Pygments FAQ

What is Pygments?

Pygments is a syntax highlighting engine written in Python. That means, it will take source code (or other markup) in a supported language and output a processed version (in different formats) containing syntax highlighting markup.

Its features include:

  • a wide range of common languages and markup formats is supported
  • new languages and formats are added easily
  • a number of output formats is available, including:
    • HTML
    • ANSI sequences (console output)
    • LaTeX
    • RTF
  • it is usable as a command-line tool and as a library
  • parsing and formatting is fast

Pygments is licensed under the BSD license.

Where does the name Pygments come from?

Py of course stands for Python, while pigments are used for coloring paint, and in this case, source code!

What are the system requirements?

Pygments only needs a standard Python install, version 2.6 or higher or version 3.3 or higher for Python 3. No additional libraries are needed.

How can I use Pygments?

Pygments is usable as a command-line tool as well as a library.

From the command-line, usage looks like this (assuming the pygmentize script is properly installed):

pygmentize -f html /path/to/

This will print a HTML-highlighted version of /path/to/ to standard output.

For a complete help, please run pygmentize -h.

Usage as a library is thoroughly demonstrated in the Documentation section.

How do I make a new style?

Please see the documentation on styles.

How can I report a bug or suggest a feature?

Please report bugs and feature wishes in the tracker at Bitbucket.

You can also e-mail the author or use IRC, see the contact details.

I want this support for this language!

Instead of waiting for others to include language support, why not write it yourself? All you have to know is outlined in the docs.

Can I use Pygments for programming language processing?

The Pygments lexing machinery is quite powerful can be used to build lexers for basically all languages. However, parsing them is not possible, though some lexers go some steps in this direction in order to e.g. highlight function names differently.

Also, error reporting is not the scope of Pygments. It focuses on correctly highlighting syntactically valid documents, not finding and compensating errors.

Who uses Pygments?

This is an (incomplete) list of projects and sites known to use the Pygments highlighter.

If you have a project or web site using Pygments, drop me a line, and I’ll add a link here.