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16 Free Code Syntax Highlighters by Javascript For Better Programming If you are a programmer, maybe highlighting feature, in IDE (Integrated Development Environment), is not weird thing with you. On web based appplications now, there are a lot of libraries that support we do this operation, both the server and client. However, the client libraries are loved. This free JavaScript article shows you a list of the libraries that are best and free.

Label: 16, syntax highlight, programmer, IDE, appplication, library, operation, server, client

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If you are programmer or actually if you at least have some basic coding skills, you'll find this article useful. For example just look at this page source - without highlighting that whole code is just a bunch of plain black text and it is really hard to find specific things if everything looks the same. Thankfully there are many highlighting scripts available, for example Notepad++ also supports and highlights different code snippets. These code syntax highlighters actually are doing mainly the same thing, but with more options, big coding language support, better integration - really in our days you just need to choose one - there are too many tools available anyway.

Use these syntax highlighters in daily coding or just in cases where you are sharing code with friends, want to add that code in your blog post (by the way there is SyntaxHighlighter Wordpress plugin available too) or just want to rapidly read and maintain it - use online syntax highlighters in that case and pick your favorite one from this article!

1. SyntaxHighlighter

I definitely think this syntax highlighter tool should be your choice - this tool is supported very well and offers many options, extensions and integrations with other programs and platforms, but however I want to offer you other tools too to choose from.

SyntaxHighlighter is here to help a developer/coder to post code snippets online with ease and have it look pretty. It's 100% Java Script based and it doesn't care what you have on your server.

The idea behind SyntaxHighlighter is to allow insertion of colored code snippets on a web page without relying on any server side scripts. SyntaxHighlighter isn't for those looking for ability to edit highlighted code.

Extensions & Integration - check out this page too, because you can find there Wordpress extensions, Ruby on Rail plugins and much more integration extensions, should be handy!

Check out demo page

Download link

2. GeSHi - Generic Syntax Highlighter

GeSHi supports PHP5 and Windows, and has even been used to highlight code on ASP pages, it really supports and highlights almost every coding language, you should check out his website to read more - very powerful tool!

GeSHi aims to be a simple but powerful highlighting class, with the following goals:

  • Support for a wide range of popular languages
  • Easy to add a new language for highlighting
  • Highly customizable output formats

Check out demo page

Download link

3. Quick Highlighter

Doesn't get any easier than this to create a web page from your source code. This online highlighter tool offers many coding languages you can choose to highlight together with several options, you can check/uncheck before highlighting code:

  • Combine Style and HTML Code
  • Highlight inbuilt keywords, data types etc.
  • Strict Mode
  • Wrap overflowing text

4. Google Code Prettify

A Javascript module and CSS file that allows syntax highlighting of source code snippets in an html page.

The comments in prettify.js are authoritative but the lexer should work on a number of languages including C and friends, Java, Python, Bash, SQL, HTML, XML, CSS, Javascript, and Makefiles. It works passably on Ruby, PHP, VB, and Awk and a decent subset of Perl and Ruby, but, because of commenting conventions, doesn't work on Smalltalk, or CAML-like languages.


  • Works on HTML pages
  • Works even if code contains embedded links, line numbers, etc.
  • Simple API : include some JS&CSS and add an onload handler.
  • Lightweights : small download and does not block page from loading while running.
  • Customizable styles via CSS.
  • Supports all C-like, Bash-like, and XML-like languages. No need to specify the language
  • Extensible language handlers for other languages. You can specify the language.
  • Widely used with good cross-browser support.

Check out demo page

5. Pygments - Python Syntax Highlighter

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 supports an ever-growing range of languages, you can check full list supported language listing here

Check out demo page

Download link

6. Highlight.JS Syntax Highlighter

Highlight.js highlights syntax in code examples on blogs, forums and in fact on any web pages. It's very easy to use because it works automatically: finds blocks of code, detects a language, highlights it.

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.

Check out demo page

Download link

7. Lighter.js - Syntax Highlighter written in MooTools

There isn't available actual demo page just download link, but it is very easy to use this highlighter as all others by the way.
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