Monday, July 21, 2008

Syntax Highlighting Code in Webpages

This post is deprecated. Please read my new entry on: "Upgrading to SyntaxHighlighter 3.0"

If you're a code blogger or someone who frequently posts code snippets online, then you'll know how difficult it can be to get your code highlighted and displayed nicely on your webpage. I have tried a number of different ways, such as saving code to HTML in SciTe or using Java2HTML to produce HTML files from Java and then copying the HTML output into my webpage. These processes are time-consuming and the HTML produced is ugly so I have always been on the lookout for something that will make code posting easier.

A few months ago, I stumbled across SyntaxHighlighter and it's just what I've been looking for! All you have to do is link your webpage to some CSS and JavaScript and surround your code with a tag saying which language the code is in. It's really that simple!

This is how you can use SyntaxHighlighter to highlight your code:

1. Download SyntaxHighlighter
This is an optional step. You don't necessarily have to download it because you can just link to the free hosted version. But if you have your own server you can download the latest version of SyntaxHighlighter here and upload it.

2. Link to CSS and Javascript
Open your webpage's HTML file and add links to the SyntaxHighlighter's CSS and JavaScript files. For optimal results, place these lines at the very end of your page, just before the closing body tag.

<link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="http://alexgorbatchev.com/pub/sh/current/styles/shCore.css"></link>
<link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="http://alexgorbatchev.com/pub/sh/current/styles/shThemeDefault.css"></link>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://alexgorbatchev.com/pub/sh/current/scripts/shCore.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://alexgorbatchev.com/pub/sh/current/scripts/shLegacy.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://alexgorbatchev.com/pub/sh/current/scripts/shBrushBash.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://alexgorbatchev.com/pub/sh/current/scripts/shBrushJava.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://alexgorbatchev.com/pub/sh/current/scripts/shBrushXml.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://alexgorbatchev.com/pub/sh/current/scripts/shBrushSql.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
    SyntaxHighlighter.config.bloggerMode = true;
    SyntaxHighlighter.all();
</script>
It is not necessary to add the js files for all the languages - just for the ones you will be using.

3. Add Code
Now add the code you wish to highlight in your webpage, surrounded by the <pre> tag. Set the class attribute to one of the language aliases you wish to use, such as java, xml, sql, ruby etc.For example: brush:java

<pre title="Test SyntaxHighlighter" class="brush: java;">
public void printHello(){
    System.out.println("Hello World");
}
</pre>
4. View Page
View the webpage in your browser and you should see your syntax highlighted code snippet as:
public void printHello(){
    System.out.println("Hello World");
}

Configuration Options
Here are a couple of handy options. (Full list of here):

  • If you don't want to display the line numbers column, use the gutter option e.g. gutter:false.
  • If you don't want to display the top toolbar, use the toolbar:false option.
If you use an alternative to SyntaxHighlighter, share it with us in the Comments section!

Links:
SyntaxHighlighter Homepage

37 comments:

  1. Great job on this tutorial.

    However I would like to know whether is it possible to post VBA codes on blogger template ??

    Please help....

    ReplyDelete
  2. For VB, use:

    name="code" class="vb"


    The list of supported languages is here:
    http://code.google.com/p/syntaxhighlighter/wiki/Languages

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for that info...

    I will reply back once done.

    AsSalaamAlaikum,
    Ilyas Kazi

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jazak Allah!

    I hv implemented here: http://automax-vba.blogspot.com

    Ilyas Kazi

    ReplyDelete
  5. thanx for sharing

    I just want to know how to remove the code line number when copying the snippet? Seems like the numbering still be added when copying even "nogutter" configuration is set.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've already test it in my site
    Nice info

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Fahd,

    Thanks a lot for putting this together.

    I have made the Syntax Highlighter source code files available here:
    http://howard.ross.work.googlepages.com/syntaxhighlighting

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the write-up. Saved me the effort! You might want to make your example text reflect all the same paths. Your path in the last line of the clipboard points to js/ which is not consistent with the others, or how you use it on your page.

    I also found I had to change the default setting of blogger to not insert BR for linebreaks in the editor. Under Settings->Formating->Convert Line Breaks set to NO

    Do you have problems with the Blogger editor complaining about some of the code posted as well? For instance trying to post the example which had the link for the stylesheet triggers the Editor's code checking. Do you see the same?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Steve,

    I remember having similar problems, so switched to "Blogger in draft" which has improved raw HTML support. You can set it to ignore newlines instead of converting them to br tags.

    More info on blogger in draft here: http://bloggerindraft.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have fixed the paths.
    Good spot!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Fahd,

    As Azo asked, do u know how to eliminate row numbers while copying? Even though we set as 'nogutter' the problem still exist.

    When all selected and copied it shows row numbers. When some lines selected it shows hash (#).

    Could you fix it?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous10:02 AM

    thanks very much. this really helped me to get it working as i am not such an experienced user. now it works just perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks Fahd. It did me a great favor.

    BTW, would you mind my translation of this post to Chinese and post on my blog so that your post will then help more people?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi chzhcn,

    I'm glad you found it helpful. Feel free to post a chinese version of this on your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I want to add it in my jsp files. But i am facing path problems as all pages are in different folders. Can you help me in this?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Your blog was great help.

    if you experience issues with "br" in output take a look at this: http://code.google.com/p/syntaxhighlighter/wiki/BloggerMode

    ReplyDelete
  17. hi
    Thanks for ur write ups

    And thanks to Jim Shingler also for leading me to solve the
    error

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for writing this up. It's much better than the original doc on the main google site.

    ReplyDelete
  19. What is your settings for 'Convert line breaks' set to? In my case, if I set it to 'Yes', it's inserting <br /> into codes defined under <pre> tag.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi,

    A while a go I implemented this syntax highlighter as well on my own blog. In internet explorer 7 the loading speed is ok I think, but when loading one of my pages with syntax highlights in firefox, the page loads really slow. It causes the browser to freeze for a while

    However your blog loads really fast in a firefox browser.

    Would it be possible for you to have a look at one of my pages and tell me what I'm doing wrong? :-)

    (for instance: http://www.testingminded.com/2009/04/automatic-pagerank-checking-script.html)

    Many thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Nevermind, I found the solution. The autoit brush has a size of 52 kb in comparison with others which only have a size of 4 kb. I commented out the UDF's regexp in the autoit brush.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous5:38 PM

    I keep getting a 'dp is undefined' error on the client. shCore is being included ok so what gives?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous7:30 AM

    Thank you SOOOOOOO much!! I didn't feel like digging around in the code to figure out how to use the damn thing.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Can you please give me a java code example to show how to use it properly to post code on blogspot.com.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Very helpful, but can you provide more insight as to how to use it for Blogger? You mentioned that we need to use Google Pages but can you elaborate more on that? Thank you very much!

    ReplyDelete
  26. This post is deprecated. Please read my new entry on: "Upgrading to SyntaxHighlighter 2.0"

    http://fahdshariff.blogspot.com/2009/09/upgrading-to-syntaxhighlighter-20.html

    ReplyDelete
  27. I have been visiting various blogs for my term papers writing research. I have found your blog to be quite useful. Keep updating your blog with valuable information... Regards

    ReplyDelete
  28. hi, the latest version of SyntaxHighlighter is very good I like it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This type of lace wig looks very realistic and is made from sophisticated lace material having the original look. Not just full lace wigs,lace front wigs,full lace wigs gives a natural character but lace wigs and lace front wigs also render a fashionable look to the face. The lace wigs in this wig usually appears as if it is growing out of the scalp and equally distributed. Some manufacturers now are trying to make their lace front human hair wigs inexpensive so that ladies who really need it can afford to buy it.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous3:25 PM

    Hi I am Hitesh Panchal,

    I have downloaded "SyntaxHighlighter_1.5.1" and create sample applcation in Dot NET. It works fine in InterNet Explorer but it not works with FireFox. (NO any Error Prompt)

    so any one know how can i do this ?

    Regards,
    Hitesh Panchal

    ReplyDelete
  31. Your blog is really helps for my search and i really like it.. Thanks a lot..:)
    Term Papers Writing Services

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thank you. Couldn't get SyntaxHighlighter to work until I found you. Awesome! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks a billion..Fahd Shariff vai because i can not use syntaxhighlighting but by reading your post I have done it and i used here:
    http://knowledgediarybd.com/c-programming-2/difference-between-c-and-c/

    ReplyDelete
  34. Stunning publish! I in the beginning observed your site weekly or so in the past, and I want to subscribe to the RSS feed.
    website design

    ReplyDelete