text processing utilities

Highlight documentation

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  1. Overview
    1. Intended purpose
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    3. Supported programming and markup languages
  2. Usage and options
    1. Quick introduction
    2. CLI options
    3. GUI options
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    6. Advanced options
    7. Tips and tricks
  3. Configuration
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    2. Regular expressions
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    4. Theme definitions
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    7. File mapping
    8. Config file search


Highlight converts sourcecode to HTML, XHTML, RTF, LaTeX, TeX, SVG, BBCode and terminal escape sequences with coloured syntax highlighting. Language definitions and colour themes are customizable.

Intended purpose

Highlight was designed to offer a flexible but easy to use syntax highlighter for several output formats. Instead of hardcoding syntax or colouring information, all relevant data is stored in configuration scripts. These scripts may be altered or enhanced with plug-in scripts.

Feature list

Supported programming and markup languages

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Usage and options

Quick introduction

The following examples show how to produce a highlighted C++ file, using an input file called main.cpp:

- Generate HTML:
  highlight -i main.cpp -o main.cpp.html
  highlight < main.cpp > main.cpp.html --syntax cpp

  You will find the HTML file and highlight.css in the working directory.
  If you use IO redirection, you must define the programming language with

- Generate HTML with embedded CSS definitions and line numbers:
  highlight -i main.cpp -o main.cpp.html --include-style --line-numbers

- Generate HTML with inline CSS definitions:
  highlight -i main.cpp -o main.cpp.html --inline-css

- Generate LaTeX using "horstmann" source formatting style and "neon" colour theme:
  highlight -O latex -i main.cpp -o main.cpp.html --reformat horstmann --style neon

  The following output formats may be used with --out-format:
  html:      HTML5 (Standard)
  xhtml:     XHTML 1.1
  tex:       Plain TeX
  latex:     LaTeX
  rtf:       RTF
  odt:       OpenDocument Text (Flat XML)
  svg:       SVG
  bbcode:    BBCode
  pango:     Pango markup
  ansi:      Terminal 16 color escape codes
  xterm256:  Terminal 256 color escape codes
  truecolor: Terminal 16m color escape codes

- Customize font settings:
  highlight --syntax ada --out-format=xhtml --font-size 12 --font  Consolas,\'Courier\ New\'
  highlight --syntax ada --out-format=latex --font-size tiny --font sffamily

- Define an output directory:
  highlight -d some/target/dir/ *.cpp *.h

CLI options

The command line version of highlight offers following options:

USAGE: highlight [OPTIONS]... [FILES]...

General options:

 -B, --batch-recursive=     convert all matching files, searches subdirs
                                  (Example: -B '*.cpp')
 -D, --data-dir=     set path to data directory
     --config-file=       set path to a lang or theme file
 -d, --outdir=       name of output directory
 -h, --help                     print this help
 -i, --input=             name of single input file
 -o, --output=            name of single output file
 -P, --progress                 print progress bar in batch mode
 -q, --quiet                    supress progress info in batch mode
 -S, --syntax=            specify type of source code
 -v, --verbose                  print debug info
     --force                    generate output if input syntax is unknown
     --list-scripts=      list installed scripts
                                   = [langs, themes, plugins]