block syntax highlighting in emacs
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rainbow-blocks: Understand Clojure/Lisp code at a glance using block highlighting.

Rainbow-blocks is an Emacs mode that highlights blocks made of parentheses, brackets, and braces according to their depth. Each successive level is highlighted in a different color. This makes it easy to orient yourself in the code, and tell which statements are at a given level.

Highlighting scope rather that syntax is sometimes more useful for Clojure/Lisp languages, and sometimes even Python.

It is a fork from the brilliant rainbow-delimiters.el package, and only applies minor patches.



  • Install via melpa: M-x package-install RET rainbow-blocks RET

  • Compile the file (necessary for speed): M-x byte-compile-file [location of rainbow-blocks.el]

  • Add the following to your dot-emacs/init file: (require 'rainbow-blocks)

  • Activate the mode in your init file (e.g. for clojure): (add-hook 'clojure-mode-hook 'rainbow-blocks-mode)

  • It is also often useful to temporarily enable the mode by just calling: M-x rainbow-blocks-mode

Further reading