Scintillua Manual

Scintillua can be used in the following ways:

These usages are discussed in the following sections.

Drop-in External Lexer

Scintillua can be dropped into any existing installation of a Scintilla-based application as long as that application supports the Lexilla interface as defined in Scintilla 4.4.5.

Scintillua releases come with three external lexers in the lexers/ directory:, which is a 64-bit Linux shared library; LexLPeg.cxx, which is a 64-bit Windows DLL, and LexLPeg32.dll, which is a 32-bit Windows DLL.

Using Scintillua with SciTE

SciTE is the SCIntilla based Text Editor. Scintillua can be dropped into any SciTE installation version 4.4.5 or higher with or without administrator privileges.

In order to install Scintillua for all users (likely requiring administrator privileges):

  1. Unpack Scintillua to a temporary directory and move the lexers/ directory to the root of your SciTE installation, typically C:\Program Files\SciTE\ on Windows and /usr/share/scite/ on Linux.
  2. Add the following to the end of your

    import lexers/lpeg

In order to install Scintillua for one user (e.g. yourself) without administrator privileges:

  1. Unpack Scintillua to a temporary directory and move the lexers/ directory to a location of your choosing.
  2. Add the following to the end of your on Windows or on Linux:

    import /path/to/lexers/lpeg

    where /path/to/lexers is the full path of lexers/ from step 1.

Win32 note: if you are on a 32-bit Windows system, you will need to replace lexers/LexLPeg.dll with lexers/LexLPeg32.dll.

With Scintillua installed, SciTE will use Scintillua’s Lua lexers whenever possible (as indicated in lexers/ If a Lua lexer is loaded but you prefer to use a different one, add to your (Windows) or (Linux) file a lexer.$( line, where name is the name of the lexer you prefer. Note that Scintillua lexers have a “lpeg_” prefix when used with SciTE.

Scintillua’s lexers support the following properties:

If you get incorrect or no syntax highlighting, check the following:

  1. Does the language in question have a Lua lexer in Scintillua’s lexers/ directory? If not, you will have to write one.
  2. Does Scintillua’s lexers/ have your language’s file extension defined? If not, add it to the property.
  3. Does the file extension recognized in Scintillua’s lexers/ correspond to the language in question? If not, add or re-assign it to the appropriate Lua lexer.

Feel free to contribute new lexers, as well as submit corrections, updates, or additions to file types.

Note: any Scintilla lexer-specific features in SciTE will not work in Scintillua’s lexers. These include, but are not limited to:

Using Scintillua with Other Apps

In order to drop Scintillua into any other existing installation of a Scintilla-based application that supports the Lexilla interface, that application must allow you to:

Scintillua’s lexers support the following properties:

Compiling Scintillua Directly into an App

You can compile Scintillua directly (statically) into your Scintilla-based application by:

  1. Adding LexLPeg.h and LexLPeg.cxx to your project’s sources.
  2. Downloading and adding Lua and LPeg to your project’s sources. Scintillua supports Lua 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3.
  3. Adding infrastructure to build Lua, LPeg, LexLPeg.cxx, and link them all into your application.

Here is a sample portion of a Makefile with Lua 5.3 as an example:

# ...

SCI_FLAGS = [flags used to compile Scintilla]
SCINTILLUA_SRC = scintillua/LexLPeg.cxx
LUA_FLAGS = -Iscintillua/lua/src
LUA_OBJS = lapi.o lcode.o lctype.o ldebug.o ldo.o ldump.o lfunc.o lgc.o \
           linit.o llex.o lmem.o lobject.o lopcodes.o lparser.o lstate.o \
           lstring.o ltable.o ltm.o lundump.o lvm.o lzio.o \
           lauxlib.o lbaselib.o lbitlib.o lcorolib.o ldblib.o liolib.o \
           lmathlib.o loadlib.o loslib.o lstrlib.o ltablib.o lutf8lib.o \
           lpcap.o lpcode.o lpprint.o lptree.o lpvm.o
LUA_SRCS = scintillua/lua/src/*.c scintillua/lua/src/lib/*.c
	g++ $(SCI_FLAGS) $(LUA_FLAGS) -DNO_SCITE -c $< -o $@
	gcc $(LUA_FLAGS) $(INCLUDEDIRS) -c $^

# ...

[your app]: [your dependencies] $(SCINTILLUA_LEXER) $(LUA_OBJS)

Win32 note: when cross-compiling for Windows statically, you will need to pass -DNO_DLL when compiling LexLPeg.cxx.

In order to use Scintillua’s lexers in your application:

  1. Call Scintillua’s SetLibraryProperty() with “lpeg.home” as the key and the path to Scintillua’s lexers/ directory as the value.
  2. Optionally call SetLibraryProperty() with “lpeg.color.theme” as the key and one of the theme names in Scintillua’s lexers/themes/ directory as the value. You can omit this call if you want to manage Scintilla styles yourself.
  3. Call Scintillua’s CreateLexer() with either NULL or the name of a Lua lexer to use in your application.
  4. Call Scintilla’s SCI_SETILEXER, passing the lexer returned in step 3.
  5. If you called CreateLexer() with NULL, then call Scintillua’s SCI_SETLEXERLANGUAGE API to use the given Lua lexer in your application.

For example, using the GTK platform:

SetLibraryProperty("lpeg.home", "/path/to/lexers/");
SetLibraryProperty("lpeg.color.theme", "light");
ILEXER5* lua_lexer = CreateLexer("lua");
GtkWidget *sci = scintilla_new();
send_scintilla_message(SCINTILLA(sci), SCI_SETILEXER, 0, (sptr_t)lua_lexer);

For more information on how to communicate with Scintillua, including how to work with styles, please see the API Documentation.

Using Scintillua as a Lua Library

In order to use Scintillua as a Lua library, simply place the lexers/ directory in your Lua path (or modify Lua’s package.path accordingly), require() the lexer library, load() a lexer, and call that lexer’s lex() function. Here is an example interactive Lua session doing this:

$> lua
Lua 5.1.4  Copyright (C) 1994-2008, PUC-Rio
> lexer_path = '/home/mitchell/code/scintillua/lexers/?.lua'
> package.path = package.path .. ';' .. lexer_path
> c = require('lexer').load('ansi_c')
> tokens = c:lex('int void main() { return 0; }')
> for i = 1, #tokens, 2 do print(tokens[i], tokens[i+1]) end
type	4
ansi_c_whitespace	5
type	9
ansi_c_whitespace	10
identifier	14
operator	15
operator	16
ansi_c_whitespace	17
operator	18
ansi_c_whitespace	19
keyword	25
ansi_c_whitespace	26
number	27
operator	28
ansi_c_whitespace	29
operator	30