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Syntax highlighting is a feature of text editors that displays text, especially source code, in different colors and fonts according to the category of terms.

Syntax highlighting is a feature of text editors that displays text, especially source code, in different colors and fonts according to the category of terms. This feature facilitates writing in a structured language such as a programming language or a markup language as both structures and syntax errors are visually distinct. Highlighting does not affect the meaning of the text itself; it is intended only for human readers.

Syntax highlighting is a form of secondary notation, since the highlights are not part of the text meaning, but serve to reinforce it. Some editors also integrate syntax highlighting with other features, such as spell checking or code folding, as aids to editing which are external to the language.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syntax_highlighting

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