Used By

Prism is used on several websites, small and large. Some of them are:

Smashing Magazine A List Apart Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) CSS-Tricks SitePoint Drupal React Stripe MySQL


The Prism source, highlighted with Prism (don’t you just love how meta this is?):


This page’s CSS code, highlighted with Prism:


This page’s HTML, highlighted with Prism:


This page’s logo (SVG), highlighted with Prism:


If you’re still not sold, you can view more examples or try it out for yourself.

Full list of features


Basic usage

You will need to include the prism.css and prism.js files you downloaded in your page. Example:

<!DOCTYPE html>
	<link href="themes/prism.css" rel="stylesheet" />
	<script src="prism.js"></script>

Prism does its best to encourage good authoring practices. Therefore, it only works with <code> elements, since marking up code without a <code> element is semantically invalid. According to the HTML5 spec, the recommended way to define a code language is a language-xxxx class, which is what Prism uses. Alternatively, Prism also supports a shorter version: lang-xxxx.

The recommended way to mark up a code block (both for semantics and for Prism) is a <pre> element with a <code> element inside, like so:

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

If you use that pattern, the <pre> will automatically get the language-xxxx class (if it doesn’t already have it) and will be styled as a code block.

Inline code snippets are done like this:

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

Note: You have to escape all < and & characters inside <code> elements (code blocks and inline snippets) with &lt; and &amp; respectively, or else the browser might interpret them as an HTML tag or entity. If you have large portions of HTML code, you can use the Unescaped Markup plugin to work around this.

Language inheritance

To make things easier however, Prism assumes that the language class is inherited. Therefore, if multiple <code> elements have the same language, you can add the language-xxxx class on one of their common ancestors. This way, you can also define a document-wide default language, by adding a language-xxxx class on the <body> or <html> element.

If you want to opt-out of highlighting a <code> element that inherits its language, you can add the language-none class to it. The none language can also be inherited to disable highlighting for the element with the class and all of its descendants.

If you want to opt-out of highlighting but still use plugins like Show Invisibles, add use language-plain class instead.

Manual highlighting

If you want to prevent any elements from being automatically highlighted and instead use the API, you can set Prism.manual to true before the DOMContentLoaded event is fired. By setting the data-manual attribute on the <script> element containing Prism core, this will be done automatically. Example:

<script src="prism.js" data-manual></script>


window.Prism = window.Prism || {};
window.Prism.manual = true;
<script src="prism.js"></script>

Usage with CDNs

In combination with CDNs, we recommend using the Autoloader plugin which automatically loads languages when necessary.

The setup of the Autoloader, will look like the following. You can also add your own themes of course.

<!DOCTYPE html>
	<link href="https://{{cdn}}/prismjs@v1.x/themes/prism.css" rel="stylesheet" />
	<script src="https://{{cdn}}/prismjs@v1.x/components/prism-core.min.js"></script>
	<script src="https://{{cdn}}/prismjs@v1.x/plugins/autoloader/prism-autoloader.min.js"></script>

Please note that links in the above code sample serve as placeholders. You have to replace them with valid links to the CDN of your choice.

CDNs which provide PrismJS are e.g. cdnjs, jsDelivr, and UNPKG.

Usage with Webpack, Browserify, & Other Bundlers

If you want to use Prism with a bundler, install Prism with npm:

$ npm install prismjs

You can then import into your bundle:

import Prism from 'prismjs';

To make it easy to configure your Prism instance with only the languages and plugins you need, use the babel plugin, babel-plugin-prismjs. This will allow you to load the minimum number of languages and plugins to satisfy your needs. See that plugin's documentation for configuration details.

Usage with Node

If you want to use Prism on the server or through the command line, Prism can be used with Node.js as well. This might be useful if you're trying to generate static HTML pages with highlighted code for environments that don't support browser-side JS, like AMP pages.


const Prism = require('prismjs');

// The code snippet you want to highlight, as a string
const code = `var data = 1;`;

// Returns a highlighted HTML string
const html = Prism.highlight(code, Prism.languages.javascript, 'javascript');

Requiring prismjs will load the default languages: markup, css, clike and javascript. You can load more languages with the loadLanguages() utility, which will automatically handle any required dependencies.


const Prism = require('prismjs');
const loadLanguages = require('prismjs/components/');

// The code snippet you want to highlight, as a string
const code = `= ['hi', 'there', 'reader!'].join " "`;

// Returns a highlighted HTML string
const html = Prism.highlight(code, Prism.languages.haml, 'haml');

Note: Do not use loadLanguages() with Webpack or another bundler, as this will cause Webpack to include all languages and plugins. Use the babel plugin described above.

Note: loadLanguages() will ignore unknown languages and log warning messages to the console. You can prevent the warnings by setting loadLanguages.silent = true.

Supported languages

This is the list of all languages currently supported by Prism, with their corresponding alias, to use in place of xxxx in the language-xxxx (or lang-xxxx) class:

Couldn’t find the language you were looking for? Request it!


Plugins are additional scripts (and CSS code) that extend Prism’s functionality. Many of the following plugins are official, but are released as plugins to keep the Prism Core small for those who don’t need the extra functionality.

No assembly required to use them. Just select them in the download page.

It’s very easy to write your own Prism plugins. Did you write a plugin for Prism that you want added to this list? Send a pull request!

Third-party language definitions

Third-party tutorials

Several tutorials have been written by members of the community to help you integrate Prism into multiple different website types and configurations:

Please note that the tutorials listed here are not verified to contain correct information. Read at your risk and always check the official documentation here if something doesn’t work :)

Have you written a tutorial about Prism that’s not already included here? Send a pull request!