Command Line Interface

You can use Pygments from the shell, provided you installed the pygmentize script:

$ pygmentize
print "Hello World"

will print the file to standard output, using the Python lexer (inferred from the file name extension) and the terminal formatter (because you didn’t give an explicit formatter name).

If you want HTML output:

$ pygmentize -f html -l python -o test.html

As you can see, the -l option explicitly selects a lexer. As seen above, if you give an input file name and it has an extension that Pygments recognizes, you can omit this option.

The -o option gives an output file name. If it is not given, output is written to stdout.

The -f option selects a formatter (as with -l, it can also be omitted if an output file name is given and has a supported extension). If no output file name is given and -f is omitted, the TerminalFormatter is used.

The above command could therefore also be given as:

$ pygmentize -o test.html

To create a full HTML document, including line numbers and stylesheet (using the “emacs” style), highlighting the Python file to test.html:

$ pygmentize -O full,style=emacs -o test.html

Options and filters

Lexer and formatter options can be given using the -O option:

$ pygmentize -f html -O style=colorful,linenos=1 -l python

Be sure to enclose the option string in quotes if it contains any special shell characters, such as spaces or expansion wildcards like *. If an option expects a list value, separate the list entries with spaces (you’ll have to quote the option value in this case too, so that the shell doesn’t split it).

Since the -O option argument is split at commas and expects the split values to be of the form name=value, you can’t give an option value that contains commas or equals signs. Therefore, an option -P is provided (as of Pygments 0.9) that works like -O but can only pass one option per -P. Its value can then contain all characters:

$ pygmentize -P "heading=Pygments, the Python highlighter" ...

Filters are added to the token stream using the -F option:

$ pygmentize -f html -l pascal -F keywordcase:case=upper main.pas

As you see, options for the filter are given after a colon. As for -O, the filter name and options must be one shell word, so there may not be any spaces around the colon.

Generating styles

Formatters normally don’t output full style information. For example, the HTML formatter by default only outputs <span> tags with class attributes. Therefore, there’s a special -S option for generating style definitions. Usage is as follows:

$ pygmentize -f html -S colorful -a .syntax

generates a CSS style sheet (because you selected the HTML formatter) for the “colorful” style prepending a ”.syntax” selector to all style rules.

For an explanation what -a means for a particular formatter, look for the arg argument for the formatter’s get_style_defs() method.

Getting lexer names

New in version 1.0.

The -N option guesses a lexer name for a given filename, so that

$ pygmentize -N

will print out python. It won’t highlight anything yet. If no specific lexer is known for that filename, text is printed.

Custom Lexers and Formatters

New in version 2.2.

The -x flag enables custom lexers and formatters to be loaded from files relative to the current directory. Create a file with a class named CustomLexer or CustomFormatter, then specify it on the command line:

$ pygmentize -l -f -x

You can also specify the name of your class with a colon:

$ pygmentize -l -x

For more information, see the Pygments documentation on Lexer development.

Getting help

The -L option lists lexers, formatters, along with their short names and supported file name extensions, styles and filters. If you want to see only one category, give it as an argument:

$ pygmentize -L filters

will list only all installed filters.

The -H option will give you detailed information (the same that can be found in this documentation) about a lexer, formatter or filter. Usage is as follows:

$ pygmentize -H formatter html

will print the help for the HTML formatter, while

$ pygmentize -H lexer python

will print the help for the Python lexer, etc.

A note on encodings

New in version 0.9.

Pygments tries to be smart regarding encodings in the formatting process:

  • If you give an encoding option, it will be used as the input and output encoding.
  • If you give an outencoding option, it will override encoding as the output encoding.
  • If you give an inencoding option, it will override encoding as the input encoding.
  • If you don’t give an encoding and have given an output file, the default encoding for lexer and formatter is the terminal encoding or the default locale encoding of the system. As a last resort, latin1 is used (which will pass through all non-ASCII characters).
  • If you don’t give an encoding and haven’t given an output file (that means output is written to the console), the default encoding for lexer and formatter is the terminal encoding (sys.stdout.encoding).