Ben Borgers

How to use Marked and Prism.js together

October 1, 2020

For this blog, I wanted to parse the blog posts (written in markdown) and also add syntax highlighting to the code blocks so they can have nice readable colors.

I’m using Marked to parse markdown into HTML, and Prism to parse code blocks within that markdown.

I wrote this parseMarkdown() function to turn raw markdown into HTML with syntax-highlighted code blocks:

const marked = require("marked");
const prism = require("prismjs");


  highlight: (code, lang) => {
    if (prism.languages[lang]) {
      return prism.highlight(code, prism.languages[lang], lang);
    } else {
      return code;

function parseMarkdown(text) {
  return marked.parse(text);

First, we import the marked and prismjs packages.

Then, we import different Prism “components” that allow it to parse different languages. The full list of components you can import is here.

Then, we tell Marked that we want to handle code highlighting differently. If the code block has a language indicated, like this:

// we've indicated that this code is javascript

and Prism is able to parse it (tested by seeing whether it’s in prism.languages - Prism will be able to parse languages that we imported components for), we use prism.highlight() to syntax-highlight the code. Otherwise, we just return the code itself.

Now, if you look at the outputted HTML from the parseMarkdown() function, the code blocks are invisibly split up with classes that allow you to use any Prism CSS theme to style them.

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