Version 8.3

Version 8.3

We streamlined our tool chain, it is now based entirely on node.js instead of being a mix of node.js, Python and Java. The build script options and arguments remained the same, and we’ve noted all the changes in the documentation. Apart from reducing complexity, the new build script is also faster from not having to start Java machine repeatedly. The credits for the work go to Jeremy Hull.

Some notable fixes:

  • PHP and JavaScript mixed in HTML now live happily with each other.
  • JavaScript regexes now understand ES6 flags “u” and “y”.
  • throw keyword is no longer detected as a method name in Java.
  • Fixed parsing of numbers and symbols in Clojure thanks to input from Ivan Kleshnin.

New languages in this release:

Version 8.2

We’ve finally got real tests and continuous testing on Travis thanks to Jeremy Hull and Chris Eidhof. The tests designed to cover everything: language detection, correct parsing of individual language features and various special cases. This is a very important change that gives us confidence in extending language definitions and refactoring library core.

We’re going to redesign the old demo/test suite into an interactive demo web app. If you’re confident front-end developer or designer and want to help us with it, drop a comment into the issue on GitHub.

As usually there’s a handful of new languages in this release:

Other improvements:

  • Erik Osheim heavily reworked Scala definitions making it richer.
  • Lucas Mazza fixed Ruby hashes highlighting
  • Lisp variants (Lisp, Clojure and Scheme) are unified in regard to naming the first symbol in parentheses: it’s “keyword” in general case and also “built_in” for built-in functions in Clojure and Scheme.

Version 8.1

New languages:

New styles:

Other improvements:

  • The README is heavily reworked and brought up to date by Jeremy Hull.
  • Added listLanguages() method in the API.
  • Improved C/C++/C# detection.
  • Added a bunch of new language aliases, documented the existing ones. Thanks to Sindre Sorhus for background research.
  • Added phrasal English words to boost relevance in comments.
  • Many improvements to SQL definition made by Heiko August, Nikolay Lisienko and Travis Odom.
  • The shorter lang- prefix for language names in HTML classes supported alongside language-. Thanks to Jeff Escalante.
  • Ruby’s got support for interactive console sessions. Thanks to Pascal Hurni.
  • Added built-in functions for R language. Thanks to Artem A. Klevtsov.
  • Rust’s got definition for lifetime parameters and improved string syntax. Thanks to Roman Shmatov.
  • Various improvements to Objective-C definition by Matt Diephouse.
  • Fixed highlighting of generics in Java.

Version 8.0

This new major release is quite a big overhaul bringing both new features and some backwards incompatible changes. However, chances are that the majority of users won’t be affected by the latter: the basic scenario described in the README is left intact.

Here’s what did change in an incompatible way:

  • We’re now prefixing all classes located in CSS classes reference with hljs-, by default, because some class names would collide with other people’s stylesheets. If you were using an older version, you might still want the previous behavior, but still want to upgrade. To suppress this new behavior, you would initialize like so:

    <script type="text/javascript">
      hljs.configure({classPrefix: ''});
  • tabReplace and useBR that were used in different places are also unified into the global options object and are to be set using configure(options). This function is documented in our API docs. Also note that these parameters are gone from highlightBlock and fixMarkup which are now also rely on configure.

  • We removed public-facing (though undocumented) object hljs.LANGUAGES which was used to register languages with the library in favor of two new methods: registerLanguage and getLanguage. Both are documented in our API docs.

  • Result returned from highlight and highlightAuto no longer contains two separate attributes contributing to relevance score, relevance and keyword_count. They are now unified in relevance.

Another technically compatible change that nonetheless might need attention:

  • The structure of the NPM package was refactored, so if you had installed it locally, you’ll have to update your paths. The usual require('highlight.js') works as before. This is contributed by Dmitry Smolin.

New features:

  • Languages now 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. For now there are only a few very common aliases but we’ll expand it in the future. All of them are listed in the class reference.

  • Language detection can now be restricted to a subset of languages relevant in a given context — a web page or even a single highlighting call. This is especially useful for node.js build that includes all the known languages. Another example is a StackOverflow-style site where users specify languages as tags rather than in the markdown-formatted code snippets. This is documented in the [API reference][] (see methods highlightAuto and configure).

