Snippets code from my daily experience

January 20, 2009

Posting syntax highlighted code on using Komodo macro

This post is superseded, now it is possible to use native tag also on, more details can be found here

Soon or later any blogger talking about software development will post some snippet of code.

To make code more cool and attractive he/she will use syntax highlight.

There are many alternatives for many blog platforms like Pygments, GeSHI, CodeHighlighter, WP-Syntax and so on.

This blog is hosted on the free version of, it doesn’t allow to use any plugin or user-defined CSS so adding sexy code is very difficult.

Komodo has the ability to print to HTML files code with the syntax highlighted, this feature is fully accessible from APIs so I’ve written a macro that

  • make CSS style inline replacing HTML class with corresponding style attributes
  • copy to clipboard (using the new Komodo 5 clipboard helper library) in HTML format so user can paste directly on Visual WordPress mode

Below you find the macro source code obviously highlighted by itself ūüėõ

How to get the selected text (or the whole Komodo view) converted to HTML

The variable str at end contains the converted HTML

var view = ko.views.manager.currentView;

var tmpFileSvc = Components.classes[";1"]
fname = tmpFileSvc.makeTempName(".html");

var lang = view.document.languageObj;
var forceColor = true;
var selectionOnly = view.selection != "";
var schemeService = Components.classes[';1'].getService();

var file = Components.classes[";1"]
file.URI = ko.uriparse.localPathToURI(fname);'rb');
var str = file.readfile();

Applying the replace to str

Nothing really interesting, simply the replace method is called many times to make CSS style inline inside span tags

Copy to clipboard in HTML format

Komodo 5 allows to interact with clipboard wrapping XPCOM services, these APIs allow to copy in the so called HTML flavor so content preserves styles and colors.


var transferable = xtk.clipboard.addTextDataFlavor("text/html", str);
transferable = xtk.clipboard.addTextDataFlavor("text/unicode", str, transferable);

That’s all folks

After running this macro on a Komodo view you can paste directly on WordPress Visual editor and obtain your beautiful code.

Using HTML flavor you can paste into any application able to accept Special Formats like Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Writer.

The full macro source code can be found on Macro SVN repository


August 18, 2007

Put in clipboard same content in multiple formats using XUL.

Copy plain text in clipboard can be obtained using code shown below.



    .copyString("<font color=’#FF0000′>Hello world</font>");

Using this approach you can easily copy HTML text but… it remains plain text!
So if you copy the string <font color=’#FF0000′>Hello world</font> inside OpenOffice Calc (or Microsoft Word) you don’t see the text “Hello world” in red but the plain HTML tag.

Copy data (not necessary text) using a specific format requires nsITransferable‘s use.
You specify the mime type and if destination application (where you paste the data) is able to understand the format the correct result appears.

The code below insert real HTML data into clipboard and when you paste for example in OpenOffice you see the colored text.

var textHtml = "<font color='#FF0000'>Hello world</font>";

var xferable = Components.classes[";1"]



var htmlstring = Components.classes[";1"]

    .createInstance(Components.interfaces.nsISupportsString); = textHtml;

xferable.setTransferData("text/html", htmlstring, textHtml.length * 2);

var clipboard = Components.classes[";1"]


clipboard.setData(xferable, null,


Consider you want be able to choose if text must be pasted like HTML or plain text, for example because some application can’t handle stylished code.
Consider a plain text editor, it handles text not colorful HTML so you need the ability to paste based on destination application.
It’s easy! You only need to add a new flavor to the code shown above

var plainText = "Hello world in plain";


var unicodestring = Components.classes[";1"]

    .createInstance(Components.interfaces.nsISupportsString); = plainText;

xferable.setTransferData("text/unicode", unicodestring, plainText.length * 2);

Now text editors receive the string “Hello world in plain” without any formatting and rich editors receive a colored “Hello world”.
Rich editors like OpenOffice Calc or Writer allow user to choose how to paste using the “Paste special” function.
You can choose to paste the same data in different format or different data per different format.

Table2Clipboard uses two flavors, you can take a look at its source code here.

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