WP-Syntax provides clean syntax highlighting using
GeSHi — supporting a wide range of popular
languages. It supports highlighting with or without line numbers and maintains formatting while copying snippets of code
from the browser.

It avoids conflicts with other 3rd party plugins by running an early
pre-filter and a late post-filter that substitutes and pulls the code snippets
out first and then pushes them back in with highlighting at the end. The
result is source code formatted and highlighted the way you intended.

Usage, Supported Languages, Styling Guidelines, and Release Notes are available
in the Other Notes section.

Want to contribute? WP-Syntax can be found on GitHub. Fork and submit your pull requests today!

Basic Usage

Wrap code blocks with <pre lang="LANGUAGE" line="1"> and </pre> where “LANGUAGE”
is a GeSHi supported language syntax.
The line attribute is optional. More usage examples


Wrap code blocks with <pre lang="LANGUAGE" line="1"> and </pre> where “LANGUAGE” is a GeSHi supported
language syntax. See below for a full list of supported languages.
The line attribute is optional.

Example 1: PHP, no line numbers

<pre lang="php">
<div id="foo">
  function foo() {
    echo "Hello World!\\n";

Example 2: Java, with line numbers

<pre lang="java" line="1">
public class Hello {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    System.out.println("Hello World!");

Example 3: Ruby, with line numbers starting at 18

<pre lang="ruby" line="18">
class Example
  def example(arg1)
    return "Hello: " + arg1.to_s

Example 4: If your code already has html entities escaped, use escaped="true" as an option

<pre lang="xml" escaped="true">

Example 5: PHP, with line numbers and highlighting a specific line

<pre lang="php" line="1" highlight="3">
<div id="foo">
  function foo() {
    echo "Hello World!\\n";

Example 6: PHP, with a caption (file and/or file path of the source file)

<pre lang="php" src"https://github.com/shazahm1/Connections/blob/master/connections.php">
<div id="foo">
  function foo() {
    echo "Hello World!\\n";
</pre><h3>Supported Languages</h3>

The following languages are most supported in the lang attribute:

abap, actionscript, actionscript3, ada, apache, applescript, apt_sources, asm,
asp, autoit, avisynth, bash, bf, bibtex, blitzbasic, bnf, boo, c,
c_mac, caddcl, cadlisp, cil, cfdg, cfm, cmake, cobol, cpp-qt, cpp,
csharp, css, d, dcs, delphi, diff, div, dos, dot, eiffel, email, erlang,
fo, fortran, freebasic, genero, gettext, glsl, gml, bnuplot, groovy, haskell,
hq9plus, html4strict, idl, ini, inno, intercal, io, java, java5,
javascript, kixtart, klonec, klonecpp, latex, lisp, locobasic, lolcode
lotusformulas, lotusscript, lscript, lsl2, lua, m68k, make, matlab, mirc,
modula3, mpasm, mxml, mysql, nsis, oberon2, objc, ocaml-brief, ocaml,
oobas, oracle11, oracle8, pascal, per, pic16, pixelbender, perl,
php-brief, php, plsql, povray, powershell, progress, prolog, properties,
providex, python, qbasic, rails, rebol, reg, robots, ruby, sas,
scala, scheme, scilab, sdlbasic, smalltalk, smarty, sql, tcl, teraterm,
text, thinbasic, tsql, typoscript, vb, vbnet, verilog, vhdl, vim,
visualfoxpro, visualprolog, whitespace, whois, winbatch, xml, xorg_conf,
xpp, z80

See the GeSHi Documentation
for a full list of supported languages.

(Bold languages just highlight the more popular ones.)

Styling Guidelines

WP-Syntax colors code using the default GeSHi colors. It also uses inline
styling to make sure that code highlights still work in RSS feeds. It uses a
default wp-syntax.css stylesheet for basic layout. To customize your styling,
copy the default wp-content/plugins/wp-syntax/wp-syntax.css to your theme’s
template directory and modify it. If a file named wp-syntax.css exists in
your theme’s template directory, this stylesheet is used instead of the default.
This allows theme authors to add their own customizations as they see fit.

Advanced Customization

WP-Syntax supports a wp_syntax_init_geshi action hook to customize GeSHi
initialization settings. Blog owners can handle the hook in a hand-made plugin
or somewhere else like this:

add_action('wp_syntax_init_geshi', 'my_custom_geshi_styles');

function my_custom_geshi_styles(&$geshi)
    $geshi->set_brackets_style('color: #000;');
    $geshi->set_keyword_group_style(1, 'color: #22f;');

This allows for a great possibility of different customizations. Be sure to
review the GeSHi Documentation.


  • PHP, no line numbers.
  • Java, with line numbers.
  • Ruby, with line numbers starting at 18.


  1. Upload wp-syntax.zip to your WordPress plugins directory, usually wp-content/plugins/ and unzip the file. It will create a wp-content/plugins/wp-syntax/ directory.
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
  3. Create a post/page that contains a code snippet following the proper usage syntax.


Why is the plugin generating unexpected output?

Try editing code snippets without the visual editor. To turn off the visual
editor for all your edits, uncheck the visual editor checkbox in your profile.
Depending on what type of code you’re trying to display, you might also need
to disable WordPress’ corrections of invalidly nested XHTML (under Options ->

Why can I, as an admin, post code snippets, but my authors cannot?

By default, WordPress filters HTML for particular user roles, and this affects
WP-Syntax’s input. As a workaround, install the Role Manager
plugin, and check “unfiltered HTML” for the roles that would like to post code snippets.


