irr.journal -t "Rate Gain" -i Speculation  --monthly
2011/01/01 - 2011/02/01: 12.49%
2011/02/01 - 2011/03/01: 41.55%
2011/03/01 - 2011/04/01: -51.44%
2011/04/01 - 2011/05/01: 32.24%
2011/05/01 - 2011/06/01: 95.92%

hledger-irr computes the internal rate of return, also known as the effective interest rate, of a given investment. After specifying what account holds the investment, and what account stores the gains (or losses, or fees, or cost), it calculates the hypothetical annual rate of fixed rate investment that would have provided the exact same cash flow. See the package page for more.

Print only only journal entries which have a unique description.

$ cat unique.journal
1/1 test
 (acct:one)  1
2/2 test
 (acct:two)  2
$ LEDGER_FILE=unique.journal hledger print-unique
(-f option not supported)
2015/01/01 test
    (acct:one)             1

rewrite

Prints all journal entries, adding specified custom postings to matched entries.

hledger-rewrite.hs, in hledger's extra directory (compilation optional), adds postings to existing transactions, optionally with an amount based on the existing transaction's first amount. See the script for more details.

$ hledger rewrite -- [QUERY]        --add-posting "ACCT  AMTEXPR" ...
$ hledger rewrite -- ^income        --add-posting '(liabilities:tax)  *.33'
$ hledger rewrite -- expenses:gifts --add-posting '(budget:gifts)  *-1"'

ui

Curses-style interface, see hledger-ui.

web

Web interface, see hledger-web.

TROUBLESHOOTING

Run-time problems

Here are some issues you might encounter when you run hledger (and remember you can also seek help from the IRC channel, mail list or bug tracker):

Successfully installed, but "No command 'hledger' found"
stack and cabal install binaries into a special directory, which should be added to your PATH environment variable. Eg on unix-like systems, that is ~/.local/bin and ~/.cabal/bin respectively.

I set a custom LEDGER_FILE, but hledger is still using the default file
LEDGER_FILE should be a real environment variable, not just a shell variable. The command env | grep LEDGER_FILE should show it. You may need to use export. Here's an explanation.

"Illegal byte sequence" or "Invalid or incomplete multibyte or wide character" errors
In order to handle non-ascii letters and symbols (like £), hledger needs an appropriate locale. This is usually configured system-wide; you can also configure it temporarily. The locale may need to be one that supports UTF-8, if you built hledger with GHC < 7.2 (or possibly always, I'm not sure yet).

Here's an example of setting the locale temporarily, on ubuntu gnu/linux:

$ file my.journal
my.journal: UTF-8 Unicode text                 # <- the file is UTF8-encoded
$ locale -a
C
en_US.utf8                             # <- a UTF8-aware locale is available
POSIX
$ LANG=en_US.utf8 hledger -f my.journal print   # <- use it for this command

Here's one way to set it permanently, there are probably better ways:

$ echo "export LANG=en_US.UTF-8" >>~/.bash_profile
$ bash --login

If we preferred to use eg fr_FR.utf8, we might have to install that first:

$ apt-get install language-pack-fr
$ locale -a
C
en_US.utf8
fr_BE.utf8
fr_CA.utf8
fr_CH.utf8
fr_FR.utf8
fr_LU.utf8
POSIX
$ LANG=fr_FR.utf8 hledger -f my.journal print

Note some platforms allow variant locale spellings, but not all (ubuntu accepts fr_FR.UTF8, mac osx requires exactly fr_FR.UTF-8).

Known limitations

Command line interface

Add-on command options, unless they are also understood by the main hledger executable, must be written after --, like this: hledger web -- --server

Differences from Ledger

Not all of Ledger's journal file syntax is supported. See file format differences.

hledger is slower than Ledger, and uses more memory, on large data files.

Windows limitations

In a windows CMD window, non-ascii characters and colours are not supported.

In a windows Cygwin/MSYS/Mintty window, the tab key is not supported in hledger add.

ENVIRONMENT

COLUMNS The screen width used by the register command. Default: the full terminal width.

LEDGER_FILE The journal file path when not specified with -f. Default: ~/.hledger.journal (on windows, perhaps C:/Users/USER/.hledger.journal).

FILES

Reads data from one or more files in hledger journal, timeclock, timedot, or CSV format specified with -f, or $LEDGER_FILE, or $HOME/.hledger.journal (on windows, perhaps C:/Users/USER/.hledger.journal).

BUGS

The need to precede options with -- when invoked from hledger is awkward.

hledger can't render non-ascii characters when run from a Windows command prompt (up to Windows 7 at least).

When input data contains non-ascii characters, a suitable system locale must be configured (or there will be an unhelpful error). Eg on POSIX, set LANG to something other than C.

hledger-ui

version: dev | 0.27

NAME

hledger-ui - curses-style interface for the hledger accounting tool

SYNOPSIS

hledger-ui [OPTIONS] [QUERYARGS]
hledger ui -- [OPTIONS] [QUERYARGS]

DESCRIPTION

hledger is a cross-platform program for tracking money, time, or any other commodity, using double-entry accounting and a simple, editable file format. hledger is inspired by and largely compatible with ledger(1).

hledger-ui is hledger's curses-style interface, providing an efficient full-window text UI for viewing accounts and transactions, and some limited data entry capability. It is easier than hledger's command-line interface, and sometimes quicker and more convenient than the web interface.

Like hledger, it reads data from one or more files in hledger journal, timeclock, timedot, or CSV format specified with -f, or $LEDGER_FILE, or $HOME/.hledger.journal (on windows, perhaps C:/Users/USER/.hledger.journal). For more about this see hledger(1), hledger_journal(5) etc.

OPTIONS

Note: if invoking hledger-ui as a hledger subcommand, write -- before options as shown above.

Any QUERYARGS are interpreted as a hledger search query which filters the data.

--flat
show full account names, unindented
--no-elide
don't compress empty parent accounts on one line
--register=ACCTREGEX
start in the (first) matched account's register screen
--theme=default|terminal|greenterm
use this custom display theme
-V --value
show amounts as their current market value in their default valuation commodity (accounts screen only)

hledger general options:

-h
show general usage (or after COMMAND, the command's usage)
--help
show the current program's manual as plain text (or after an add-on COMMAND, the add-on's manual)
--man
show the current program's manual with man
--info
show the current program's manual with info
--version
show version
--debug[=N]
show debug output (levels 1-9, default: 1)
-f FILE --file=FILE
use a different input file. For stdin, use -
--rules-file=RULESFILE
Conversion rules file to use when reading CSV (default: FILE.rules)
--alias=OLD=NEW
display accounts named OLD as NEW
-I --ignore-assertions
ignore any failing balance assertions in the journal

hledger reporting options:

-b --begin=DATE
include postings/txns on or after this date
-e --end=DATE
include postings/txns before this date
-D --daily
multiperiod/multicolumn report by day
-W --weekly
multiperiod/multicolumn report by week
-M --monthly
multiperiod/multicolumn report by month
-Q --quarterly
multiperiod/multicolumn report by quarter
-Y --yearly
multiperiod/multicolumn report by year
-p --period=PERIODEXP
set start date, end date, and/or reporting interval all at once (overrides the flags above)
--date2
show, and match with -b/-e/-p/date:, secondary dates instead
-C --cleared
include only cleared postings/txns
--pending
include only pending postings/txns
-U --uncleared
include only uncleared (and pending) postings/txns
-R --real
include only non-virtual postings
--depth=N
hide accounts/postings deeper than N
-E --empty
show items with zero amount, normally hidden
-B --cost
show amounts in their cost price's commodity
--pivot TAG
will transform the journal before any other processing by replacing the account name of every posting having the tag TAG with content VALUE by the account name "TAG:VALUE".
The TAG will only match if it is a full-length match. The pivot will only happen if the TAG is on a posting, not if it is on the transaction. If the tag value is a multi:level:account:name the new account name will be "TAG:multi:level:account:name".

KEYS

? shows a help dialog listing all keys. (Some but not all of these also appear in the quick help at the bottom of each screen.) Press ? again (or ESCAPE, or LEFT) to close it.

The cursor keys navigate: right (or enter) goes deeper, left returns to the previous screen, up/down/page up/page down/home/end move up and down through lists. Vi-style h/j/k/l movement keys are also supported. A tip: movement speed is limited by your keyboard repeat rate, to move faster you may want to adjust that. (On a mac, the Karabiner app is one way to do that).

/ lets you set or change the filter query, which limits the data shown on most screens (in addition to the quick filters described below). While editing the query you can use typical command-line edit keys (CTRL-a/e/d/k, cursor keys etc.), and ENTERto set the new filter or ESCAPEto cancel.

BACKSPACE or DELETE clears any filters in effect.

ESCAPE removes any filters currently in effect, and jumps to the top screen. Or, it cancels a minibuffer edit or help dialog if one is active.

g reloads from the data file(s) and updates the current screen and any previous screens. (With large files, there can be a noticeable pause.)

I toggles balance assertion checking. Disabling balance assertions temporarily can be useful for troubleshooting.

a runs command-line hledger's add command, and reloads the updated file. This allows some basic data entry.

E runs $HLEDGER_UI_EDITOR, or $EDITOR, or a default (emacsclient -a "" -nw) on the journal file. With some editors (emacs, vi), the cursor will be positioned at the current transaction when invoked from the register and transaction screens, and at the error location (if possible) when invoked from the error screen.

q quits the application.

Additional screen-specific keys are described below.

SCREENS

Accounts screen

This is normally the first screen displayed. It lists accounts and their balances, like hledger's balance command. By default, it shows all accounts and their latest ending balances. if you specify a query on the command line, it shows just the matched accounts and the balances from matched transactions.

Account names are normally indented to show the hierarchy (tree mode). To see less detail, set a depth limit by pressing a number key, 1 to 9. 0 shows even less detail, collapsing all accounts to a single total. - and + (or =) decrease and increase the depth limit. To remove the depth limit, set it higher than the maximum account depth, or press ESCAPE.

F toggles flat mode on and off. In flat mode, accounts are listed without indentation (and account registers will exclude subaccounts, see below).

C toggles cleared mode, in which uncleared transactions and postings are not shown. U toggles uncleared mode, in which only uncleared transactions/postings are shown.

R toggles real mode, in which virtual postings are ignored.

Z toggles nonzero mode, in which only accounts with nonzero balances are shown (hledger-ui shows zero items by default, unlike command-line hledger).

Press right or enter to view an account's transactions register.

Register screen

This screen shows the transactions affecting a particular account, like a check register. Each line represents one transaction and shows:

Normally the register screen shows transactions in the current account and any of its subaccounts (inclusive mode). If it was entered from accounts screen in flat mode, it shows transactions affecting this account specifically, without considering subaccounts (exclusive mode). As on the accounts screen you can toggle this with the F key.

C toggles cleared mode, in which uncleared transactions and postings are not shown. U toggles uncleared mode, in which only uncleared transactions/postings are shown.

R toggles real mode, in which virtual postings are ignored.

Z toggles nonzero mode, in which only transactions posting a nonzero change are shown (hledger-ui shows zero items by default, unlike command-line hledger).

Press right (or enter) to view the selected transaction in detail.

Transaction screen

This screen shows a single transaction, as a general journal entry, similar to hledger's print command and journal format (hledger_journal(5)).

The transaction's date(s) and any cleared flag, transaction code, description, comments, along with all of its account postings are shown. Simple transactions have two postings, but there can be more (or in certain cases, fewer).

up and down will step through all transactions listed in the previous account register screen. In the title bar, the numbers in parentheses show your position within that account register. They will vary depending on which account register you came from (remember most transactions appear in multiple account registers). The #N number preceding them is the transaction's position within the complete unfiltered journal, which is a more stable id (at least until the next reload).

Error screen

This screen will appear if there is a problem, such as a parse error, when you press g to reload. Once you have fixed the problem, press g again to reload and resume normal operation. (Or, you can press escape to cancel the reload attempt.)

ENVIRONMENT

COLUMNS The screen width to use. Default: the full terminal width.

LEDGER_FILE The journal file path when not specified with -f. Default: ~/.hledger.journal (on windows, perhaps C:/Users/USER/.hledger.journal).

FILES

Reads data from one or more files in hledger journal, timeclock, timedot, or CSV format specified with -f, or $LEDGER_FILE, or $HOME/.hledger.journal (on windows, perhaps C:/Users/USER/.hledger.journal).

BUGS

The need to precede options with -- when invoked from hledger is awkward.

-f- doesn't work (hledger-ui can't read from stdin).

-V affects only the accounts screen.

When you press g, the current and all previous screens are regenerated, which may cause a noticeable pause. Also there is no visual indication that this is in progress.

The register screen's switching between historic balance and running total based on query arguments may be confusing, and there is no column heading to indicate which is being displayed.

hledger-web

version: dev | 0.27

NAME

hledger-web - web interface for the hledger accounting tool

SYNOPSIS

hledger-web [OPTIONS]
hledger web -- [OPTIONS]

DESCRIPTION

hledger is a cross-platform program for tracking money, time, or any other commodity, using double-entry accounting and a simple, editable file format. hledger is inspired by and largely compatible with ledger(1).

hledger-web is hledger's web interface. It starts a simple web application for browsing and adding transactions, and optionally opens it in a web browser window if possible. It provides a more user-friendly UI than the hledger CLI or hledger-ui interface, showing more at once (accounts, the current account register, balance charts) and allowing history-aware data entry, interactive searching, and bookmarking.

hledger-web also lets you share a ledger with multiple users, or even the public web. There is no access control, so if you need that you should put it behind a suitable web proxy. As a small protection against data loss when running an unprotected instance, it writes a numbered backup of the main journal file (only ?) on every edit.

Like hledger, it reads data from one or more files in hledger journal, timeclock, timedot, or CSV format specified with -f, or $LEDGER_FILE, or $HOME/.hledger.journal (on windows, perhaps C:/Users/USER/.hledger.journal). For more about this see hledger(1), hledger_journal(5) etc.

By default, hledger-web starts the web app in "transient mode" and also opens it in your default web browser if possible. In this mode the web app will keep running for as long as you have it open in a browser window, and will exit after two minutes of inactivity (no requests and no browser windows viewing it).

$ hledger web
Starting web app on port 5000 with base url http://localhost:5000
Starting web browser if possible
Web app will auto-exit after a few minutes with no browsers (or press ctrl-c)

With --server, it starts the web app in non-transient mode and logs requests to the console. Typically when running hledger web as part of a website you'll want to use --base-url to set the protocol/hostname/port/path to be used in hyperlinks. The --file-url option allows static files to be served from a different url, eg for better caching or cookie-less serving.

You can use --port to listen on a different TCP port, eg if you are running multiple hledger-web instances. This need not be the same as the PORT in the base url.

Note there is no built-in access control, so you will need to hide hledger-web behind an authenticating proxy (such as apache or nginx) if you want to restrict who can see and add entries to your journal.

Command-line options and arguments may be used to set an initial filter on the data. This is not shown in the web UI, but it will be applied in addition to any search query entered there.

With journal and timeclock files (but not CSV files, currently) the web app detects changes made by other means and will show the new data on the next request. If a change makes the file unparseable, hledger-web will show an error until the file has been fixed.

OPTIONS

Note: if invoking hledger-web as a hledger subcommand, write -- before options as shown above.

--server
disable browser-opening and auto-exit-on-idle, and log all requests to stdout
--port=PORT
set the TCP port to listen on (default: 5000)
--base-url=URL
set the base url (default: http://localhost:PORT). You would change this when sharing over the network, or integrating within a larger website.
--file-url=URL
set the static files url (default: BASEURL/static). hledger-web normally serves static files itself, but if you wanted to serve them from another server for efficiency, you would set the url with this.

hledger general options:

-h
show general usage (or after COMMAND, the command's usage)
--help
show the current program's manual as plain text (or after an add-on COMMAND, the add-on's manual)
--man
show the current program's manual with man
--info
show the current program's manual with info
--version
show version
--debug[=N]
show debug output (levels 1-9, default: 1)
-f FILE --file=FILE
use a different input file. For stdin, use -
--rules-file=RULESFILE
Conversion rules file to use when reading CSV (default: FILE.rules)
--alias=OLD=NEW
display accounts named OLD as NEW
-I --ignore-assertions
ignore any failing balance assertions in the journal

hledger reporting options:

-b --begin=DATE
include postings/txns on or after this date
-e --end=DATE
include postings/txns before this date
-D --daily
multiperiod/multicolumn report by day
-W --weekly
multiperiod/multicolumn report by week
-M --monthly
multiperiod/multicolumn report by month
-Q --quarterly
multiperiod/multicolumn report by quarter
-Y --yearly
multiperiod/multicolumn report by year
-p --period=PERIODEXP
set start date, end date, and/or reporting interval all at once (overrides the flags above)
--date2
show, and match with -b/-e/-p/date:, secondary dates instead
-C --cleared
include only cleared postings/txns
--pending
include only pending postings/txns
-U --uncleared
include only uncleared (and pending) postings/txns
-R --real
include only non-virtual postings
--depth=N
hide accounts/postings deeper than N
-E --empty
show items with zero amount, normally hidden
-B --cost
show amounts in their cost price's commodity
--pivot TAG
will transform the journal before any other processing by replacing the account name of every posting having the tag TAG with content VALUE by the account name "TAG:VALUE".
The TAG will only match if it is a full-length match. The pivot will only happen if the TAG is on a posting, not if it is on the transaction. If the tag value is a multi:level:account:name the new account name will be "TAG:multi:level:account:name".