  • Language definition syntax streamlined with variants and beginKeywords.

New languages and styles:

Miscellaneous improvements:

  • Highlighting => prompts in Clojure.
  • Jeremy Hull fixed a lot of styles for consistency.
  • Finally, highlighting PHP and HTML mixed in peculiar ways.
  • Objective C and C# now properly highlight titles in method definition.
  • Big overhaul of relevance counting for a number of languages. Please do report bugs about mis-detection of non-trivial code snippets!

Version 7.5

A catch-up release dealing with some of the accumulated contributions. This one is probably will be the last before the 8.0 which will be slightly backwards incompatible regarding some advanced use-cases.

One outstanding change in this version is the addition of 6 languages to the hosted script: Markdown, ObjectiveC, CoffeeScript, Apache, Nginx and Makefile. It now weighs about 6K more but we’re going to keep it under 30K.

New languages:


  • Ruby’s got support for characters like ?A, ?1, ?\012 etc. and %r{..} regexps.
  • Clojure now allows a function call in the beginning of s-expressions (($filter "myCount") (arr 1 2 3 4 5)).
  • Haskell’s got new keywords and now recognizes more things like pragmas, preprocessors, modules, containers, FFIs etc. Thanks to Zena Treep for the implementation and to Jeremy Hull for guiding it.
  • Miscellaneous fixes in PHP, Brainfuck, SCSS, Asciidoc, CMake, Python and F#.

New core developers

The latest long period of almost complete inactivity in the project coincided with growing interest to it led to a decision that now seems completely obvious: we need more core developers.

So without further ado let me welcome to the core team two long-time contributors: Jeremy Hull and Oleg Efimov.

Hope now we’ll be able to work through stuff faster!

P.S. The historical commit is here for the record.

Version 7.4

This long overdue version is a snapshot of the current source tree with all the changes that happened during the past year. Sorry for taking so long!

Along with the changes in code highlight.js has finally got its new home at, moving from its cradle on Software Maniacs which it outgrew a long time ago. Be sure to report any bugs about the site to

On to what’s new…

New languages:

New style themes:

Other notable changes:

  • Corrected many corner cases in CSS.
  • Dropped Python 2 version of the build tool.
  • Implemented building for the AMD format.
  • Updated Rust keywords (thanks to Dmitry Medvinsky).
  • Literal regexes can now be used in language definitions.
  • CoffeeScript highlighting is now significantly more robust and rich due to input from Cédric Néhémie.

Version 7.3

  • Since this version highlight.js no longer works in IE version 8 and older. It’s made it possible to reduce the library size and dramatically improve code readability and made it easier to maintain. Time to go forward!

  • New languages: AppleScript (by Nathan Grigg and Dr. Drang) and Brainfuck (by Evgeny Stepanischev).

  • Improvements to existing languages:

    • interpreter prompt in Python (>>> and ...)
    • @-properties and classes in CoffeeScript
    • E4X in JavaScript (by Oleg Efimov)
    • new keywords in Perl (by Kirk Kimmel)
    • big Ruby syntax update (by Vasily Polovnyov)
    • small fixes in Bash
  • Also Oleg Efimov did a great job of moving all the docs for language and style developers and contributors from the old wiki under the source code in the “docs” directory. Now these docs are nicely presented at

Version 7.2

A regular bug-fix release without any significant new features. Enjoy!

Version 7.1

A Summer crop:

  • Marc Fornos made the definition for Clojure along with the matching style Rainbow (which, of course, works for other languages too).
  • CoffeeScript support continues to improve getting support for regular expressions.
  • Yoshihide Jimbo ported to highlight.js five Tomorrow styles from the project by Chris Kempson.
  • Thanks to Casey Duncun the library can now be built in the popular AMD format.
  • And last but not least, we’ve got a fair number of correctness and consistency fixes, including a pretty significant refactoring of Ruby.

Version 7.0

The reason for the new major version update is a global change of keyword syntax which resulted in the library getting smaller once again. For example, the hosted build is 2K less than at the previous version while supporting two new languages.

Notable changes:

  • The library now works not only in a browser but also with node.js. It is installable with npm install highlight.js. API docs are available on our wiki.