3 de desembre de 2023
Works as documented. Easy way to have syntax highlighting for posts containing code. Thank you for developing this plugin!
12 de octubre de 2017
https://linux-guru.azurewebsites.net/ My site has many code based articles for developers. Not much for WP as of yet but mostly for more general ideas for a custom web site from scratch. https://linux-guru.azurewebsites.net/location-based-advertisements/ is an article on SQL that I am working on, and this plugin has been able to get around some of problems with WP mangling code cut and paste does not get rid of the escaped code which is why I like that escaped switch which allows for clean SQL code that works safely
23 de agost de 2017
The Plugin installed and worked as expected, but if there were some customisation option it would be great the one i could think of is implementing the dark theme for the code preview which can be easily achieved by changing the style sheet.
29 de setembre de 2016
Its really good and easy to be used. Only thing is the style is to be improved. I am not the expert to change the default css for example to increase the padding of a line, it makes the backgroud crashed so I’ve given up.
3 de setembre de 2016
The plugin is light weight and simple. Its style can be customized using CSS. Those who are looking for options in menus will have to look for another plugin
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Registre de canvis

1.1 12/01/2023

  • TWEAK: Ensure $content is always returned by the filter callback.
  • TWEAK: Slash the highlighted code blocks before saving cache to the post meta.
  • BUG: Cache each page of a multi-paged post separately.
  • BUG: Fix notice level error when global $comment is not available.
  • OTHER: Update GeSHi to version at GH commit 7884d22 on Feb 19, 2023.
  • OTHER: Correct misspellings.

1.1 12/14/2016

  • NEW: Introduce caching of the syntax highlighted code rather than parsing it on page load.
  • NEW: Introduce double click to copy code from highlight code block. Props zavr!
  • TWEAK: PHP 7.1 compatibility.
  • TWEAK: Remove horizontal padding from caption.
  • TWEAK: Remove duplicate CSS padding property.
  • TWEAK: Remove the unnecessary px from properties set as 0 in CSS.
  • TWEAK: Adjust font size of highlight code for better vertical alignment.
  • BUG: Ensure string is return in caption.
  • BUG: Fix line numbering bug.
  • BUG: Remove old plugin file.
  • OTHER: UPDATE GeSHi to the latest dev branch.
  • DEV: Correct phpDoc errors.

1.0 02/09/2013

  • NEW: CSS3 for alternating background lines for easier reading.
  • OTHER: Completely refactor code to utilize current best practices for plugin development which will provide a solid foundation for further development.
  • OTHER: Remove GeSHi contrib and test folders.
  • OTHER: Move CSS to css sub-folder.
  • OTHER: Move JavaScript to js sub-folder.
  • OTHER: CSS fixes to keep theme from breaking output formatting.

0.9.13 09/01/12

  • FEATURE: Added a new “src” shortcode option to allow reference of the source filename. Props: Steffen Vogel
  • BUG: Properly enqueue the CSS file.
  • BUG: Updated TinyMCE allow list to allow required tags. Props: Steffen Vogel
  • OTHER: Updated GeSHi to
  • OTHER: Remove old unused code.
  • OTHER: Improved line highlighting. Props: Steffen Vogel
  • OTHER: Added some additional CSS styles to help keep theme’s from breaking the presentation of the code.

0.9.12 : Fixed a range bug in the new highlight feature.

0.9.11 : Added line highlighting support. User submitted patch. Thanks Flynsarmy && Chimo

0.9.10 : Fix for security vulnerability when register_globals in php is enabled.

0.9.9 : Fix to support child theme’s. WP-Syntax now requires WP >= 3.0.
Credit to OddOneOut
Updated to use

0.9.8 : Fix for optional line attributes; Tested on WP 2.8

0.9.7 : Reverted GeSHi v1.0.8.3 to avoid a slew of issues;

0.9.6 : Updated to use GeSHi v1.0.8.4;

0.9.5 : Minor style override to prevent themes from mangling code structure

0.9.4 : Updated to use GeSHi v1.0.8.3;

0.9.3 : Fixed hard-coded plugin path

0.9.2 : Updated to use GeSHi v1.0.8.2; Added optional escaped="true"
support in case code snippets are already escaped with html entities.

0.9.1 : Updated to use GeSHi v1.0.8; Improved the FAQ;

0.9 : Added support for anonymous subscribers to use pre tags in their
comments allowing for their own colored code snippets [Fernando Briano];

0.8 : Updated to use GeSHi v1.0.7.22 (this normally would be a revision
release, but colors changed and there are 9 new languages supported); Added a
font-size setting in the default css to thwart complaints about small sizes
caused by other default WP themes;

0.7 : Automatically included common styles without requiring manual theme
customization [Christian Heim]; Added support for adding a custom
wp-syntax.css stylesheet to a theme;

0.6.1 : Updated to use GeSHi v1.0.7.21; Updated the WP compatibility version;

0.6 : Support init hook for geshi settings (wp_syntax_init_geshi);

0.5.4 : Updated to use GeSHi v1.0.7.20;

0.5.3 : Fixed styling guideline issue that affected IE 6 [kimuraco];

0.5.2 : Updated to use GeSHi v1.0.7.19;

0.5.1 : Switched geshi directory export to utilize
piston instead of svn:externals properties;

0.5 : Added support for single quoted attributes;

0.4 : Cleanup and documentation for WordPress.org plugin

0.3 : First official public release; Added line number support; Uses GeSHi v1.0.7.18;

0.2 : Internal release; Adds “before and after” filter support to avoid
conflicts with other plugins;

0.1 : First internal release; Uses GeSHi v1.0.7.16;