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15 Code Syntax Highlighters To Prettify Your Code

by Durodola Ridwan | Tuesday, February 25, 2014 | | 19 Comments

Syntax highlighting is a feature of text editors that displays text, especially source code , in different colors and fonts according to the category of terms. This feature facilitates writing in a structured language such as a programming language or a markup language as both structures and syntax errors are visually distinct. Highlighting does not affect the meaning of the text itself; it is intended only for human readers.

Syntax highlighting also helps programmers find errors in their program. For example, most editors highlight string literals in a different color. Consequently, spotting a missing delimiter is much easier because of the contrasting color of the text.

There are various syntax highlighters which can format codes and color them appropriately according to the languages used. Whether it is a HTML page or runs on PHP, Ruby, Python or ASP. Here in this article, we are showcasing 15 best syntax code highlighter to help you present to your code snippets in a more fascinating way. Enjoy!


Prism is a lightweight (1.5KB minified & gzipped), extensible syntax highlighter, built with modern web standards in mind. All styling is done through CSS, with sensible class names like .comment, .string, .property etc.


GeSHi is a simple but powerful highlighting class. It supports PHP5 and Windows, and has even been used to highlight code on ASP pages. Numerous blogs, wikis and forums use GeSHi, including Dokuwiki, Mambo, phpBB and WikkaWiki.


Rainbow is a code syntax highlighting library written in Javascript. It was designed to be lightweight (1.4kb), easy to use, and extendable. The colors and fonts are completely customized with CSS theming support.


Highlight.js highlights syntax in code examples on blogs, forums and in fact on any web pages. This program supports following languages – 1C, AVR Assembler, Apache, Axapta, Bash, C#, C++, CSS, DOS .bat, Delphi, Django, HTML, XML, Ini, Java, Javascript, Lisp, MEL (Maya Embedded Language), PHP, Perl, Python, Python profile, RenderMan (RIB, RSL), Ruby, SQL, Smalltalk, VBScript, diff.

Languages can be recognized by multiple names like "js" for JavaScript or "html" for, well, HTML (which earlier insisted on calling it "xml"). These aliases can be specified in the class attribute of the code container in your HTML as well as in various API calls.

Quick Highlighter

This online highlighter tool offers many coding languages you can choose to highlight together with several options, you can check/uncheck before highlighting code.

Google Code Prettify

This is a JavaScript module and CSS file that allows syntax highlighting of source code snippets in an html page. It works even if code contains embedded links, line numbers, etc, and it's widely used with good cross-browser support. Powers code.google.com and stackoverflow.com


Snippet is a jQuery syntax highlighting plugin built on top of the SHJS script found on SourceForge. Snippet provides a quick and easy way of highlighting source code passages in HTML documents. It natively supports 15 popular languages and features 39 unique color schemes.


CodePress is web-based source code editor with syntax highlighting written in JavaScript that colors text in real time while it's being typed in the browser.

JavaScript Syntax Highlighter

JavaScript Syntax Highlighter can be used for client-side syntax highlighting of following languages: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, SQL, HTTP and SMTP protocol, php.ini and Apache config. It works in all major browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Google Chrome.
JUSH is available also as jQuery and WordPress plugin.


Chili is the jQuery code highlighter plugin which is very fast highlighting, trivial setup, fully customizable, thoroughly documented and MIT licensed.

The plugin comes bundled with recipes for C++, C#, CSS, Delphi, Java, JavaScript, LotusScript, MySQL, PHP, XHTM, and renders identically on Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and Safari.


Pygments is a generic syntax highlighter for general use in all kinds of software such as forum systems, wikis or other applications that need to prettify source code. Pygments support a wide range of common languages, and a number of output formats is available, among them HTML, RTF, LaTeX and ANSI sequences.


Ultraviolet is a syntax highlighting engine based on Textpow. Since it uses Textmate syntax files, it offers out of the box syntax highlighting for more than 50 languages and 20 themes.


Lighter is a free syntax highlighting class developed for MooTools. Using it can be as simple as adding a single script to your webpage, selecting the elements you wish to highlight, and Lighter takes care of the rest. It is currently in use on the MooTools forge so you are seeing it in action right there.


This jQuery syntax highlighter plugin uses Alex Gorbatchev’s SyntaxHighlighter, but this plugin enables xhtml compliant syntax.


SyntaxHighlighter is a fully functional self-contained code syntax highlighter developed in JavaScript, and it's currently used by Apache, Aptana, Mozilla, Yahoo, Wordpress, Bug Labs, Freshbooks and others.
SyntaxHighlighter allow insertion of colored code snippets on a web page without relying on any server side scripts and isn’t for those looking for ability to edit highlighted code.

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Durodola Ridwan is a Professional blogger, SEO Consultant, Certified Web developer/designer and founder of www.realcombiz.com. He love writing about Blogging tips, SEO, and play around with codes. You can connect with him on facebook, twitter @realcombiz, and Google+.

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