Posted by: Chris Ravenscroft 5 years, 11 months ago

I recently ran a whole lot of Wordpress code highlighting plug-ins through the grinder and ended up selecting four that, in my opinion, are the worthiest of the lot.

Writing a code highlighter plug-in proves to be a fairly difficult exercise. Your plug-in needs to be smart about its content, or the result will invariably be a disappointment. For instance, if the plug-in is activated using the <pre> tag, then it needs to maintain a stack/counter of <pre> and </pre> tags so that finding a <pre> tag in the code being highlighted doesn't abruptly terminate the code parsing, disfiguring your blog in the process. I noticed the issue with SyntaxHighlighter, but the other plug-ins may also suffer from it.

SyntaxHighlighter


Tag: [sourcecode language='css']code here[/sourcecode]

My main issue with this plug-in is that it works in visual mode; hence, your source code formatting (tabs etc.) is lost. Other than that, it works well and support a wide range of languages and it offers several very nice features such as 'copy to clipboard' or 'print'. My hope, right now, is that I did not use it correctly.

syntaxhighlighter sample

[rating:3.0]

Highlight source Pro


Tag: <pre lang="enc__php" class="17">code here</pre>

I do not like the use of the class arguments, as it means "start numbering with line 17" which totally breaks XHTML compliance.

Note the smart use of the enc__ prefix, which, when presents, means that the code being highlighted is encoded using HTML Entities. Add the prefix, you can use the higlighter in visual mode; omit it and work in HTML mode.

highlight source pro sample

[rating:3.5]

FV Code Highlighter


Tag: {code type=php}code here{/code}

Cute display, which will feel immediately familiar to Dreamweaver aficionados. Support PHP, HTML, CSS and XML.

fv code highlighter sample

fv code highlighter admin

[rating:4.0]

WP_CODEBOX


Tag: <pre lang="php" line="1" file="example.php" colla="-">code here</pre>

In my opinion, this is the winner. It works well, looks good and support more languages than any of the others -- I counted about 70 different formats!

You can display the code box collapsed or expanded, offer a link to download the code, etc.

wp codebox sample 1

wp codebox sample 2

wp codebox admin

[rating:4.5]

Currently unrated


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