Extension:SyntaxHighlight GeSHi

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This extension is bundled with MediaWiki 1.21 and above. Thus you do not have to download it again, but you still need to enable the extension.
MediaWiki extensions manual
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Release status: stable

Implementation Tag
Description Allows source code to be syntax highlighted on the wiki pages
Author(s) Brion Vibber, Tim Starling and Rob Church
Latest version continuous updates
MediaWiki 1.24.+ (older versions compatible with MW 1.11.+ are available)
Database changes No
License GNU General Public License 2.0 or later
  • $wgSyntaxHighlightDefaultLang
  • $wgSyntaxHighlightKeywordLinks
Hooks used


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The SyntaxHighlight GeSHi extension allows to display formatted source code with the <syntaxhighlight> tag.

This extension also adds coloring according to the code language settings. Like the <pre> tags and the <poem> tags, the tags shows the coding exactly as it was typed, preserving white space.

This extension also can create line numbers.

Usage[edit | edit source]

On the wiki page, you can now use "syntaxhighlight" elements:

<syntaxhighlight lang="php">
    $v = "string";    // sample initialization
html text
    echo $v;         // end of php code


    $v = "string";    // sample initialization
html text
    echo $v;         // end of php code

Alternative <source> tag[edit | edit source]

Before rev:50696, the extension used the tag <source>. This is still supported, but <syntaxhighlight> avoids conflicts if your source code itself contains <source> (for example XML).

Parameters[edit | edit source]

Defines what programming language the source code is using. This affects how the extension highlights the source code. See the section Supported languages in this page for details of supported languages.
Type of line numbering to use. If you do not provide this parameter, then lines will not be numbered. Corresponds to the enable_line_numbers flag in GeSHi.
Equivalent to line="GESHI_FANCY_LINE_NUMBERS"
line start="n"
Use this with the parameter line to defines the starting line number of the code block. For example, line start="55" will number lines starting at 55. Corresponds to start_line_numbers_at method on GeSHi
Specifies which line is highlighted. Note that the parameter line start="NN" doesn't affect how it counts the lines. You can specify more lines by separating them with commas (for example, highlight="1,4,8").
Specifies what container is used to enclose the source code. Takes values "pre" (default), "div", "none". Corresponds to set_header_type method on GeSHi. enclose="div" causes text to wrap, which is helpful if source code is extending off the edge of the window and requires scrolling; enclose="none" lets you put small code snippets inline.
Add this parameter to enable strict mode. Corresponds to enable_strict_mode method on GeSHi.

The effect and usage of these parameters can be consulted in GeSHi's documentation.

Since r22246, you can override the colors by editing MediaWiki:Geshi.css.

More usage[edit | edit source]

When line numbering is added with line, long code lines will be wrapped. See the example below. When text is the selected language, and numbering is used, the behaviour resembles the use of pre tags with numbering and long-line wrapping.

The following example shows how to color an HTML code listing:

<syntaxhighlight lang="html4strict" line start="100" highlight="5" enclose="div">
HTML module goes here...

A typical result is just:

  1. <!--This is a comment. Comments are not displayed in the browser-->
  2. <table align=center style="background: ivory;color:maroon;font-style:italic;font-family:arial;font-weight:bold;font-size:10pt;">
  3. <tr><th> Heading 1 </th><th> Heading 2 </th></tr>
  4. <tr>
  5. <td style="padding:10px;"> This is cell 1 text </td>
  6. <td style="padding:10px;"> This is cell 2 text </td>
  7. </tr>
  8. </table>

Supported languages[edit | edit source]

GeSHi has syntax highlighting for hundreds of computer languages and text file formats (browse its source code). Loading all of these affects performance (phab:T93025), so WMF wikis trim $wgGeSHiSupportedLanguages to not support all languages (gerrit:197449). To see what languages this extension can highlight on a particular wiki,

  1. edit source of a wiki page
  2. add the "bad" tag <syntaxhighlight lang="-">test</syntaxhighlight>
  3. preview the page and expand the warning
Use lang="html5" for HTML and lang="javascript"for JSON files. GeSHi does not support MediaWiki's wikitext markup (phab:T29828).

Below is the full list of languages that GeSHi can highlight. Again, a wiki may drop support for some of these.

Extra features[edit | edit source]

Default source language[edit | edit source]

Added in rev:50693.

