How to convert sourcecode to HTML, RTF, SVG, etc.

By | March 15, 2015

I am working on my paper which needs a piece of XML to syntax highlighted. I’ve found Sublime with “Copy as RTF” plugins is useful, but as a programmer I prefer something that being done via commend line, and more importantly being easily customizable.

So I did a some searches and came across highlight. To install it on Ubuntu is quite simple

sudo apt-get install highlight

Then I can use highlight to convert the XML file to RTF and copy it to the paper I am working on.

Highlight has styles (samples can be found at

highlight -w

Highlight knows the syntax highlighting for a lot of languages including XML, C, Java, etc. I can use the file extension to choose the type of source code like “.xml” for XML. Alternatively, I can use option -S. For output file format, currently it supports HTML, Latex, Tex, RTF, ANSI, SVG, etc, good enough for my task.

For example, I can get my XML file highlighted with this:

highlight -s zellner -O rtf foo.xml -o foo.rtf

This will use Courier New as the font, and depending on the theme/style used, some of the highlighting may be bold or italic. This is easy enough to change in Word or other word processing editor though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *