Can I configure Jackson JSON pretty printing from annotations or from Spring MVC controller?

I'm using Jackson 1.9.6 (codehaus) for JSON serialization of my response bodies in a Spring MVC application, and I'm having trouble finding a way to configure pretty printing. All of the code examples I've been able to find (like this and this) involve playing with an instantiation of ObjectMapper or ObjectWriter, but I don't currently use an instantiation of these for anything else. I wouldn't even know where to put this code. All of my Jackson configurations are taken care of by annotating the POJOs being serialized to JSON.

Is there a way to specify pretty printing in an annotation? I would think they would have put that in @JsonSerialize, but it doesn't look like it.

My class to be serialized looks like this:

@JsonAutoDetect @JsonSerialize(include=JsonSerialize.Inclusion.NON_NULL) public class JSONObject implements Serializable{...}

and my Spring controller method looks like this:

@RequestMapping(method = RequestMethod.GET) public @ResponseBody List<Object> getMessagesAndUpdates(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) { JSONObject jsonResponse = new JSONObject(); . . . //this will generate a non-pretty-printed json response. I want it to be pretty-printed. return jsonResponse; }


I searched and searched for something similar and the closest I could find was adding this bean to my Application context configuration (NOTE: I am using Spring Boot so I am not 100% certain this will work as-is in a non-Spring Boot app):

@Bean public Jackson2ObjectMapperBuilder jacksonBuilder() { Jackson2ObjectMapperBuilder builder = new Jackson2ObjectMapperBuilder(); builder.indentOutput(true); return builder; }

In my opinion, its the cleanest available solution and works pretty well.


Adding this as a separate answer so I can format the output.

As luck would have it, the non-Spring Boot solution wasn't too far from the Spring Boot solution :)

@Override public void configureMessageConverters(List<HttpMessageConverter<?>> converters) { Jackson2ObjectMapperBuilder builder = new Jackson2ObjectMapperBuilder(); builder.indentOutput(true).dateFormat(new SimpleDateFormat("yyyy-MM-dd")); converters.add(new MappingJackson2HttpMessageConverter(; converters.add(new MappingJackson2XmlHttpMessageConverter(builder.createXmlMapper(true).build())); }

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