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This extension comes with MediaWiki 1.21 and above. Thus you do not have to download it again. However, you still need to follow the other instructions provided.
MediaWiki extensions manualManual:Extensions
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Release status:Extension status stable

SyntaxHighlighting with Pygments.png
ImplementationTemplate:Extension#type Tag
DescriptionTemplate:Extension#description Allows source code to be syntax highlighted on the wiki pages
Author(s)Template:Extension#username Brion Vibber, Tim Starling, Rob Church, and Ori Livneh
Latest versionTemplate:Extension#version continuous updates
MediaWikiTemplate:Extension#mediawiki 1.23.+
Database changesTemplate:Extension#needs-updatephp No
LicenseTemplate:Extension#license GNU General Public License 2.0 or later
  • $wgPygmentizePath
  • $wgSyntaxHighlightModels
Hooks usedTemplate:Extension#hook

Translate the SyntaxHighlight extension if it is available at translatewiki.net

Check usage and version matrix.


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The SyntaxHighlight extension, formerly known as SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi, provides rich formatting of source code using the <syntaxhighlight> tag. It is powered by the Pygments library and supports hundreds of different programming languages and file formats.

Like the <pre> and <poem> tags, the text is rendered exactly as it was typed, preserving any white space.

This extension was formerly known as SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi since it used GeSHi for syntax highlighting. Since June 2015 it uses Pygments.


Once installed, you can use "syntaxhighlight" tags on wiki pages. For example,

1 def quickSort(arr):
2 	less = []
3 	pivotList = []
4 	more = []
5 	if len(arr) <= 1:
6 		return arr
7 	else:
8 		pass

is the result of the following wikitext markup:

<syntaxhighlight lang="python" line='line'>
def quickSort(arr):
	less = []
	pivotList = []
	more = []
	if len(arr) <= 1:
		return arr

In older versions (before MediaWiki 1.16), the extension used the tag <source>. This is still supported, but <syntaxhighlight> may help avoid conflicts if your source code itself contains <source> tags (for example XML).


If the displayed code is too big, you can adjust it by putting the following into the MediaWiki:Common.css page in your wiki (create it if it does not exist):

/* CSS placed here will be applied to all skins */
.mw-highlight pre {
	font-size: 90%;

Encasing code blocks in borders can be done by inserting a line like border: 1px dashed blue; in the section above. Control over font family used can also be exercised by inserting a line like font-family: "Courier New", monospace; into the section above.



The lang="name" attribute defines what lexer should be used. This affects how the extension highlights the source code. See the section Supported languages in this page for details of supported languages.

def quickSort(arr):
    less = []
<syntaxhighlight lang="python">

Specifying an invalid or unknown name will tag the page with a tracking category. The message key MediaWiki:syntaxhighlight-error-category determines the category name, on this wiki it is Category:Pages with syntax highlighting errors.


The line attribute enables line numbers.

1 int x = 0;
2 Console.WriteLine("结果是:"+ x);
<syntaxhighlight lang="python" line>


The start attribute (in combination with line) defines the first line number of the code block. For example, line start="55" will make line numbering start at 55.

55 def quickSort(arr):
56     less = []
<syntaxhighlight lang="python" line start="55">


The highlight attribute specifies one or more lines that should be marked (by highlighting those lines with a different background color). You can specify multiple line numbers separated by commas (for example, highlight="1,4,8") or ranges using two line numbers and a hyphen (for example, highlight="5-7"). Note that the line number specification ignores any renumbering of the displayed line numbers with the start attribute.

3 def quickSort(arr):
4     less = []
5     pivotList = []
6     more = []
7     if len(arr) <= 1:
8         return arr

is the result of

<syntaxhighlight lang="python" highlight="1,5-7" start='3' line>


MediaWiki version: 1.26

The attribute indicates that the source code should be inline as part of a paragraph (as opposed to being its own block). This option is available starting with MediaWiki 1.26. For backwards-compatibility, an enclose="none" attribute results in the same behaviour.

Note that line breaks can occur at any space between the opening and closing tags unless the source code is marked non-breakable with class=nowrap (on those wikis that support it; see below) or style=white-space:nowrap.

For example:

lambda x: x * 2 is a lambda expression in Python.

Is the result of:

<syntaxhighlight lang="python" inline>lambda x: x * 2</syntaxhighlight> is a [[w:Lambda (programming)|lambda expression]] in Python.


When inline is used, class=nowrap (on those wikis that support it; not on MediaWiki itself) specifies that line breaks should not occur at spaces within the code block.

