Faces Frames Support Modes
Font Lock mode is a minor mode, always local to a particular buffer, which highlights (or ``fontifies'') using various faces according to the syntax of the text you are editing. It can recognize comments and strings in most languages; in several languages, it can also recognize and properly highlight various other important constructs---for example, names of functions being defined or reserved keywords.
The command M-x font-lock-mode turns Font Lock mode on or off
according to the argument, and toggles the mode when it has no argument.
turn-on-font-lock unconditionally enables Font Lock
mode. This is useful in mode-hook functions. For example, to enable
Font Lock mode whenever you edit a C file, you can do this:
(add-hook 'c-mode-hook 'turn-on-font-lock)
To turn on Font Lock mode automatically in all modes which support it,
use the function
global-font-lock-mode, like this:
In Font Lock mode, when you edit the text, the highlighting updates
automatically in the line that you changed. Most changes don't affect
the highlighting of subsequent lines, but occasionally they do. To
rehighlight a range of lines, use the command M-g M-g
In certain major modes, M-g M-g refontifies the entire current
function. (The variable
how to find the current function.) In other major modes, M-g M-g
refontifies 16 lines above and below point.
With a prefix argument n, M-g M-g refontifies n lines above and below point, regardless of the mode.
To get the full benefit of Font Lock mode, you need to choose a default font which has bold, italic, and bold-italic variants; or else you need to have a color or gray-scale screen.
font-lock-maximum-decoration specifies the
preferred level of fontification, for modes that provide multiple
levels. Level 1 is the least amount of fontification; some modes
support levels as high as 3. The normal default is ``as high as
possible.'' You can specify an integer, which applies to all modes, or
you can specify different numbers for particular major modes; for
example, to use level 1 for C/C++ modes, and the default level
otherwise, use this:
(setq font-lock-maximum-decoration '((c-mode . 1) (c++-mode . 1)))
Fontification can be too slow for large buffers, so you can suppress
it. The variable
font-lock-maximum-size specifies a buffer size,
beyond which buffer fontification is suppressed.
Comment and string fontification (or ``syntactic'' fontification) relies on analysis of the syntactic structure of the buffer text. For the purposes of speed, some modes including C mode and Lisp mode rely on a special convention: an open-parenthesis in the leftmost column always defines the beginning of a defun, and is thus always outside any string or comment. (See Defuns.) If you don't follow this convention, then Font Lock mode can misfontify the text after an open-parenthesis in the leftmost column that is inside a string or comment.
buffer-local) specifies how Font Lock mode can find a position
guaranteed to be outside any comment or string. In modes which use the
leftmost column parenthesis convention, the default value of the variable
beginning-of-defun---that tells Font Lock mode to use the
convention. If you set this variable to
nil, Font Lock no longer
relies on the convention. This avoids incorrect results, but the price
is that, in some cases, fontification for a changed text must rescan
buffer text from the beginning of the buffer.
Font Lock highlighting patterns already exist for many modes, but you
may want to fontify additional patterns. You can use the function
font-lock-add-keywords, to add your own highlighting patterns for
a particular mode. For example, to highlight `
FIXME:' words in C
comments, use this:
(font-lock-add-keywords 'c-mode '(("\\<\\(FIXME\\):" 1 font-lock-warning-face t)))