If your site mainly quotes the source code of a particular programming language, you can set a default language. To do so, add a new variable to LocalSettings.php, just after the require_once line. For example, to set the C programming language as the default:

wfLoadExtension( 'SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi' ); 
$wgSyntaxHighlightDefaultLang = "c";

Default links for keywords[edit | edit source]

To do so, add a new variable to LocalSettings.php, just after the require_once line. We set link to work as an example:

wfLoadExtension( 'SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi' ); 
$wgSyntaxHighlightKeywordLinks = true;

Installation[edit | edit source]

The MediaWiki extension requires the GeSHi project files from SourceForge to work! To make this easier to install and maintain, the extension in git includes the Geshi project in a subdirectory named geshi.


  • GeSHi 1.1.2alpha3 does not work with the MediaWiki extension.
  • You can delete the extensions/SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi/geshi/docs directory to save a few megabytes.

Step 1: downloading[edit | edit source]

Use a Git tool to clone https://github.com/GeSHi/geshi-1.0 in the extensions directory of your wiki. For example using the Git command-line tool (from within wiki/extensions/):

git clone https://github.com/GeSHi/geshi-1.0.git

If you accidentally do this in the wrong directory, you will need to move clone from the current location to wiki/extensions/, like this:

mv SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi /path/to//wiki/extensions/


Or you can use the ExtensionDistributor.

Step 2: Installation[edit | edit source]

Add this line to the end of your LocalSettings.php:

wfLoadExtension( 'SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi' );
GeSHi installation (optional)

If you didn't put GeSHi in the extensions/SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi/geshi directory, then change the following line in SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi.class.php to suit the path of your geshi.php file

require "geshi/geshi.php";

Sometimes you will need to add the absolute path to geshi (/var/www/html/.../geshi/geshi.php)

Here's a shortcut using the PHP dirname() function with the magic __FILE__ constant:

require (dirname(__FILE__).'/geshi/geshi.php');

VisualEditor integration[edit | edit source]

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.

Configuration[edit | edit source]

If you want the dashed border like for <pre> tags you have to add them again.

Method 1: CSS file[edit | edit source]

This method requires r52346 or higher of this extension.

Add to MediaWiki:Geshi.css, MediaWiki:Monobook.css or MediaWiki:Common.css pages:

div.mw-geshi {
  padding: 1em; 
  margin: 1em 0; 
  border: 1px dashed #2f6fab;
  background-color: #f9f9f9;

This will give all GeSHi output (except for enclose="none") a dashed border almost identical to <pre> in monobook/main.css

Method 2: Inline CSS[edit | edit source]

You can also edit the SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi.class.php around line 215 (Line 264 in SVN trunk 82481). Look for this:

$css[] = "\tline-height: normal; border: 0px none white;";

and change it to:

$css[] = "\tline-height: normal; border: 1px dashed #2f6fab;";

On a Unix-like system simply type this command in the directory containing "SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi.class.php":

sed -i 's/$css\[\] = "\\tline-height: normal; border: 0px none white;";/
$css\[\] = "\\tline-height: normal; border: 1px dashed #2f6fab;";/g' \

Link to Extension Talk (2008): Extension talk:SyntaxHighlight GeSHi/Archive 2008#Problem with CSS: Default style for pre is overwritten

See also rev:52346.
  • If you already add the extension to LocalSettings.php before changing this, comment it out via "#" and refresh the page, then remove the # and refresh one more time.

Default DIV-based rendering[edit | edit source]

Long strings will cause the page width to blow up when rendered on a web page. The solution to this is to use the enclose="div" tag, this can be enabled by default by editing SyntaxHighlight_GeSHi.class.php near line 156. Look for the following:

if ( isset( $args['enclose'] ) ) {
  if ( $args['enclose'] === 'div' ) {
    $enclose = GESHI_HEADER_DIV;
  } elseif ( $args['enclose'] === 'none' ) {
    $enclose = GESHI_HEADER_NONE;

and append an else case to the if statement:

if ( isset( $args['enclose'] ) ) {
  if ( $args['enclose'] === 'div' ) {
    $enclose = GESHI_HEADER_DIV;
  } elseif ( $args['enclose'] === 'none' ) {
    $enclose = GESHI_HEADER_NONE;
} else {
  $enclose = GESHI_HEADER_DIV;}

See also[edit | edit source]

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