Control what Vale lints, how it lints, and where it lints.

Config file

Vale’s configuration is read from a .vale.ini file. This file is INI-formatted and consists of three sections: core settings, format associations, and format-specific settings:

# Core settings appear at the top
# (the "global" section).

# Format associations appear under
# the optional "formats" section.

# Format-specific settings appear
# under a user-provided "glob"
# pattern.

Core settings

Core settings appear at the top of the file and apply to the application itself rather than a specific file format.


# Here's an example of a relative path:
# .vale.ini
# ci/
# ├── vale/
# │   ├── styles/
StylesPath = "ci/vale/styles"

StylesPath specifies where Vale should look for its external resources (e.g., styles and ignore files). The path value may be absolute or relative to the location of the parent .vale.ini file.


MinAlertLevel = suggestion

MinAlertLevel specifies the minimum alert severity that Vale will report. The options are “suggestion”, “warning”, or “error” (defaults to “warning”).


# By default, `code` and `tt` are ignored.
IgnoredScopes = code, tt

IgnoredScopes specifies inline-level HTML tags to ignore. In other words, these tags may occur in an active scope (unlike SkippedScopes, which are skipped entirely) but their content still won’t raise any alerts.


IgnoredClasses specifies classes to ignore. These classes may appear on both inline- and block-level HTML elements.

IgnoredClasses = my-class, another-class


# By default, `script`, `style`, `pre`, and `figure` are ignored.
SkippedScopes = script, style, pre, figure

SkippedScopes specifies block-level HTML tags to ignore. Any content in these scopes will be ignored.


WordTemplate = \b(?:%s)\b

WordTemplate specifies what Vale will consider to be an individual word.

Format associations

Format associations allow you to associate an “unknown” file extension with a supported file format:

mdx = md

In the example above, we’re telling Vale to treat MDX files as Markdown files.

Format-specific settings

Format-specific sections apply their settings only to files that match their associated glob pattern.

For example, [*] matches all files while [*.{md,txt}] only matches files that end with either .md or .txt.

You can have as many format-specific sections as you’d like and settings defined under a more specific section will override those in [*].


BasedOnStyles = Style1, Style2

BasedOnStyles specifies styles that should have all of their rules enabled.

If you only want to enable certain rules within a style, you can do so on an individual basis:

# Enables only this rule:
Style1.Rule = YES

You can also disable individual rules or change their severity level:

BasedOnStyles = Style1

Style1.Rule1 = NO
Style1.Rule2 = error


BlockIgnores = (?s) *({< file [^>]* >}.*?{</ ?file >})

BlockIgnores allow you to exclude certain block-level sections of text that don’t have an associated HTML tag that could be used with SkippedScopes.


TokenIgnores = (\$+[^\n$]+\$+)

TokenIgnores allow you to exclude certain inline-level sections of text that don’t have an associated HTML tag that could be used with IgnoredScopes.


Transform = docbook-xsl-snapshot/html/docbook.xsl

Transform specifies a version 1.0 XSL Transformation (XSLT) for converting to HTML.

Markup-based configuration

You can use selective, in-text configuration through markup comments in certain formats. The follow sections describe the comment style required for each supported format.

Markdown & HTML

Markdown and HTML use HTML-style comments:

<!-- vale off -->

This is some text

more text here...

<!-- vale on -->

<!-- vale Style.Rule = NO -->

This is some text

<!-- vale Style.Rule = YES -->


reStructuredText uses its own comment style:

.. vale off

This is some text

.. vale on


AsciiDoc uses HTML-style comments with its pass-through functionality:

pass:[<!-- vale Microsoft.GenderBias = NO -->]

This steward is ignored.

pass:[<!-- vale Microsoft.GenderBias = YES -->]

This is a steward that raises an alert.

Search process

Vale expects its configuration to be in a file named .vale.ini or _vale.ini. It’ll start looking for this file in the same folder as the file that’s being linted. If it can’t find one, it’ll search up to 6 levels up the file tree. After 6 levels, it’ll look for a global configuration file in the OS equivalent of $HOME (see below).

OSSearch Locations
Windows$HOME, %UserProfile%, or %HomeDrive%%HomePath%

If more than one configuration file is present, the closest one takes precedence.