July 2016

Prism.js & Markdown

Overcoming the problem of keying off of class names in Prism to determine the language to syntax highlight.

So you want to use Prism.js to highlight your code, but your using Markdown. Problem is that Prism targets the code blocks with classes.

Markdown does not allow you to add classes

  <code class="language-css">p { color: red }</code>

In markdown this would just look like the following. So there is no class for Prism to key off of and know the language, and highlight the code block.

p { color: red }

I have created a little adapter class that will look for {{css}} and so forth in the beginning of the code block. It will then add the class post Markdown rendering.

p {color: red;}

The Javascript implementation is a simple ES6 class that iterates on the keys of languages we support, and then adds the class and removes the tag.

It’s ES6 but could easily be converted back to ES5.

"use strict";
class PrismAdaptor {
  constructor() {
    this.keys = ['ruby', 'html', 'css', 'javascript', 'html', 'bash'];

  lookForKeys(el) {
    this.keys.forEach(key => {

      let tag = `{{${key}}}`;

      if (el.innerText.includes(tag)) {
        el.className = `language-${key}`;
        el.innerText = el.innerText.replace(tag, '');
// usage...
new PrismAdaptor();