Syntax highlighting

From Academic Kids

Syntax highlighting is a feature of some text editors that displays text—especially source code—in different colors and fonts according to the category of terms. This feature eases writing in a structured language such as a programming language or a markup language as both structures and syntax errors are visually distinct.

Users can specify the language of the text, such as C, LaTeX, HTML, or the text editor can automatically recognize it based on the syntax files.

Some text editors can also export the color markup in a format that is suitable for printing or for importing into word-processing and/or text-formatting software; for instance VIM has the command 'Convert to HTML' that generates an HTML version of its syntax highlighting.

Example

Below is a snippet of C++ code which the editor has automatically highlighted based on the syntax:

// Allocate all the windows
for( int i=0; i < max; i++ )
{
    pWins[i] = new Window();
}

In this example, the editor has recognized the keywords for, int and new. It recognized the variable names i, pWins and max and highlighted them accordingly. The comment before the code is also highlighted in a specific manner to distinguish it from working code. When looking at pages and pages of code, syntax hightlighting greatly improves the readability and context of the text. The reader can automatically ignore large sections of comments or code, depending on what one desires.

Most editors with syntax highlighting allow different colors and text styles to be given to dozens of different syntactic categories. Programmers will often heavily customize their settings in an attempt to show as much useful information as possible without making the code difficult to read.

See also


Template:Compu-stubde:Syntaxhervorhebung fr:Coloration syntaxique

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