TUTORIAL #6: Visual Studio Code Highlighting To HTML


Many times when I’m writing a blog post, I want to include some of the source code from the project I am talking about. For most people, seeing the syntax highlighted the way it is in Visual Studio makes it the most readable. I’ve tried it manually, and it’s very hard to do. (At least to do quickly.)

Then I discovered that there was a plug-in for Live Writer (actually, there’s like 6.) But Live Writer has some quirks working with my blogging engine, so I really struggled with it (even though the code looked awesome!)

Today I almost just sat down and wrote my own converter, that would take source code from Visual Studio, and translate it into CSS styles. But I figured one more trip around the web couldn’t hurt, so I headed to my favorite search engine and started hunting. The very first entry was exactly what I was looking for.

A guy named Douglas Stockwell has created a tiny little executable that interacts with your clipboard in Windows. He actually created one of the Live Writer plug-ins as well. The basics of the application he wrote is this. Copy some source code to your clipboard (Ctrl + C), run this executable, and then paste (Ctrl + V) your newly formatted HTML into your blog engine, HTML page, etc. It even allows for customization of fonts and sizes, just by renaming the .exe file. For example, renaming it from vs2html.exe to vs2html.arial.10.exe will make the default font Arial in 10 point size. My setting is Consolas 11.

The program he created is called VS2HTML, and it’s freely available. You can download it here.

kick it on DotNetKicks.com

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