ENVIRONMENT

LEDGER_FILE The journal file path when not specified with -f. Default: ~/.hledger.journal (on windows, perhaps C:/Users/USER/.hledger.journal).

FILES

Reads data from one or more files in hledger journal, timeclock, timedot, or CSV format specified with -f, or $LEDGER_FILE, or $HOME/.hledger.journal (on windows, perhaps C:/Users/USER/.hledger.journal).

BUGS

The need to precede options with -- when invoked from hledger is awkward.

-f- doesn't work (hledger-web can't read from stdin).

Query arguments and some hledger options are ignored.

Does not work in text-mode browsers.

Does not work well on small screens.

hledger-api

version: dev

NAME

hledger-api - web API server for the hledger accounting tool

SYNOPSIS

hledger-api [OPTIONS]
hledger-api --swagger
hledger api -- [OPTIONS]

DESCRIPTION

hledger is a cross-platform program for tracking money, time, or any other commodity, using double-entry accounting and a simple, editable file format. hledger is inspired by and largely compatible with ledger(1).

hledger-api is a simple web API server, intended to support client-side web apps operating on hledger data. It comes with a series of simple client-side app examples, which drive it's evolution.

Like hledger, it reads data from one or more files in hledger journal, timeclock, timedot, or CSV format specified with -f, or $LEDGER_FILE, or $HOME/.hledger.journal (on windows, perhaps C:/Users/USER/.hledger.journal). For more about this see hledger(1), hledger_journal(5) etc.

The server listens on port 8001, or another specified with -p PORT. Note there is no built-in access control, so you will need to hide hledger-api behind an authenticating proxy if you want to restrict access.

If invoked as hledger-api --swagger, instead of starting a server the API docs will be printed in Swagger 2.0 format.

OPTIONS

Note: if invoking hledger-api as a hledger subcommand, write -- before options as shown above.

-d --static-dir=DIR
serve files from a different directory (default: .)
-p --port=PORT
use a different TCP port (default: 8001)
--swagger
print API docs in Swagger 2.0 format, and exit

hledger general options:

-h
show general usage (or after COMMAND, the command's usage)
--help
show the current program's manual as plain text (or after an add-on COMMAND, the add-on's manual)
--man
show the current program's manual with man
--info
show the current program's manual with info
--version
show version
--debug[=N]
show debug output (levels 1-9, default: 1)
-f FILE --file=FILE
use a different input file. For stdin, use -
--rules-file=RULESFILE
Conversion rules file to use when reading CSV (default: FILE.rules)
--alias=OLD=NEW
display accounts named OLD as NEW
-I --ignore-assertions
ignore any failing balance assertions in the journal

ENVIRONMENT

LEDGER_FILE The journal file path when not specified with -f. Default: ~/.hledger.journal (on windows, perhaps C:/Users/USER/.hledger.journal).

FILES

Reads data from one or more files in hledger journal, timeclock, timedot, or CSV format specified with -f, or $LEDGER_FILE, or $HOME/.hledger.journal (on windows, perhaps C:/Users/USER/.hledger.journal).

BUGS

The need to precede options with -- when invoked from hledger is awkward.

journal format

version: dev | 0.27

NAME

Journal - hledger's default file format, representing a General Journal

DESCRIPTION

hledger's usual data source is a plain text file containing journal entries in hledger journal format. This file represents a standard accounting general journal. I use file names ending in .journal, but that's not required. The journal file contains a number of transaction entries, each describing a transfer of money (or any commodity) between two or more named accounts, in a simple format readable by both hledger and humans.

hledger's journal format is a compatible subset, mostly, of ledger's journal format, so hledger can work with compatible ledger journal files as well. It's safe, and encouraged, to run both hledger and ledger on the same journal file, eg to validate the results you're getting.

You can use hledger without learning any more about this file; just use the add or web commands to create and update it. Many users, though, also edit the journal file directly with a text editor, perhaps assisted by the helper modes for emacs or vim.

Here's an example:

; A sample journal file. This is a comment.

2008/01/01 income               ; <- transaction's first line starts in column 0, contains date and description
    assets:bank:checking  $1    ; <- posting lines start with whitespace, each contains an account name
    income:salary        $-1    ;    followed by at least two spaces and an amount

2008/06/01 gift
    assets:bank:checking  $1    ; <- at least two postings in a transaction
    income:gifts         $-1    ; <- their amounts must balance to 0

2008/06/02 save
    assets:bank:saving    $1
    assets:bank:checking        ; <- one amount may be omitted; here $-1 is inferred

2008/06/03 eat & shop           ; <- description can be anything
    expenses:food         $1
    expenses:supplies     $1    ; <- this transaction debits two expense accounts
    assets:cash                 ; <- $-2 inferred

2008/12/31 * pay off            ; <- an optional * or ! after the date means "cleared" (or anything you want)
    liabilities:debts     $1
    assets:bank:checking

FILE FORMAT

Transactions

Transactions are represented by journal entries. Each begins with a simple date in column 0, followed by three optional fields with spaces between them:

then some number of postings, of some amount to some account. Each posting is on its own line, consisting of:

Usually there are two or more postings, though one or none is also possible. The posting amounts within a transaction must always balance, ie add up to 0. Optionally one amount can be left blank, in which case it will be inferred.

Dates

Simple dates

Within a journal file, transaction dates use Y/M/D (or Y-M-D or Y.M.D) Leading zeros are optional. The year may be omitted, in which case it will be inferred from the context - the current transaction, the default year set with a default year directive, or the current date when the command is run. Some examples: 2010/01/31, 1/31, 2010-01-31, 2010.1.31.

Secondary dates

Real-life transactions sometimes involve more than one date - eg the date you write a cheque, and the date it clears in your bank. When you want to model this, eg for more accurate balances, you can specify individual #posting-dates, which I recommend. Or, you can use the secondary dates (aka auxiliary/effective dates) feature, supported for compatibility with Ledger.

