View Source Makeup

Module Version Hex Docs


Makeup is a "generic syntax highlighter suitable for use in code hosting, forums, wikis or other applications that need to prettify source code" . This tagline was shamelessly stolen from the Pygments website.

Pygments the major inspiration for this package, and the structure is basically the same. It has lexers, formatters and styles.

  • Lexers turn the source code into a list of tokens.
  • Formatters turn the list of tokens into something else (HTML, TeX, images, etc.). Currently only an HTML formatter exists.
  • Styles customize the output of the formatter. Makeup supports all Pygments' styles (in fact, they were converted from the Python's source). New custom styles can be added to makeup itself, or defined in the Project that uses it.


To see a sample of Makeup's output, go check the demo. Please note that not all styles define all differences between tokens. In a given style, strings and characters might be rendered in the same color while in others , the colors might be different.

That is style-dependent.

Some of the richer styles are the Tango style (elixir), the Colorful style (elixir), the Default style (elixir), and the Friendly style (elixir).

Supported Languages

The supported source languages are:


The package can be installed by adding makeup and makeup_elixir (required for the ElixirLexer) to your list of dependencies in mix.exs:

def deps do
    {:makeup, "x.y.z"},
    {:makeup_elixir, "x.y.z"}

Documentation can be found at


Changes from previous versions are details in the Changelog.


To highlight some Elixir code (newlines added for clarity):

# "<pre class=\"highlight\"><code>
#   <span class=\"n\">x</span><span class=\"w\"> </span>
#   <span class=\"o\">+</span><span class=\"w\"> </span><span class=\"mi\">1</span>
# </code></pre>\n"

As you can see, the default HTML formatter uses CSS classes. You'll need a CSS stylesheet to get the different colors and styles.

To generate a stylesheet:

Makeup.stylesheet(style) # by default, the StyleMap.default style is used.
# ... output omitted

Advantages over Pygments

One of the greatest advantages is that it runs on the BEAM, so it can be used with Elixir projects without external dependencies.

Another advantage is that the way lexers are written, we can be a lot smarter than Pygments in processing the output.

For the developer, lexers are also easier to write than the Pygments lexers, because we use a PEG parser. Most Pygments lexers use something like a state table that works based on regex matches, and uses the results of those matches to switch to another state. Using a PEG parser we can define the grammar in a more natural way.

The lexers are written using the excellent NimbleParsec parser.

Disadvantages over Pygments

It supports fewer languages.

Documentation on how to write a new lexer

Contributions are highly appreciated. The most direct way you can contribute to Makeup is by writing a new lexer. You can find some information here:


Makeup is licensed under the BSD license. This is the same license as the Pygments Makeup uses and it seems to be compatible with the licenses used by all the dependencies.