  • The new unique feature (apparently) among syntax highlighters is highlighting HTTP headers and an arbitrary language in the request body. The most useful languages here are XML and JSON both of which highlight.js does support. Here’s the detailed post about the feature.

  • Two new style themes: a dark “south” Pojoaque by Jason Tate and an emulation ofXCode IDE by Angel Olloqui.

  • Three new languages: D by Aleksandar Ružičić, R by Joe Cheng and GLSL by Sergey Tikhomirov.

  • Nginx syntax has become a million times smaller and more universal thanks to remaking it in a more generic manner that doesn’t require listing all the directives in the known universe.

  • Function titles are now highlighted in PHP.

  • Haskell and VHDL were significantly reworked to be more rich and correct by their respective maintainers Jeremy Hull and Igor Kalnitsky.

And last but not least, many bugs have been fixed around correctness and language detection.

Overall highlight.js currently supports 51 languages and 20 style themes.

Version 6.2

A lot of things happened in highlight.js since the last version! We’ve got nine new contributors, the discussion group came alive, and the main branch on GitHub now counts more than 350 followers. Here are most significant results coming from all this activity:

Version 6.1 — Solarized

Jeremy Hull has implemented my dream feature — a port of Solarized style theme famous for being based on the intricate color theory to achieve correct contrast and color perception. It is now available for highlight.js in both variants — light and dark.

This version also adds a new original style Arta. Its author pumbur maintains a heavily modified fork of highlight.js on GitHub.

Version 6.0

New major version of the highlighter has been built on a significantly refactored syntax. Due to this it’s even smaller than the previous one while supporting more languages!

New languages are:

Also this version is marginally faster and fixes a number of small long-standing bugs.

Developer overview of the new language syntax is available in a blog post about recent beta release.

P.S. New version is not yet available on a Yandex CDN, so for now you have to download your own copy.

Version 5.14

Fixed bugs in HTML/XML detection and relevance introduced in previous refactoring.

Also test.html now shows the second best result of language detection by relevance.

Version 5.13

Past weekend began with a couple of simple additions for existing languages but ended up in a big code refactoring bringing along nice improvements for language developers.

For users

  • Description of C++ has got new keywords from the upcoming C++ 0x standard.
  • Description of HTML has got new tags from HTML 5.
  • CSS-styles have been unified to use consistent padding and also have lost pop-outs with names of detected languages.
  • Igor Kalnitsky has sent two new language descriptions: CMake & VHDL.

This makes total number of languages supported by highlight.js to reach 35.

Bug fixes:

  • Custom classes on <pre> tags are not being overridden anymore
  • More correct highlighting of code blocks inside non-<pre> containers: highlighter now doesn’t insist on replacing them with its own container and just replaces the contents.
  • Small fixes in browser compatibility and heuristics.

For developers

The most significant change is the ability to include language submodes right under contains instead of defining explicit named submodes in the main array:

contains: [
  {begin: '\\n', end: hljs.IMMEDIATE_RE}

This is useful for auxiliary modes needed only in one place to define parsing. Note that such modes often don’t have className and hence won’t generate a separate <span> in the resulting markup. This is similar in effect to noMarkup: true. All existing languages have been refactored accordingly.

Test file test.html has at last become a real test. Now it not only puts the detected language name under the code snippet but also tests if it matches the expected one. Test summary is displayed right above all language snippets.


Fine people at Yandex agreed to host highlight.js on their big fast servers. Link up!

Version 5.10 — “Paris”.

Though I’m on a vacation in Paris, I decided to release a new version with a couple of small fixes:

  • Tomas Vitvar discovered that TAB replacement doesn’t always work when used with custom markup in code
  • SQL parsing is even more rigid now and doesn’t step over SmallTalk in tests

Version 5.9

A long-awaited version is finally released.

New languages:

  • Andrew Fedorov made a definition for Lua
  • a long-time highlight.js contributor Peter Leonov made a definition for Nginx config
  • Vladimir Moskva made a definition for TeX

Fixes for existing languages:

  • Loren Segal reworked the Ruby definition and added highlighting for YARD inline documentation
  • the definition of SQL has become more solid and now it shouldn’t be overly greedy when it comes to language detection

The highlighter has become more usable as a library allowing to do highlighting from initialization code of JS frameworks and in ajax methods (see. readme.eng.txt).

