Parsing Mardown with Code Highlighting

Published Thursday May 21, 2020

Like many developers, I find writing markdown to be very easy and natural. And like many developers, it was an obvious choice for my blog. I think syntax highlighting makes code snippets way easier to read and understand, so I decided to add it to my blog. It turned out to be easier than I expected.

public function article($article)
    abort_unless(File::exists(resource_path('blog/' . $article)), 404);
    $md = YamlFrontMatter::parse(File::get(resource_path('blog/' . $article)));
    abort_unless($md->matter('published_at') || config('app.env') !== 'production', 404);
    return view('article', ['fm' => $md->matter(), 'content' => Markdown::parse($md->body())]);

Laravel already parses markdown mail templates, so I just use what the framework provides in Illuminate\Mail\Markdown. Because this library just converts the markdown to html it comes out pretty bland and unstyled. I used this stylesheet to give it a nice clean look:

<link href="" rel="stylesheet">

Then adding code highlighting was a simple matter of setting up highlight.js:.

<!-- At the bottom of your head tag -->
<link rel="stylesheet"
<script src="//"></script> 
hljs.initHighlightingOnLoad(); // Javascript placed the bottom of your body tag

Then in my blade template, I just had to use the markdown-body class on the div that holds my parsed markdown:

<div class="markdown-body">
    {{ $content }}

All in all, it took me about an hour to set up my markdown file-driven Laravel blog. In the coming days, I'll go over some other things I've set up to make it super easy to add content.

Relevant Files on This Site's Repo

To help you see exactly how I did this, here are the files that you should check out:

My blog controller

The blade file that wraps all my articles

This article's markdown file

My app's layout where I include and init highlight.js

Did you find a mistake? Have something to add? This article is on GitHub. Send me a PR!


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