I am currently involved in writing a game called Hydria that uses Lua as a scripting language. To handle the scripts for different npc:s, I got the assignment of writing a simple editor that would be implemented in the npc-editor. Everything worked fine but editing scripts can be a real pain if there is no syntax highlighting. So I decided to write a control that could do that.
I started my research on the subject and found several good articles. One of the most useful articles I found was one by Michael Gold and my work is in some parts based on his.
This control is meant to be used for simple syntax highlighting, so it is far from perfect. For instance, you can not (yet) define C-style comments like
but I'm going to implement it in the next version.
Since I'm using generics, this code only works with version >= 2.0 of the .NET Framework.
SyntaxRichTextBox is (as the name reveals) derived from
RichTextBox but has some slight differences.
The keywords that will be used in the
The color that will be used to colorize the keywords (default blue).
The identifier for comments. As I mentioned in the introduction, C-style comments like
is not yet implemented.
The color that will be used to colorize comments (default green).
The color that will be used to colorize strings (default grey).
The color that will be used to colorize integers (default red).
If this property is set to
false, comments will not be processed.
If this property is set to
false, strings will not be processed.
- If this property is set to
false, integers will not be processed.
Using the SyntaxRichTextBox controlStep 1:
You can either add the whole Step 2:
SyntaxHighlighter project to your solution by right-clicking the root in the solution explorer and choose "Add -> Existing Project" or you can add the assembly to the toolbox by right-clicking on the toolbox view and select "Choose Items...".
Create the control from the toolbox by dragging Step 3:
SyntaxRichTextBox to the form. If you chose to add the
SyntaxHighlighter project to your solution,
SyntaxRichTextBox is located in a new tab in the toolbox-view that's called "SyntaxHighlighter components". If you chose to add the assembly to the toolbox directly,
SyntaxRichTextBox will be located in the tab "Common Controls".
Now right click on the newly created Step 4:
SyntaxRichTextBox and select "Properties...". Give the control a suitable name. In this example, I give the control the name
Now we have added the control to our form and now we should prepare it with some keywords. Let's make a simple highlighter for the script language Lua as an example.
private void MainForm_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
m_syntaxRichTextBox.Settings.Comment = "--";
m_syntaxRichTextBox.Settings.KeywordColor = Color.Blue;
m_syntaxRichTextBox.Settings.CommentColor = Color.Green;
m_syntaxRichTextBox.Settings.StringColor = Color.Gray;
m_syntaxRichTextBox.Settings.IntegerColor = Color.Red;
m_syntaxRichTextBox.Settings.EnableStrings = false;
m_syntaxRichTextBox.Settings.EnableIntegers = false;
- Colorizing fails to work when pasting something larger than one line.
- C-style comments not yet implemented.
- Can be slow sometimes. Optimization needed.
Points of Interest
This is my first C# article here on CodeProject. I have only worked with C# for about three months so it is probably very much that I'm not aware of. If you see something in the code that makes you laugh or something that is just plain wrong, tell me so and I will correct it.
The control is not in any way perfect but my plan is to continue working on it until I'm totally satisfied.