A secondary date can be written after the primary date, separated by an equals sign. The primary date, on the left, is used by default; the secondary date, on the right, is used when the --date2 flag is specified (--aux-date or --effective also work).

The meaning of secondary dates is up to you, but it's best to follow a consistent rule. Eg write the bank's clearing date as primary, and when needed, the date the transaction was initiated as secondary.

Here's an example. Note that a secondary date will use the year of the primary date if unspecified.

2010/2/23=2/19 movie ticket
  expenses:cinema                   $10
  assets:checking
$ hledger register checking
2010/02/23 movie ticket         assets:checking                $-10         $-10
$ hledger register checking --date2
2010/02/19 movie ticket         assets:checking                $-10         $-10

Secondary dates require some effort; you must use them consistently in your journal entries and remember whether to use or not use the --date2 flag for your reports. They are included in hledger for Ledger compatibility, but posting dates are a more powerful and less confusing alternative.

Posting dates

You can give individual postings a different date from their parent transaction, by adding a posting comment containing a tag (see below) like date:DATE. This is probably the best way to control posting dates precisely. Eg in this example the expense should appear in May reports, and the deduction from checking should be reported on 6/1 for easy bank reconciliation:

2015/5/30
    expenses:food     $10   ; food purchased on saturday 5/30
    assets:checking         ; bank cleared it on monday, date:6/1
$ hledger -f t.j register food
2015/05/30                      expenses:food                  $10           $10
$ hledger -f t.j register checking
2015/06/01                      assets:checking               $-10          $-10

DATE should be a simple date; if the year is not specified it will use the year of the transaction's date. You can set the secondary date similarly, with date2:DATE2. The date: or date2: tags must have a valid simple date value if they are present, eg a date: tag with no value is not allowed.

Ledger's earlier, more compact bracketed date syntax is also supported: [DATE], [DATE=DATE2] or [=DATE2]. hledger will attempt to parse any square-bracketed sequence of the 0123456789/-.= characters in this way. With this syntax, DATE infers its year from the transaction and DATE2 infers its year from DATE.

Account names

Account names typically have several parts separated by a full colon, from which hledger derives a hierarchical chart of accounts. They can be anything you like, but in finance there are traditionally five top-level accounts: assets, liabilities, income, expenses, and equity.

Account names may contain single spaces, eg: assets:accounts receivable. Because of this, they must always be followed by two or more spaces (or newline).

Account names can be aliased.

Amounts

After the account name, there is usually an amount. Important: between account name and amount, there must be two or more spaces.

Amounts consist of a number and (usually) a currency symbol or commodity name. Some examples:

2.00001
$1
4000 AAPL
3 "green apples"
-$1,000,000.00
INR 9,99,99,999.00
EUR -2.000.000,00

As you can see, the amount format is somewhat flexible:

You can use any of these variations when recording data, but when hledger displays amounts, it will choose a consistent format for each commodity. (Except for price amounts, which are always formatted as written). The display format is chosen as follows:

Price amounts and amounts in D directives usually don't affect amount format inference, but in some situations they can do so indirectly. (Eg when D's default commodity is applied to a commodity-less amount, or when an amountless posting is balanced using a price's commodity, or when -V is used.) If you find this causing problems, set the desired format with a commodity directive.

Virtual Postings

When you parenthesise the account name in a posting, we call that a virtual posting, which means:

You could use this, eg, to set an account's opening balance without needing to use the equity:opening balances account:

1/1 special unbalanced posting to set initial balance
  (assets:checking)   $1000

When the account name is bracketed, we call it a balanced virtual posting. This is like an ordinary virtual posting except the balanced virtual postings in a transaction must balance to 0, like the real postings (but separately from them). Balanced virtual postings are also excluded by --real/-R or real:1.

1/1 buy food with cash, and update some budget-tracking subaccounts elsewhere
  expenses:food                   $10
  assets:cash                    $-10
  [assets:checking:available]     $10
  [assets:checking:budget:food]  $-10

Virtual postings have some legitimate uses, but those are few. You can usually find an equivalent journal entry using real postings, which is more correct and provides better error checking.

Balance Assertions

hledger supports ledger-style balance assertions in journal files. These look like =EXPECTEDBALANCE following a posting's amount. Eg in this example we assert the expected dollar balance in accounts a and b after each posting:

2013/1/1
  a   $1  =$1
  b       =$-1

2013/1/2
  a   $1  =$2
  b  $-1  =$-2

After reading a journal file, hledger will check all balance assertions and report an error if any of them fail. Balance assertions can protect you from, eg, inadvertently disrupting reconciled balances while cleaning up old entries. You can disable them temporarily with the --ignore-assertions flag, which can be useful for troubleshooting or for reading Ledger files.

Assertions and ordering

hledger sorts an account's postings and assertions first by date and then (for postings on the same day) by parse order. Note this is different from Ledger, which sorts assertions only by parse order. (Also, Ledger assertions do not see the accumulated effect of repeated postings to the same account within a transaction.)

So, hledger balance assertions keep working if you reorder differently-dated transactions within the journal. But if you reorder same-dated transactions or postings, assertions might break and require updating. This order dependence does bring an advantage: precise control over the order of postings and assertions within a day, so you can assert intra-day balances.

With included files, things are a little more complicated. Including preserves the ordering of postings and assertions. If you have multiple postings to an account on the same day, split across different files, and you also want to assert the account's balance on the same day, you'll have to put the assertion in the right file.

Assertions and commodities

The asserted balance must be a simple single-commodity amount, and in fact the assertion checks only this commodity's balance within the (possibly multi-commodity) account balance. We could call this a partial balance assertion. This is compatible with Ledger, and makes it possible to make assertions about accounts containing multiple commodities.

To assert each commodity's balance in such a multi-commodity account, you can add multiple postings (with amount 0 if necessary). But note that no matter how many assertions you add, you can't be sure the account does not contain some unexpected commodity. (We'll add support for this kind of total balance assertion if there's demand.)

Assertions and subaccounts

Balance assertions do not count the balance from subaccounts; they check the posted account's exclusive balance. For example:

1/1
  checking:fund   1 = 1  ; post to this subaccount, its balance is now 1
  checking        1 = 1  ; post to the parent account, its exclusive balance is now 1
  equity

The balance report's flat mode shows these exclusive balances more clearly:

$ hledger bal checking --flat
                   1  checking
                   1  checking:fund
--------------------
                   2
Assertions and virtual postings

Balance assertions are checked against all postings, both real and virtual. They are not affected by the --real/-R flag or real: query.

Prices

Transaction prices

When recording a transaction, you can also record an amount's price in another commodity. This documents the exchange rate, cost (of a purchase), or selling price (of a sale) that was in effect within this particular transaction (or more precisely, within the particular posting). These transaction prices are fixed, and do not change.

Such priced amounts can be displayed in their transaction price's commodity, by using the --cost/-B flag (B for "cost Basis"), supported by most hledger commands.

There are three ways to specify a transaction price:

  1. Write the unit price (aka exchange rate), as @ UNITPRICE after the amount:

    2009/1/1
      assets:foreign currency   €100 @ $1.35  ; one hundred euros at $1.35 each
      assets:cash
  2. Or write the total price, as @@ TOTALPRICE after the amount:

    2009/1/1
      assets:foreign currency   €100 @@ $135  ; one hundred euros at $135 for the lot
      assets:cash
  3. Or let hledger infer the price so as to balance the transaction. To permit this, you must fully specify all posting amounts, and their sum must have a non-zero amount in exactly two commodities:

    2009/1/1
      assets:foreign currency   €100          ; one hundred euros
      assets:cash              $-135          ; exchanged for $135

With any of the above examples we get:

$ hledger print -B
2009/01/01
    assets:foreign currency       $135.00
    assets:cash                  $-135.00

Example use for transaction prices: recording the effective conversion rate of purchases made in a foreign currency.

Market prices

Market prices are not tied to a particular transaction; they represent historical exchange rates between two commodities, usually from some public market which publishes such rates.

When market prices are known, the -V/--value option will use them to convert reported amounts to their market value as of the report end date. This option is currently available only with the balance command.

You record market prices (Ledger calls them historical prices) with a P directive, in the journal or perhaps in a separate included file. Market price directives have the format:

P DATE COMMODITYSYMBOL UNITPRICE

For example, the following directives say that the euro's exchange rate was 1.35 US dollars during 2009, and $1.40 from 2010 onward (and unknown before 2009).

P 2009/1/1 € $1.35
P 2010/1/1 € $1.40

Example use for market prices: tracking the value of stocks.

Comments

Lines in the journal beginning with a semicolon (;) or hash (#) or asterisk (*) are comments, and will be ignored. (Asterisk comments make it easy to treat your journal like an org-mode outline in emacs.)

Also, anything between comment and end comment directives is a (multi-line) comment. If there is no end comment, the comment extends to the end of the file.

You can attach comments to a transaction by writing them after the description and/or indented on the following lines (before the postings). Similarly, you can attach comments to an individual posting by writing them after the amount and/or indented on the following lines.

Some examples:

# a journal comment

; also a journal comment

comment
This is a multiline comment,
which continues until a line
where the "end comment" string
appears on its own.
end comment

2012/5/14 something  ; a transaction comment
    ; the transaction comment, continued
    posting1  1  ; a comment for posting 1
    posting2
    ; a comment for posting 2
    ; another comment line for posting 2
; a journal comment (because not indented)

Tags

A tag is a word followed by a full colon inside a transaction or posting comment. You can write multiple tags, comma separated. Eg: ; a comment containing sometag:, anothertag:. You can search for tags with the tag: query.

A tag can also have a value, which is any text between the colon and the next comma or newline, excluding leading/trailing whitespace. (So hledger tag values can not contain commas or newlines).

Tags in a transaction comment affect the transaction and all of its postings, while tags in a posting comment affect only that posting. For example, the following transaction has three tags (A, TAG2, third-tag) and the posting has four (A, TAG2, third-tag, posting-tag):

1/1 a transaction  ; A:, TAG2:
    ; third-tag: a third transaction tag, this time with a value
    (a)  $1  ; posting-tag:

Tags are like Ledger's metadata feature, except hledger's tag values are simple strings.

Directives

Account aliases

You can define aliases which rewrite your account names (after reading the journal, before generating reports). hledger's account aliases can be useful for:

See also How to use account aliases.

Basic aliases

To set an account alias, use the alias directive in your journal file. This affects all subsequent journal entries in the current file or its included files. The spaces around the = are optional:

alias OLD = NEW

Or, you can use the --alias 'OLD=NEW' option on the command line. This affects all entries. It's useful for trying out aliases interactively.

OLD and NEW are full account names. hledger will replace any occurrence of the old account name with the new one. Subaccounts are also affected. Eg:

alias checking = assets:bank:wells fargo:checking
# rewrites "checking" to "assets:bank:wells fargo:checking", or "checking:a" to "assets:bank:wells fargo:checking:a"
Regex aliases

There is also a more powerful variant that uses a regular expression, indicated by the forward slashes. (This was the default behaviour in hledger 0.24-0.25):

alias /REGEX/ = REPLACEMENT

or --alias '/REGEX/=REPLACEMENT'.

REGEX is a case-insensitive regular expression. Anywhere it matches inside an account name, the matched part will be replaced by REPLACEMENT. If REGEX contains parenthesised match groups, these can be referenced by the usual numeric backreferences in REPLACEMENT. Note, currently regular expression aliases may cause noticeable slow-downs. (And if you use Ledger on your hledger file, they will be ignored.) Eg:

alias /^(.+):bank:([^:]+)(.*)/ = \1:\2 \3
# rewrites "assets:bank:wells fargo:checking" to  "assets:wells fargo checking"
Multiple aliases

You can define as many aliases as you like using directives or command-line options. Aliases are recursive - each alias sees the result of applying previous ones. (This is different from Ledger, where aliases are non-recursive by default). Aliases are applied in the following order:

  1. alias directives, most recently seen first (recent directives take precedence over earlier ones; directives not yet seen are ignored)
  2. alias options, in the order they appear on the command line
end aliases

You can clear (forget) all currently defined aliases with the end aliases directive:

end aliases
account directive

The account directive predefines account names, as in Ledger and Beancount. This may be useful for your own documentation; hledger doesn't make use of it yet.

