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Highlight.js is a syntax highlighter written in JavaScript. It works in the browser as well as on the server. It works with pretty much any markup, doesn’t depend on any framework and has automatic language detection.

Getting Started

The bare minimum for using highlight.js on a web page is linking to the library along with one of the styles and calling initHighlightingOnLoad:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="/path/to/styles/default.css">
<script src="/path/to/highlight.pack.js"></script>

This will find and highlight code inside of <pre><code> tags trying to detect the language automatically. If automatic detection doesn’t work for you, you can specify the language in the class attribute:

<pre><code class="html">...</code></pre>

The list of supported language classes is available in the class reference. Classes can also be prefixed with either language- or lang-.

To disable highlighting altogether use the nohighlight class:

<pre><code class="nohighlight">...</code></pre>

Custom Initialization

When you need a bit more control over the initialization of highlight.js, you can use the highlightBlock and configure functions. This allows you to control what to highlight and when.

Here’s an equivalent way to calling initHighlightingOnLoad using jQuery:

$(document).ready(function() {
  $('pre code').each(function(i, block) {

You can use any tags instead of <pre><code> to mark up your code. If you don’t use a container that preserve line breaks you will need to configure highlight.js to use the <br> tag:

hljs.configure({useBR: true});

$('div.code').each(function(i, block) {

For other options refer to the documentation for configure.

Getting the Library

You can get highlight.js as a hosted or custom-build browser script or as a server module. Head over to the download page for all the options.

Note, that the library is not supposed to work straight from the source on GitHub, it requires building. If none of the pre-packaged options work for you refer to the building documentation.


Highlight.js is released under the BSD License. See LICENSE file for details.

The official site for the library is at https://highlightjs.org/.

Further in-depth documentation for the API and other topics is at http://highlightjs.readthedocs.org/.

Authors and contributors are listed in the AUTHORS.en.txt file.