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Until you save a document in gedit, syntax highlighting is turned off. There are obviously good reasons for this -- people might get confused if certain words were randomly showing up in different colors. But for my purposes, I use gedit almost exclusively for HTML editing.

A lot of times I paste snippets of code into a new gedit document for quick editing, and I have to manually set the syntax coloring to HTML. Other times, I open ColdFusion (.cfm) documents, which gedit apparently doesn't recognize, and again I have to manually set the color to HTML. Both of these inconveniences would be fixed if I could find a way to tell gedit to automatically use HTML syntax highlighting for new documents and documents without a recognized file extension. Is this possible?

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I was also wondering if I could switch between different languages without having to save the file, just like in SciTE. Would save me time. –  nickguletskii May 23 '11 at 15:32

3 Answers 3

up vote 15 down vote accepted

You can at least add file extensions in the html syntax coloring scheme by editing html.lang in /usr/share/gtksourceview-2.0/language-specs/ as a super user. So say you want to add HTML syntax highlighting to cfm files, you'd change this

<property name="globs">*.html;*.htm</property>

(default html.lang) into this

<property name="globs">*.html;*.htm;*.cfm</property>

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Thanks! This worked for making gedit add syntax coloring to my ColdFusion files. –  michaelms Oct 11 '11 at 16:31
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I wish I could add a few extra up-votes to this answer. I just used this answer again to give CSS highlighting to LESS and SASS files. –  michaelms May 29 '12 at 12:53
    
I like the idea of duplicating and editing the .lang in the user directory myself –  jozxyqk Aug 28 at 12:05

This is not possible without modifying the source code of Gedit or writing a plugin to override the default. The default syntax highlighting scheme is hard-coded.

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Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I cloned the latest gedit and started poking around before I realized that gedit now depends on gtk+ 3. This has the potential to turn into a much bigger mess than I was bargaining for. ;-) –  michaelms May 23 '11 at 20:15
    
One more thing: any idea what values for language are valid? I looked through the source for gedit and gtksourceview and I couldn't find anything that looked like language names (but my C skills are pretty non-existent.) –  michaelms May 23 '11 at 20:25
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@MichaelMS I'm not sure, but if you plan on investing any effort into a solution I honestly think it may be easiest to just implant a set_language call into the sample Python plugin. You can probably use get_language to figure out the right value for HTML source highlighting. –  ændrük May 23 '11 at 20:35

You can create your own language definition files in your $HOME directory. Editing the gtk language specs is not recommended as it will be overriden by every gtksourceview update.

Copy your language specs file to your home directory:

$ cp /usr/share/gtksourceview-3.0/language-specs/html.lang ~/.local/share/gtksourceview-3.0/language-specs/

Then, add your custom file formats like .cfm to the list of extensions:

<property name="globs">*.html;*.htm;*.cfm</property>

That way gedit will use auto syntax highlighting on your custom file formats and gtk updates wont override your custom changes.

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