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Pretty fontification of source code blocks

Table of Contents


This article is some "theming guide" about customizing the look and feel of an Org-Babel buffer inside Emacs. We'll show you how you can improve the appearance of source code blocks.

Note that coloring the background of code blocks with native fontification no longer works as of commit f8b42e8.


Screenshot for the Leuven theme (light theme, i.e. with a white background):


To configure "native fontification" (as in the above screenshot), set the following in your .emacs file:

;; fontify code in code blocks
(setq org-src-fontify-natively t)

Configuration File

  • To get the above full contributed theme, please visit Installing Org Color themes and copy the file color-theme-leuven.el in your load-path.
  • If you want to keep your existing Emacs color theme, and you only want to customize the "delimiter lines" of the code blocks, either:
    • Add the following lines to your current color theme:

       ((t (:underline "#A7A6AA" :foreground "#008ED1" :background "#EAEAFF"))))
       ((t (:background "#FFFFEA"))))
       ((t (:overline "#A7A6AA" :foreground "#008ED1" :background "#EAEAFF"))))
    • Define these faces, in your .emacs file, before requiring Org (if you don't have your own color theme):

      (defface org-block-begin-line
        '((t (:underline "#A7A6AA" :foreground "#008ED1" :background "#EAEAFF")))
        "Face used for the line delimiting the begin of source blocks.")
      (defface org-block-background
        '((t (:background "#FFFFEA")))
        "Face used for the source block background.")
      (defface org-block-end-line
        '((t (:overline "#A7A6AA" :foreground "#008ED1" :background "#EAEAFF")))
        "Face used for the line delimiting the end of source blocks.")

Further extensions

When we will have some spare time, our intention is to get the reserved keywords of Org-Babel (such as :var and :exports) somehow highlighted. Stay tuned – or give some help!

Documentation from the website (either in its HTML format or in its Org format) is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License version 1.3 or later. The code examples and css stylesheets are licensed under the GNU General Public License v3 or later.