Introduction to Highlight

Highlight is an utility that converts source code to formatted text with syntax highlighting.



Development versions of BLFS may not build or run some packages properly if dependencies have been updated since the most recent stable versions of the book.

Package Information

Highlight Dependencies


Boost-1.79.0 and Lua-5.4.4


Qt-5.15.4 (to build the GUI front-end)

User Notes: https://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/highlight

Installation of Highlight

For consistency, do not compress man pages.

sed -i '/GZIP/s/^/#/' makefile

To build Highlight run the following command:


To build the Qt5 GUI front-end, run the following command:

make doc_dir=/usr/share/doc/highlight-4.2/ gui

This package does not come with a test suite.

To install Highlight, run the following command as the root user:

make doc_dir=/usr/share/doc/highlight-4.2/ install

To install the GUI program, run the following command as the root user:

make install-gui

Command Explanations

doc_dir=/usr/share/doc/highlight-4.2/: installs the highlight documentation into a versioned directory. This parameter is also needed for make gui, because its value would be hardcoded into the gui executable. Note that the trailing / is necessary.


Installed Programs: highlight and highlight-gui (optional)
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: /etc/highlight, /usr/share/doc/highlight/4.2, and /usr/share/highlight

Short Descriptions


is a universal source code to formatted text converter


is the Qt5 interface to highlight.