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Is there a variant of cat that outputs syntax-highlighted lines of code when used on a source file?

An idea: maybe vi[m] or another editor can be asked to dump the syntax-highlighted contents of said files to stdout and exit immediately?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 29 down vote accepted

Passing the file through pygmentize-f terminal will attempt to detect the type from the filename and highlight it appropriately.

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Is that the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine font in their logo? If it is that's awesome. –  amphetamachine Aug 26 '11 at 3:57
Available as package python-pygments on Debian. –  enzotib Aug 26 '11 at 7:57
I found alias pcat="pygmentize -f terminal256 -O style=native -g" to be a nice solution –  Mikael Öhman Dec 26 '12 at 7:51
also available via pip install pygments –  craigb Nov 8 '13 at 20:59
@MikaelÖhman I actually found it easier to alias cat to a function pcat that took the filename as an argument, and output that to less: stackoverflow.com/questions/1821495/… –  Droogans Jun 3 '14 at 18:53

The Source-highlight package is shipped with the esc.outlang output language definition, which highlights with ANSI escape sequences.

A handy wrapper src-hilite-lesspipe.sh is also included in the package, so displaying highlighted output in the terminal is just src-hilite-lesspipe.sh source.file.

Actually src-hilite-lesspipe.sh's primary reason is to help automating the use of source-highlight with less. You just set:

export LESSOPEN="| /path/to/src-hilite-lesspipe.sh %s"
export LESS=' -R '

Then any less source.file will show highlighted source code. (Code in unknown language will pass through unaltered. Highlighting will be also skipped in case of redirected content, like less < source.file.)

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Nice, thank you for taking the time to write up this answer –  Paolo Nov 5 '11 at 7:39

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