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Block syntax highlighting for lisp code
Emacs Lisp
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rainbow-blocks: Groking Lisp languages through block highlighting.

Rainbow Blocks is an Emacs mode that highlights code blocks in lisp languages to help quickly mentally parse its structure. It is a fork from the brilliant rainbow-delimiters.el package, and only applies minor patches.

It is inspired by Douglas Crockford's remark that highlighting scope rather that syntax is sometimes more useful. So far, however, it does not parse syntax nor understands language scope.

Emacs Lisp example

rainbow delimiters

rainbow blocks


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

  • 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)

Further reading

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