Also this version drops support for the WordPress plugin. Everyone is welcome to pick up its maintenance if needed.

Version 5.8

  • Jan Berkel has contributed a definition for Scala. +1 to hotness!
  • All CSS-styles are rewritten to work only inside <pre> tags to avoid conflicts with host site styles.

Version 5.7.

Fixed escaping of quotes in VBScript strings.

Version 5.5

This version brings a small change: now .ini-files allow digits, underscores and square brackets in key names.

Version 5.4

Fixed small but upsetting bug in the packer which caused incorrect highlighting of explicitly specified languages. Thanks to Andrew Fedorov for precise diagnostics!

Version 5.3

The version to fulfil old promises.

The most significant change is that highlight.js now preserves custom user markup in code along with its own highlighting markup. This means that now it’s possible to use, say, links in code. Thanks to Vladimir Dolzhenko for the initial proposal and for making a proof-of-concept patch.

Also in this version:

  • Vasily Polovnyov has sent a GitHub-like style and has implemented support for CSS @-rules and Ruby symbols.
  • Yura Zaripov has sent two styles: Brown Paper and School Book.
  • Oleg Volchkov has sent a definition for Parser 3.

Version 5.2

  • at last it’s possible to replace indentation TABs with something sensible (e.g. 2 or 4 spaces)
  • new keywords and built-ins for 1C by Sergey Baranov
  • a couple of small fixes to Apache highlighting

Version 5.1

This is one of those nice version consisting entirely of new and shiny contributions!

  • Vladimir Ermakov created highlighting for AVR Assembler
  • Ruslan Keba created highlighting for Apache config file. Also his original visual style for it is now available for all highlight.js languages under the name “Magula”.
  • Shuen-Huei Guan (aka Drake) sent new keywords for RenderMan languages. Also thanks go to Konstantin Evdokimenko for his advice on the matter.

Version 5.0

The main change in the new major version of highlight.js is a mechanism for packing several languages along with the library itself into a single compressed file. Now sites using several languages will load considerably faster because the library won’t dynamically include additional files while loading.

Also this version fixes a long-standing bug with Javascript highlighting that couldn’t distinguish between regular expressions and division operations.

And as usually there were a couple of minor correctness fixes.

Great thanks to all contributors! Keep using highlight.js.

Version 4.3

This version comes with two contributions from Jason Diamond:

  • language definition for C# (yes! it was a long-missed thing!)
  • Visual Studio-like highlighting style

Plus there are a couple of minor bug fixes for parsing HTML and XML attributes.

Version 4.2

The biggest news is highlighting for Lisp, courtesy of Vasily Polovnyov. It’s somewhat experimental meaning that for highlighting “keywords” it doesn’t use any pre-defined set of a Lisp dialect. Instead it tries to highlight first word in parentheses wherever it makes sense. I’d like to ask people programming in Lisp to confirm if it’s a good idea and send feedback to the forum.

Other changes:

  • Smalltalk was excluded from DEFAULT_LANGUAGES to save traffic
  • Vladimir Epifanov has implemented javascript style switcher for test.html
  • comments now allowed inside Ruby function definition
  • MEL language from Shuen-Huei Guan
  • whitespace now allowed between <pre> and <code>
  • better auto-detection of C++ and PHP
  • HTML allows embedded VBScript (<% .. %>)

Version 4.1


  • Bash from Vah
  • DOS bat-files from Alexander Makarov (Sam)
  • Diff files from Vasily Polovnyov
  • Ini files from myself though initial idea was from Sam


  • Zenburn from Vladimir Epifanov, this is an imitation of a well-known theme for Vim.
  • Ascetic from myself, as a realization of ideals of non-flashy highlighting: just one color in only three gradations :-)

In other news. One small bug was fixed, built-in keywords were added for Python and C++ which improved auto-detection for the latter (it was shame that my wife’s blog had issues with it from time to time). And lastly thanks go to Sam for getting rid of my stylistic comments in code that were getting in the way of JSMin.