For example:
Without class=nowrap:

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxlambda x: x * 2xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

With style=white-space:nowrap:

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxlambda x: x * 2xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


The style attribute allows CSS attributes to be included directly. This is eqivalent to enclosing the block in a <div> (not <span>) tag. The tab‑size attribute cannot be specified this way; it requires an enclosing <span> tag as described below under #Advanced.

For example:

#include <stdio.h>
int main()
	printf ("Hello world!");
	return 0;

Is the result of:

<source lang=c style="border:3px dashed blue">
#include <stdio.h>
int main()
	printf ("Hello world!");
	return 0;

Supported languages[edit]

The Pygments library provides support for hundreds of computer languages and file formats (full list and complete details in the Pygments document) and there are some mappings for some language names which were supported by GeSHi (full list).

Pygments does not yet provide a "wikitext" or "mediawiki" lexer (phab:T29828). Use "html", "xml", or "moin" instead.

Below is a partial list of languages that GeSHi could highlight, with strike-through for languages no longer supported after the switch to Pygments.


Despite its update to Pygments (and away from GeSHi) and despite its updated name, this extension internally still uses the former file names as stated below.
  • Download and place the file(s) in a directory called SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi in your extensions/ folder.
  • Add the following code at the bottom of your LocalSettings.php:
wfLoadExtension( 'SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi' );
  • YesY Done - Navigate to Special:Version on your wiki to verify that the extension is successfully installed.

To users running MediaWiki 1.24 or earlier:

The instructions above describe the new way of installing this extension using wfLoadExtension() If you need to install this extension on these earlier versions (MediaWiki 1.24 and earlier), instead of wfLoadExtension( 'SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi' );, you need to use:

require_once "$IP/extensions/SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi/SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi.php";
When installing from Git, please note that starting from MediaWiki 1.26 this extension requires Composer.

So, after installation from git change to the directory containing the extension e.g. "../extensions/SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi/" and run composer install, or when updating: composer update.

Alternatively as well as preferably add the line "extensions/SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi/composer.json" to the "composer.local.json" file in the root directory of your wiki like e.g.
	"extra": {
		"merge-plugin": {
			"include": [

Now run composer update. Voilà!

When uploading the extension via FTP be sure to upload the pygments/pygmentize file with the transfer type binary.


  • $wgPygmentizePath (optional): Absolute path to pygmentize of the Pygments package. The extension bundles the Pygments package and $wgPygmentizePath points to the bundled version by default, but you can point to a different version, if you want to. For example: $wgPygmentizePath = "/usr/local/bin/pygmentize";.
  • $wgSyntaxHighlightModels: Configure the default lexer for some wiki pages. By default this will highlight javascript and css pages. Additional content models can be configured by extensions (e.g. Lua, JSON, ..).
  • If you are hosting your Mediawiki on a Windows machine, you have to set the path for the Pygmentize.exe $wgPygmentizePath = "c:\\Python27\\Scripts\\pygmentize.exe";

If you are using the bundled pygmentize binary (extensions/SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi/pygments/pygmentize), make sure your webserver is permitted to execute it. If your host does not allow you to add executables to your web directory, install python-pygments and add $wgPygmentizePath = pygmentize to LocalSettings.php.


After updating to MediaWiki v1.26 and above, some users started reporting problems with the extension.

  • Try pointing $wgPygmentizePath in LocalSettings.php towards an external pygmentize binary.
  • See the phabricator task on this for further suggestions and information.

VisualEditor integration[edit]

The plugin enables direct editing with VisualEditor. A popup is opened when a user wants to edit source or syntaxhighlight sections. For this to work, VisualEditor must be installed and configured from the latest git version, same for Parsoid. The feature randomly does not work with older Parsoid versions.


Unlike the <pre> and <code> tags, HTML character entities such as &nbsp; need not have the & character escaped as &amp;. Like the <pre> tag but unlike the <code> tag, tags within the range (other than its own closing tag) need not have the < symbol escaped as &lt;, nor does wikitext need to be escaped with a <nowiki> tag.

Furthermore, while <pre> assumes tab stops every 8 characters and renders tabs using actual spaces when the rendered text is copied, <syntaxhighlight> uses 4-space tab stops (except Internet Explorer, which uses 8) and preserves the tab characters in the rendered text; the latter may be changed using an enclosing <span style="tab‑size:nn; ‑moz‑tab‑size:nn; ‑o‑tab‑size:nn"> tag (not <div>, and not using own style attribute). The -moz- prefix is required for Firefox (from version 4.0), and the -o- prefix is required for Opera (from version 10.60 to version 15).[1] (Note that the wiki editing box assumes 8-space tabs.) This applies only to actual saved pages; previews generated through an edit box or Special:ExpandTemplates may differ.

See also[edit]

Language:Project:Language policy English  • русский
  1. http://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/tab-size