; account ACCT
;   OPTIONAL COMMENTS/TAGS...

account assets:bank:checking
 a comment
 acct-no:12345

account expenses:food

; etc.
apply account directive

You can specify a parent account which will be prepended to all accounts within a section of the journal. Use the apply account and end apply account directives like so:

apply account home

2010/1/1
    food    $10
    cash

end apply account

which is equivalent to:

2010/01/01
    home:food           $10
    home:cash          $-10

If end apply account is omitted, the effect lasts to the end of the file. Included files are also affected, eg:

apply account business
include biz.journal
end apply account
apply account personal
include personal.journal

Prior to hledger 0.28, legacy account and end spellings were also supported.

Multi-line comments

A line containing just comment starts a multi-line comment, and a line containing just end comment ends it. See comments.

commodity directive

The commodity directive predefines commodities (currently this is just informational), and also it may define the display format for amounts in this commodity (overriding the automatically inferred format).

It may be written on a single line, like this:

; commodity EXAMPLEAMOUNT

; display AAAA amounts with the symbol on the right, space-separated,
; using period as decimal point, with four decimal places, and
; separating thousands with comma.
commodity 1,000.0000 AAAA

or on multiple lines, using the "format" subdirective. In this case the commodity symbol appears twice and should be the same in both places:

; commodity SYMBOL
;   format EXAMPLEAMOUNT

; display indian rupees with currency name on the left,
; thousands, lakhs and crores comma-separated,
; period as decimal point, and two decimal places.
commodity INR
  format INR 9,99,99,999.00
Default commodity

You can set a default commodity, to be used for amounts without one. Use the D directive with a sample amount. The commodity (and the sample amount's display format) will be applied to all subsequent commodity-less amounts, up to the next D directive. (Note this is different from Ledger's default commodity directive.)

Default year

You can set a default year to be used for subsequent dates which don't specify a year. This is a line beginning with Y followed by the year. Eg:

Y2009      ; set default year to 2009

12/15      ; equivalent to 2009/12/15
  expenses  1
  assets

Y2010      ; change default year to 2010

2009/1/30  ; specifies the year, not affected
  expenses  1
  assets

1/31       ; equivalent to 2010/1/31
  expenses  1
  assets
Including other files

You can pull in the content of additional journal files by writing an include directive, like this:

include path/to/file.journal

If the path does not begin with a slash, it is relative to the current file. Glob patterns (*) are not currently supported.

The include directive can only be used in journal files. It can include journal, timeclock or timedot files, but not CSV files.

EDITOR SUPPORT

Add-on modes exist for various text editors, to make working with journal files easier. They add colour, navigation aids and helpful commands. For hledger users who edit the journal file directly (the majority), using one of these modes is quite recommended.

These were written with Ledger in mind, but also work with hledger files:

Emacs http://www.ledger-cli.org/3.0/doc/ledger-mode.html
Vim <https://github.com/ledger/ledger/wiki/Getting-sta rte d>
Sublime Text <https://github.com/ledger/ledger/wiki/Using-Subli me- Text>
Textmate <https://github.com/ledger/ledger/wiki/Using-TextM ate -2>
Text Wrangler   <https://github.com/ledger/ledger/wiki/Editing-Led ger -files-with-TextWrangler>

csv format

version: dev | 0.27

NAME

CSV - how hledger reads CSV data, and the CSV rules file format

DESCRIPTION

hledger can read CSV files, converting each CSV record into a journal entry (transaction), if you provide some conversion hints in a "rules file". This file should be named like the CSV file with an additional .rules suffix (eg: mybank.csv.rules); or, you can specify the file with --rules-file PATH. hledger will create it if necessary, with some default rules which you'll need to adjust. At minimum, the rules file must specify the date and amount fields. For an example, see How to read CSV files.

To learn about exporting CSV, see CSV output.

CSV RULES

The following six kinds of rule can appear in the rules file, in any order. Blank lines and lines beginning with # or ; are ignored.

skip

skipN

Skip this number of CSV records at the beginning. You'll need this whenever your CSV data contains header lines. Eg:

# ignore the first CSV line
skip 1

date-format

date-formatDATEFMT

When your CSV date fields are not formatted like YYYY/MM/DD (or YYYY-MM-DD or YYYY.MM.DD), you'll need to specify the format. DATEFMT is a strptime-like date parsing pattern, which must parse the date field values completely. Examples:

# for dates like "6/11/2013":
date-format %-d/%-m/%Y
# for dates like "11/06/2013":
date-format %m/%d/%Y
# for dates like "2013-Nov-06":
date-format %Y-%h-%d
# for dates like "11/6/2013 11:32 PM":
date-format %-m/%-d/%Y %l:%M %p

field list

fieldsFIELDNAME1, FIELDNAME2...

This (a) names the CSV fields, in order (names may not contain whitespace; uninteresting names may be left blank), and (b) assigns them to journal entry fields if you use any of these standard field names: date, date2, status, code, description, comment, account1, account2, amount, amount-in, amount-out, currency. Eg:

# use the 1st, 2nd and 4th CSV fields as the entry's date, description and amount,
# and give the 7th and 8th fields meaningful names for later reference:
#
# CSV field:
#      1     2            3 4       5 6 7          8
# entry field:
fields date, description, , amount, , , somefield, anotherfield

field assignment

ENTRYFIELDNAME FIELDVALUE

This sets a journal entry field (one of the standard names above) to the given text value, which can include CSV field values interpolated by name (%CSVFIELDNAME) or 1-based position (%N). Eg:

# set the amount to the 4th CSV field with "USD " prepended
amount USD %4
# combine three fields to make a comment (containing two tags)
comment note: %somefield - %anotherfield, date: %1

Field assignments can be used instead of or in addition to a field list.

conditional block

if PATTERN
    FIELDASSIGNMENTS...

if
PATTERN
PATTERN...
    FIELDASSIGNMENTS...

This applies one or more field assignments, only to those CSV records matched by one of the PATTERNs. The patterns are case-insensitive regular expressions which match anywhere within the whole CSV record (it's not yet possible to match within a specific field). When there are multiple patterns they can be written on separate lines, unindented. The field assignments are on separate lines indented by at least one space. Examples:

# if the CSV record contains "groceries", set account2 to "expenses:groceries"
if groceries
 account2 expenses:groceries
# if the CSV record contains any of these patterns, set account2 and comment as shown
if
monthly service fee
atm transaction fee
banking thru software
 account2 expenses:business:banking
 comment  XXX deductible ? check it

include

includeRULESFILE

Include another rules file at this point. RULESFILE is either an absolute file path or a path relative to the current file's directory. Eg:

# rules reused with several CSV files
include common.rules

TIPS

Each generated journal entry will have two postings, to account1 and account2 respectively. Currently it's not possible to generate entries with more than two postings.

If the CSV has debit/credit amounts in separate fields, assign to the amount-in and amount-out pseudo fields instead of amount.

If the CSV has the currency in a separate field, assign that to the currency pseudo field which will be automatically prepended to the amount. (Or you can do the same thing with a field assignment.)

If an amount value is parenthesised, it will be de-parenthesised and sign-flipped automatically.

The generated journal entries will be sorted by date. The original order of same-day entries will be preserved, usually.

timeclock format

version: dev | 0.27

NAME

Timeclock - the time logging format of timeclock.el, as read by hledger

DESCRIPTION

hledger can read timeclock files. As with Ledger, these are (a subset of) timeclock.el's format, containing clock-in and clock-out entries as in the example below. The date is a simple date. The time format is HH:MM[:SS][+-ZZZZ]. Seconds and timezone are optional. The timezone, if present, must be four digits and is ignored (currently the time is always interpreted as a local time).

i 2015/03/30 09:00:00 some:account name  optional description after two spaces
o 2015/03/30 09:20:00
i 2015/03/31 22:21:45 another account
o 2015/04/01 02:00:34

hledger treats each clock-in/clock-out pair as a transaction posting some number of hours to an account. Or if the session spans more than one day, it is split into several transactions, one for each day. For the above time log, hledger print generates these journal entries:

$ hledger -f t.timeclock print
2015/03/30 * optional description after two spaces
    (some:account name)         0.33h

2015/03/31 * 22:21-23:59
    (another account)         1.64h

2015/04/01 * 00:00-02:00
    (another account)         2.01h

Here is a sample.timeclock to download and some queries to try:

$ hledger -f sample.timeclock balance                               # current time balances
$ hledger -f sample.timeclock register -p 2009/3                    # sessions in march 2009
$ hledger -f sample.timeclock register -p weekly --depth 1 --empty  # time summary by week

To generate time logs, ie to clock in and clock out, you could:

timedot format

version: dev | 0.27

NAME

Timedot - hledger's human-friendly time logging format

DESCRIPTION

Timedot is a plain text format for logging dated, categorised quantities (eg time), supported by hledger. It is convenient for approximate and retroactive time logging, eg when the real-time clock-in/out required with a timeclock file is too precise or too interruptive. It can be formatted like a bar chart, making clear at a glance where time was spent.

Though called "timedot", the format does not specify the commodity being logged, so could represent other dated, quantifiable things. Eg you could record a single-entry journal of financial transactions, perhaps slightly more conveniently than with hledger_journal(5) format.

FILE FORMAT

A timedot file contains a series of day entries. A day entry begins with a date, and is followed by category/quantity pairs, one per line. Dates are hledger-style simple dates (see hledger_journal(5)). Categories are hledger-style account names, optionally indented. There must be at least two spaces between the category and the quantity. Quantities can be written in two ways:

  1. a series of dots (period characters). Each dot represents "a quarter" - eg, a quarter hour. Spaces can be used to group dots into hours, for easier counting.

  2. a number (integer or decimal), representing "units" - eg, hours. A good alternative when dots are cumbersome. (A number also can record negative quantities.)

Blank lines and lines beginning with #, ; or * are ignored. An example:

# on this day, 6h was spent on client work, 1.5h on haskell FOSS work, etc.
2016/2/1
inc:client1   .... .... .... .... .... ....
fos:haskell   .... .. 
biz:research  .

2016/2/2
inc:client1   .... ....
biz:research  .

Or with numbers:

2016/2/3
inc:client1   4
fos:hledger   3
biz:research  1

Reporting:

$ hledger -f t.timedot print date:2016/2/2
2016/02/02 *
    (inc:client1)          2.00

2016/02/02 *
    (biz:research)          0.25
$ hledger -f t.timedot bal --daily --tree
Balance changes in 2016/02/01-2016/02/03:

            ||  2016/02/01d  2016/02/02d  2016/02/03d 
============++========================================
 biz        ||         0.25         0.25         1.00 
   research ||         0.25         0.25         1.00 
 fos        ||         1.50            0         3.00 
   haskell  ||         1.50            0            0 
   hledger  ||            0            0         3.00 
 inc        ||         6.00         2.00         4.00 
   client1  ||         6.00         2.00         4.00 
------------++----------------------------------------
            ||         7.75         2.25         8.00 

I prefer to use period for separating account components. We can make this work with an account alias:

2016/2/4
fos.hledger.timedot  4
fos.ledger           ..
$ hledger -f t.timedot --alias /\\./=: bal date:2016/2/4
                4.50  fos
                4.00    hledger:timedot
                0.50    ledger
--------------------
                4.50

Here is a sample.timedot.