Use Syntax Highlighter in SharePoint Rich Text Editor

Love it or hate it, but the rich text editor can be really powerful if you know how to customize. In this article I show you how the well-known SyntaxHighlighter script by Alex Gorbatchev can be added to a wiki page in SharePoint. The idea for this came from a discussion I had with Marc D. Anderson about the Microsoft SharePoint Blog template and how hard it is to format source code in SharePoint in a beautiful way. Well nearly every WordPress blog that provides source code in the posts has a plugin that adds the SyntaxHighlighter to the design. Well here is my integration to SharePoint that consists of the following three components:

  • Wiki Page Layout
  • Rich Text Editor Style
  • Script to embed the SyntaxHighlighter

The wiki page layout

First of all I created a specific wiki page layout to add the functionality of the SyntaxHighlighter. In this page layout I added references to a couple of scripts the SyntaxHighlighter need. I added those inside the content control with the id “PlaceHolderAdditionalPageHead”. This will render the script links to the head section of the master page.

Beside the SyntaxHighlighter I added one style sheet file for the integration to the rich text editor named spSyntaxHighlighter.css and a JavaScript I named spSyntaxHighlighter.js which will be used to render the source code in a proper way and uses JQuery.

Rich Text Editor Styles

To add a format block for the source code I defined for each language a specific rich text editor style. The format block using markup styles looks like this.

What this markup style definition does is to add the <pre> tag to the content of the wiki page. For each language that should be supported I created an own markup style needs. This is required because it tells the SyntaxHighlighter script how to render the source code properly.

Script to embed the SyntaxHighlighter

As mentioned before I decided to use JQuery to execute the syntax highlighter script. Well the base task of my script is to look for the code blocks defined by the markup styles and then reformat those blocks. For an html code block the output of the rich text editor needs to be converted from:

to this

The script below will manage this transformation:

For Internet Explorer I need to break the rendering of the source code inside the pre tag. The internet explorer adds additional breaks to the code. Therefore all html breaks needs to be removed and replaced “\r\n”. If those <br> tag won’t be managed the code will be messed up and the result would be only a single line of code instead of a good looking code block.

SyntaxhHghlighter integrated in SharePoint

Final code integrated in SharePoint


Sometimes it can be a little bit tricky to handle the rich text editor in the right way. For code embedding the best result can be achieved if the style block will be defined in the first step and later the code will be added by using the SharePoint functionality “Paste as plain text”. I recorded a simple video to show you how this works.

At the end you should get the following result.

Finally you can download this sandbox solution from Codeplex “n8d.SyntaxHighlighter”.

My integration of the SyntaxHighlighter supports currently the following languages:

  • VB, C#
  • JavaScript
  • SQL
  • PowerShell
  • That’s a nice integration. Thanks !

  • This can only be used in sites that have the publishing features activated, correct?

    • Stefan Bauer

      Right now yes. Publishing and Enterprise Wiki Pages. If you move the scripts and Style Sheets to the Master Page then it could be used everywhere.

  • Manuel

    Thanks! However, I still have a problem:

    I uploaded and activated the sandboxed solution to our Office365 site. Furthermore, I selected “CodeWiki” as default page style. But I still do not get the code format options in the rich text editor of a newly created wiki page.

    What might I still be missing?

  • Manuel

    Sorry, just found out myself. The problem was the one with the enterprise wiki.

  • Leop


    Nice job, thank you !

    A question: how to disable the 14 original templates when I create a new page in the Wiki ?

    Have a nice day


    • Stefan Bauer

      You need to go to
      -> Site Actions
      -> Site Settings
      -> under “Look and Feel” you will find the option “Page Layout and Site Templates”
      In the upcoming page you can choose what page layouts are allowed and what will be used for the default page.

  • Hello Stefan, my company Sharepoint is hosted at Microsoft. I am told we don’t have a capacity to deploy wsp package. Can I get details on how to create/deploy the required files manually.


    • Stefan Bauer

      Hi Nirva,
      download syntax highlighter and add it to the Style Library. What you then need to do is create or add the functionality I’ve described in this blog post to an article page layouts.
      It’s pretty much straight forward. I case you trouble with the configuration I’m glad to support you. Hope the description what I’ve done is detailed enough.


  • Robert

    Hi Stefan,
    we started to use SharePoint2013 and we’re looking for some syntax highlighting.
    I found you solution and like it very much. I uploaded and activated n8d.SyntaxHighlighter.wsp into Solutions, but I don’t see possibility to add “code with markup” when I’m editing a page. I see SyntaxHighlighter in Style Library. I see WikiCodePage.aspx among Master Pages. But I don’t see the icon in ribbon as shown on your video.
    Should your solution work also in SP2013? Or should I do some additional setting?
    Thanks for any help,

    • Stefan Bauer

      No the solution is currently not ready to be used in SharePoint 2013. I always planed to upgrade it but until now I haven’t found time.

  • Paul

    Hi Stefan,

    Did you by any chance got the time to update the solution to 2013, I really like the solution in 2010 but love to use it on my SharePoint online. Which is now 2013 based.

    Maybe I can help on some part?

    Regards, Paul

    • Stefan Bauer

      Hi Paul,

      no i haven’t updated this syntax highlighter for 2013. Times have changed and I’d rather use a different source code highlighter today. This one is called Prism.js. This one is much easier to include than the other syntax highlighter.

      Would be great if we can do a project together to add this to SharePoint.


      • Paul

        Hi Stefan,

        That would be cool, I really like to lean more about coding and SharePoint. Will be a challenge, but I know how to edit most code and enough basics I think.

        I’ve send you a mail with my details so we can discuss the how and the what to do 🙂

        Regards, Paul