Version 4.0

New major version is a result of vast refactoring and of many contributions.

Visible new features:

  • Highlighting of embedded languages. Currently is implemented highlighting of Javascript and CSS inside HTML.
  • Bundled 5 ready-made style themes!

Invisible new features:

  • Highlight.js no longer pollutes global namespace. Only one object and one function for backward compatibility.
  • Performance is further increased by about 15%.

Changing of a major version number caused by a new format of language definition files. If you use some third-party language files they should be updated.

Version 3.5

A very nice version in my opinion fixing a number of small bugs and slightly increased speed in a couple of corner cases. Thanks to everybody who reports bugs in he forum and by email!

There is also a new language — XML. A custom XML formerly was detected as HTML and didn’t highlight custom tags. In this version I tried to make custom XML to be detected and highlighted by its own rules. Which by the way include such things as CDATA sections and processing instructions (<? ... ?>).

Version 3.3

Vladimir Gubarkov has provided an interesting and useful addition. File export.html contains a little program that shows and allows to copy and paste an HTML code generated by the highlighter for any code snippet. This can be useful in situations when one can’t use the script itself on a site.

Version 3.2 consists completely of contributions:

  • Vladimir Gubarkov has described SmallTalk
  • Yuri Ivanov has described 1C
  • Peter Leonov has packaged the highlighter as a Firefox extension
  • Vladimir Ermakov has compiled a mod for phpBB

Many thanks to you all!

Version 3.1

Three new languages are available: Django templates, SQL and Axapta. The latter two are sent by Dmitri Roudakov. However I’ve almost entirely rewrote an SQL definition but I’d never started it be it from the ground up :-)

The engine itself has got a long awaited feature of grouping keywords (“keyword”, “built-in function”, “literal”). No more hacks!

Version 3.0

It is major mainly because now highlight.js has grown large and has become modular. Now when you pass it a list of languages to highlight it will dynamically load into a browser only those languages.


  • Konstantin Evdokimenko of RibKit project has created a highlighting for RenderMan Shading Language and RenderMan Interface Bytestream. Yay for more languages!
  • Heuristics for C++ and HTML got better.
  • I’ve implemented (at last) a correct handling of backslash escapes in C-like languages.

There is also a small backwards incompatible change in the new version. The function initHighlighting that was used to initialize highlighting instead of initHighlightingOnLoad a long time ago no longer works. If you by chance still use it — replace it with the new one.

Version 2.9

Highlight.js is a parser, not just a couple of regular expressions. That said I’m glad to announce that in the new version 2.9 has support for:

  • in-string substitutions for Ruby – #{...}
  • strings from from numeric symbol codes (like #XX) for Delphi

Version 2.8

A maintenance release with more tuned heuristics. Fully backwards compatible.

Version 2.7

  • Nikita Ledyaev presents highlighting for VBScript, yay!
  • A couple of bugs with escaping in strings were fixed thanks to Mickle
  • Ongoing tuning of heuristics

Fixed bugs were rather unpleasant so I encourage everyone to upgrade!

Version 2.4

  • Peter Leonov provides another improved highlighting for Perl
  • Javascript gets a new kind of keywords — “literals”. These are the words “true”, “false” and “null”

Also highlight.js homepage now lists sites that use the library. Feel free to add your site by dropping me a message until I find the time to build a submit form.

Version 2.3

This version fixes IE breakage in previous version. My apologies to all who have already downloaded that one!

Version 2.2

  • added highlighting for Javascript
  • at last fixed parsing of Delphi’s escaped apostrophes in strings
  • in Ruby fixed highlighting of keywords ‘def’ and ‘class’, same for ‘sub’ in Perl

Version 2.0

  • Ruby support by Anton Kovalyov
  • speed increased by orders of magnitude due to new way of parsing
  • this same way allows now correct highlighting of keywords in some tricky places (like keyword “End” at the end of Delphi classes)

Version 1.0

Version 1.0 of javascript syntax highlighter is released!

It’s the first version available with English description. Feel free to post your comments and question to highlight.js forum. And don’t be afraid if you find there some fancy Cyrillic letters – it’s for Russian users too :-)