Tuesday, February 23, 2016

How to Format Code in a Blog Post?

There are quite a few ways to easily format code in HTML, I'll walk you through the steps I took.

Step 1 - Find a good CSS library for code formatting

The best HTML syntax highlighter library I found was PrismJs. It's free, incredibly thorough the languages it supports, and it provides a professional look. You simply choose the language support you like and download the CSS and Javascript files.

Here is a before look:
let items = [1; 3; 4]
items |> List.map(fun x -> x + 1)
Here is the code after formatting with PrismJs:
let items = [1; 3; 4]
items |> List.map(fun x -> x + 1)

Step 2 - Move from Wordpress to Google Blogger

I originally had the blog on Wordpress using a free template but I decided to move it to Google Blogger. The reason for moving was Google Blogger provided free template editing. Wordpress has other advantages but for my purpose I simply needed to tweak the template to include the Prism CSS and Javascript files. Since I only had a few posts this was not a difficult move.

Step 3 - Host PrismJs CSS and Javascript files in DropBox
I used the instructions in this article to host the files in DropBox so they can be referenced publicly.

Step 4 - Update template HTML to include CSS and Javascript files

In Google Blogger I went to Template -> Edit HTML and added this piece in the header.
<link href='https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/wvc7y6gckrru3ex/prism.css' rel='stylesheet'/>
<script src='https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/sy0k7bc7ixl6xan/prism.js' type='text/javascript'/>
It was that easy! Now my blogging code looks much nicer.


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