Editra Style Sheets

SPECIFICATION: Editra Style Sheet


Define the format for writing custom style sheets that allow for the customization of the color scheme used to highlight text in the editor when Syntax Highlighting is enabled.


In this initial incarnation the style sheets will only allow you use the "Standard Tags" and "Standard Attributes" all other definitions will be ignored by the parser. There are however plans to make the style sheets extensible in the future to allow for the setting of custom tags and subclassing styles to only apply to a particular lexer. These features will likely be introduced in the version 2 of this specification.




The syntax of an Editra Style Sheet is very similar to that of a Cascading Style Sheet (CSS). It uses "tags" followed by the style definition enclosed in {}'s. Attribute keywords are followed by a colon and then the attribute values. A semicolon is used at the end of each attribute definition as a delimiter between definitions.


The 'default_style' tag must be defined and must define all four of the default attributes (fore, back, face, size). All other tags with undefined values will inherit them from this style definition.


tag_name {
            attribute1: value;
            attribute2: value modifier;


Although the parser is rather flexible and will allow you to define your entire set of style definitions on one line this is very poor for readability, so the following specifications are suggested.

Tags should be un-indented and all in lower case. Following the tag should be 1 space and an opening curly bracket '{'. The following line should contain the first attribute definition. This definition should start indented 1-4 spaces past the opening curly bracket and be all in lower case. All following attribute definitions should be on their own line and indented to the same level as first attribute definition. The line immediately following the last attribute definition contains the closing curly bracket '}' which should be unindented and lined up with the beginning of the Tag definition.


  • brace_good: This tag defines the style for highlighting matching braces
  • brace_bad: This tag defines the style for highlighting unmatched braces
  • calltip: Style to color calltip windows in
  • ctrl_char: Style for control characters (Tabs, Spaces, ect...)
  • line_num: Style of the line numbers in the outer left margin
  • array_style: Style of arrays (currently used in perl documents)
  • btick_style: Style of Back Ticks
  • default_style: Style of all text not styled by other definitions
  • char_style: Style of characters (i.e 'c')
  • class_style: Style of class defs (i.e def MyClass)
  • class2_style: Currently unused
  • clear: Sets foreground to black, background to white
  • comment_style: Style of code comment blocs
  • decor_style: Style for decorators
  • directive_style: Style of directives
  • dockey_style: Style of documentation keywords
  • error_style: Style of errors
  • folder_style: Style of code folding markers
  • funct_style: Style of Functions
  • global_style: Style of global variables
  • guide_style: indentation guide style
  • here_style: Used to highlight HERE statements
  • ideol_style: Id End of Line (used in Makefiles)
  • keyword_style: Style of Primary Keywords
  • keyword2_style: Style of Secondary/Type Keywords
  • keyword3_style: Style of extra keywords
  • keyword4_style: Style of extra/user defined keywords
  • marker_style: Style for bookmarks/margin markers
  • number_style: Style of numbers
  • number2_style: Alternate style for numbers/verbatim defs
  • operator_style: Style of Operators (i.e + = *)
  • pre_style: Style of Preprocessor
  • pre2_style: Alternate Preprocessor style
  • regex_style: Style of Regular Expressions
  • scalar_style: Style of Scalar Variables
  • scalar2_style: Alternate style for Scalar Variables
  • select_style: Style of text selection background
  • string_style: Style of Strings (i.e "hello")
  • stringeol_style: Style of unclosed strings (i.e "hello )
  • unknown_style: Style of unknown statements
  • whitespace_style: Style of whitespace indicators


  • back: Defines the style of the background for the tags text area. The acceptable values are any 6 digit HEX color code (i.e #123456) optionally followed by a modifier (see MODIFIERS).
  • face: Defines the Font used by a fonts face name. The values accepted by this attribute are either a Face name (i.e Monaco) or a format expression (recommended) (i.e %(mono)s). The use of format expressions is recommended because it will allow your style sheet to work on all platforms, as it will let Editra's Style Manager look up an appropriate/available system font. See FONT KEYS for more information on available format expressions.
  • fore: Defines the foreground/face color/style of the tags text area. The acceptable values are any 6 digit HEX color code (i.e #123456) optionally followed by a modifier (see MODIFIERS).
  • size: Defines the Point Size of the font in the tags text area. The acceptable values are any system supported font size (i.e 12) or a format expression (i.e %(size)d). See FONT KEYS for more information on available format expressions.
  • modifiers: Modifiers to apply to a style can also be listed on this tag, each separated by a space.


The listed values below are used in format expressions to define what font is used. To use these keys use the following expression in your face definitions and substitute the 'xxx' with your chosen key.

        Standard Expression: %(xxx)s
  • primary: Users prefered primary font
  • secondary: Users prefered secondary font

The next set of values are used in font size format expressions. To use these values replace the 'xxx' in the following expression with the chosen value.

         Standard Expression: %(xxx)d
  • size: The point size of the primary font
  • size2: The point size of the secondary font
  • size3: 2 point sizes smaller than "size"


These keywords are used to modify style attributes.

  • bold: Makes the text in the tags text area bold
  • italic: Makes the text in the tags text area italicized
  • eol: Extends the given attributes style to the end of the line
  • underline: Enables underlining for a text area


These tags are part of the standard tags but behave differently than a typical tag. The differences in behavior are mostly transparent but here is an explanation of each.

  • calltip: Only Foreground and Background attributes are used
  • clear: Used internally any definitions will be ignored
  • folder_style: Only Foreground and Background attributes are used
  • marker_style: Only Foreground and Background attributes are used
  • select_style: When defined only the Background attribute is used. If this style is not defined then the default system colour for selection highlight is used in its place.
  • whitespace_style: Only Foreground and Background attributes are used


default_style {
                fore: #000000;
                back: #FFFFFF;
                face: %(primary)s;
                size: %(size)d;
keyword_style {
                fore: #A52B2B bold;
                face: Courier;
                size: 14;
class_style {
                 fore: #DD8383;
                 modifiers: bold underline;