How to Add Syntax Highlighting in Gatsby Blog Posts

Syntax highlighting is a feature that displays source code in different colors and fonts according to the category of terms. It's a great way to improve the readability and context of the code in your blog posts. In Gatsby, one of the popular libraries for syntax highlighting is highlight.js. In this guide, I'll show you how to add syntax highlighting to your Gatsby blog using highlight.js.

Step 1: Install highlight.js

The first step is to install the highlight.js library. You can do this using npm or yarn:

npm install highlight.js


yarn add highlight.js

Step 2: Import highlight.js and its styles into your template

Once you've installed highlight.js, you need to import it and its styles into your blog post template.

You can choose from various styles that highlight.js provides. For this example, we'll use the github-dark.css style, but feel free to explore other styles available in the highlight.js repository.

Also, to ensure that the code doesn't overflow from its container, especially when you limit the width, it's a good practice to set the white-space property to pre-wrap.

Here's how you can set it up:

import hljs from "highlight.js"
import "highlight.js/styles/github-dark.css"

export default function BlogTemplate({ data }: { data: BlogPostData }) {
  const { markdownRemark } = data
  const { frontmatter, html } = markdownRemark

  // Using the useEffect hook to highlight the code when the component mounts
  useEffect(() => {
  }, [])

  return (
    <Layout lightFooter={ === null}>
        <div className="prose mx-auto prose-code:whitespace-pre-wrap">
          <div dangerouslySetInnerHTML={{ __html: html }} />


Adding syntax highlighting to your Gatsby blog is a straightforward process with highlight.js. With just a few lines of code, you can significantly improve the readability of your code snippets and offer your readers a better user experience. Happy blogging!