Skip to content


Folders and files

Last commit message
Last commit date

Latest commit



24 Commits

Repository files navigation

Mathematica lexer and highlighter for Pygments

The most up-to-date lexer and highlighter for Mathematica/Wolfram Language source code using the pygments engine.


It can currently lex and highlight:

  • All builtin functions in the System` context including unicode symbols like π except those that use characters from the private unicode space (e.g. \[FormalA]).
  • User defined symbols, including those in a context.
  • All operators including unicode operators like and .
  • Comments, including multi line and nested.
  • Strings, including multi line and escaped quotes.
  • Patterns, slots (including named slots #name introduced in version 10) and slot sequences.
  • Message names (e.g. the ivar in General::ivar)
  • Numbers including base notation (e.g. 8 ^^ 23 == 19) and scientific notation (e.g. 1 *^ 3 == 1000).
  • Local variables in Block, With and Module.


(* An example highlighting the features of
   this Pygments plugin for Mathematica *)
lissajous::usage = "An example Lissajous curve.\n" <>
                   "Definition: f(t) = (sin(3t + π/2), sin(t))"
lissajous = {Sin[2^^11 # + 0.005`10 * 1*^2 * Pi], Sin[#]} &;

With[{max = 2 Pi, min = 0},
    ParametricPlot[lissajous[t], {t, min, max}] /. x_Line :> {Dashed, x}


Using pip

Run pip install pygments-mathematica from the command line. That's it!

From source code

If you'd like to make modifications to the color scheme for personal use or if you'd like to try the most recent release that might not yet be available in PyPi, download and unzip the source code from the latest release. After you've installed Pygments (pip install Pygments works well if you already have python setup on your system), run the following from the repo's root directory:

python install


Server-side syntax highlighting in Jekyll, Octopress and other static websites

To highlight Mathematica code using this lexer, enclose the code between these liquid tags:

{% highlight wl %}
<your code here>
{% endhighlight %}

You can also use wolfram and wolfram-language as the language hint. (See the note at the end of the section.)

If you are using Jekyll, depending on your setup, you might need to add the following in your _plugins/ext.rb:

require 'pygments'
Pygments.start('<path to your python env>/site-packages/pygments/')

NOTE: Although this lexer is registered with the names mathematica and mma for use as language hints, the default lexer that ships with Pygments overrides this. Hence until this is incorporated into the main Pygments repository please use wl or wolfram or wolfram-language as the language hint.

Highlighting in LaTeX documents

Mathematica code can be highlighted in LaTeX documents using the minted (PDF) package. The following minimal example shows how:



(* An example highlighting the features of
   this Pygments plugin for Mathematica *)
lissajous::usage = "An example Lissajous curve.\n" <>
                   "Definition: f(t) = (sin(3t + Pi/2), sin(t))"
lissajous = {Sin[2^^11 # + 0.005`10 * 1*^2 * π], Sin[#]} &;

ParametricPlot[lissajous[t], {t, 0, 2 π}] /. x_Line :> {Dashed, x}

Saving the above as mma.tex and running xelatex --shell-escape mma.tex should produce a PDF with highlighted code.

NOTE: If your LaTeX colors don't show up properly, try deleting your *.aux, *.log files and any _minted-mma/ directory before running XeLaTeX again.

Pelican static page generator

The Pelican static generator is written in Python and uses Pygments by default. To use it there, you mark code blocks with the usual 4 spaces indent and you prepend it with :::wl if you are using Markdown

    FileNames["CodeGenerator.m", {$InstallationDirectory}, 4]

If you are using ReStructuredText, please mark your Mathematica code with

.. code-block:: wl

   <indented code block goes here>

Command line usage

The pygmentize command can be used to invoke this lexer and convert any Mathematica file to an appropriately highlighted file in a different format. For example, to convert a file package.m to a HTML file, run

pygmentize -O full,style=mathematica -f html -l wl -o package.html package.m


The default styles that come with Pygments do not go well with Mathematica code. If you're using this lexer for highlighting source code on a website, use the mma.scss Sass file in this repository to obtain good default colors (as shown in the screenshot). You can, if you choose, modify the colors in the SCSS file and then convert it to CSS using the scss compiler as:

scss mma.scss > mma.css

For other applications including command line usage, the lexer ships with a style named mathematica. (See the arguments to the pygmentize command in the section above.) To use different colors, modify the style in mathematica/ and run python install again.

If you fancy the default style that ships with the Mathematica notebook, use the mathematica-notebook scheme.


It cannot highlight lexically and dynamically scoped variables (e.g. the x in With[{x = 1}, x + 1] or the Plus in Block[{Plus = Times}, 2 + 3], etc.) consistently throughout their scope. This would require a parser that further processes the stream of tokens and builds an AST that captures the semantics of the language.

This is currently not a high priority since it is non-trivial to implement it within the framework by Pygments, but I am interested in supporting this eventually, so collaborations/pull requests are welcome :)


The lexing rules for Mathematica syntax are largely based on two prior projects: