I was adding some code to a question, and noticed that I couldn't get syntax highlighting to work. I added a language hint as is used on Stack Overflow, but it had no effect.

I appreciate that most SE sites won't need syntax highlighting (which is presumably why it's not enabled by default), but obviously it could be very useful for us. Is that something which will be sorted out if/when we graduate to 'proper' SE status, or can we realistically do something about it just now?


2 Answers 2


This is enabled, and on by default in the tag.

You can use language hints to fine-tune the highlighting if the defaults aren't acceptable.

  • Thanks Shog. I wonder if it ought to be extended to all questions though? I suspect there will be several instances where we need to include code of some kind, even when the question isn't directly about programming. Feb 25, 2014 at 9:51
  • 2
    As I said, you can use the language hints for more precise control of this - including enabling highlighting in posts where it wouldn't otherwise occur. A moderator here (once you have them) can set defaults on other tags if need-be.
    – Shog9
    Feb 25, 2014 at 14:15
  • 1
    What about Arduino specific support? Arduino is in itself a language, of sorts.
    – asheeshr
    Feb 26, 2014 at 16:30
  • We use Prettify for highlighting. If it ain't supported by Prettify, it ain't supported here.
    – Shog9
    Feb 26, 2014 at 16:36
  • @Shog9 Why isn't the highlighting working here: arduino.stackexchange.com/q/692/275 I edited in the language hint plus added the programming tag. Mar 10, 2014 at 8:53
  • Looks fine to me, @Philip
    – Shog9
    Mar 10, 2014 at 15:01
  • @Shog9 True, now it does. Although I am not sure whether it's thanks to the programming tag or the language hint. Could it be, that as long as an edit is under review, even I cannot see the syntax highlighting? Mar 10, 2014 at 17:08
  • @Shog9 Simply adding the language hint doesn't seem to work as proven here: arduino.stackexchange.com/q/699/275 Mar 10, 2014 at 21:39
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    Needs to be on its own line, not abutting the previous paragraph, @Philip.
    – Shog9
    Mar 10, 2014 at 21:41
  • @Shog9 Ah, thanks. Good to know. Perhaps a respective note should be added to the language hints markdown page. Mar 10, 2014 at 21:43
  • Very interesting approach, but often code is included but is not the core of the question so the OP might not think to use that tag. Also, how many more tags trigger special operations here? Can we add a LaTex tag to allow us to describe things mathematically?
    – SDsolar
    Jun 1, 2017 at 7:34
  • Not sure what you're asking in the first part of your comment, @SDsolar. As for LaTeX, yes that can be enabled here if it would be routinely useful; you can post a separate request with examples of posts where such formulas would be beneficial.
    – Shog9
    Jun 2, 2017 at 14:49

Simply edit the question to add the following text before the code:

<!-- language-all: c++ -->

Note: This should not be indented by the 4 spaces and should have a carriage return before and after.

This also works:

<!-- language-all: lang-cpp -->

Stack Exchange uses Google Prettify for all of the syntax highlighting. Markdown Editor Help

Code blocks can be highlighted using Google Prettify. In many cases, the syntax highlighting language will be inferred from the question's tags.

  • And I suppose people are expected to be born with this knowledge?
    – SDsolar
    Jun 1, 2017 at 7:35
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    @SDsolar I agree. That is why I have put this answer here, so people can find it here and add it to their post/edit.
    – sa_leinad
    Jun 1, 2017 at 9:25
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    It is documented on the Markdown Editor Help page (arduino.stackexchange.com/editing-help#syntax-highlighting). I have added this to my answer.
    – sa_leinad
    Jun 1, 2017 at 9:33
  • TNX, @sa_leinad. The fact that I found here it is proof that your method worked. Have a great day.
    – SDsolar
    Jun 1, 2017 at 15:41

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