Scintillua enables lexers for Scintilla to be written in the Lua programming language, particularly in conjunction with the LPeg pattern-matching library. It is the quickest way to add new or customized syntax highlighting and code folding for programming languages to any Scintilla-based text editor or IDE. Scintillua was designed to be dropped into or compiled with any Scintilla environment.

Scintillua may also be used as a standalone Lua library for obtaining syntax highlighting information of source code. Scintilla is not required in that case.



Scintillua requires Scintilla 5.0.1 or greater and Lexilla 5.1.0 or greater for a drop-in installation. The drop-in external lexer already has Lua and LPeg pre-compiled into it.

When used as a standalone Lua library, Scintillua requires Lua 5.1 or greater and LPeg 1.0.0 or greater. Scintilla is not required.


Scintillua releases can be found here. A comprehensive list of changes between releases can be found here.

Installation and Usage

Scintillua comes with a user manual in its docs/ directory. It covers how to drop Scintillua into an existing installation of a Scintilla-based application, how to compile Scintillua into your Scintilla-based application, and how to use Scintillua as a standalone Lua library.

As an example, you can drop Scintillua into an existing installation of SciTE, the SCIntilla based Text Editor, by moving Scintillua’s directory into SciTE’s installation directory, renaming it simply scintillua, and then adding the following to your (Windows), (Linux), or (either) file:

import scintillua/scintillua

Scintillua’s Application Programming Interface (API) documentation is also located in docs/. It provides information on how to write and utilize Lua lexers.


Scintillua can be built as an external Scintilla lexer, or it can be built directly into a Scintilla-based application. The standalone Lua library does not need to be compiled.

Scintillua currently only builds on Linux, though it can be cross-compiled for Windows.


In order to build the external lexer:

  1. Place a copy of Scintilla in the root directory of Scintillua (the Scintilla directory should be called scintilla/).
  2. Place a copy of Lexilla in the root directory of Scintillua (the Lexilla directory should be called lexilla/).
  3. Run make deps to download Scintillua’s core dependencies.
  4. Run make or make win.
  5. The external lexer is either lexers/ or lexers/Scintillua.dll.

For more information on compiling Scintillua, including how to compile Scintillua directly into your Scintilla-based application please see the manual.


Scintillua is open source. Feel free to submit new lexers, report bugs, ask for help, and discuss features. You can also contact me personally (orbitalquark att Thanks to everyone who has contributed.