Syntax Highlighting with Shiki, React Server Components, and Next.js

lokman musliu
Lokman Musliu

February 8, 2024 Β· 3 min read Β· 983 views

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Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could deliver syntax highlighting to our readers without adding any additional JavaScript weight? That's precisely what we'll accomplish using Shiki, React Server Components (RSC), and Next.js.

Getting Started with Shiki

First, we need to install Shiki:

npm install -D shiki

Next, we'll create a React Server Component. In Next.js's App Router, Server Components are the default:

export default async function Code({ code, language }) {
	return <div></div>;
}

From the props in our component, we take a code and a language. The code prop might come from a Content Management System (CMS) and typically contains the HTML code block for our code examples. The language prop indicates which programming language the syntax highlighter should use.

Creating a Helper Function

To keep our code clean, we will wrap the syntax highlighting logic in a helper function. Go ahead and make a file called shiki.js inside the utils folder, and add the following content:

import { bundledLanguages, getHighlighter } from 'shiki/bundle/web';

import antlers from '../../content/languages/antlers.json';
import blade from '../../content/languages/blade.json';

export const codeToHtml = async ({ code, language }) => {

  const highlighter = await getHighlighter({
    themes: ['github-light', 'github-dark'],
    langs: [
      ...Object.keys(bundledLanguages),
      {
        id: 'antlers',
        scopeName: 'text.html.statamic',
        embeddedLangs: ['html'],
        ...antlers,
      },
      {
        id: 'blade',
        scopeName: 'text.html.php.blade',
        embeddedLangs: ['html', 'php'],
        ...blade,
      },
    ],
  });

  return highlighter.codeToHtml(code, {
    lang: lang,
    themes: {
      dark: 'github-dark',
      light: 'github-light',
    },
  });
};

Let's break this down:

  1. We import the web bundle from Shiki to minimize the load. If you need support for additional languages, you can import the full bundle without worrying about client-side load since this occurs server-side.

  2. We use the getHighlighter function from Shiki to configure our highlighter with additional features before performing the syntax highlighting.

  3. We've set up two themes for light and dark modes. If your site doesn't flip between modes, you can just stick with one theme.

  4. Shiki has built-in support for a lot of themes. Feel free to check the list.

const highlighter = await getHighlighter({
	theme: 'github-dark',
});

Custom Languages with Shiki

We also include support for custom languages. For example, we've added Blade for our Laravel audience ( Hey Laravel friends πŸ‘‹ ) and Antlers for our Statamic ( Hey Statamic friends πŸ‘‹ ) audience. We sourced Blade syntax from this GitHub repository and Antlers from this repository.

Implementing Syntax Highlighting with Shiki

At the bottom of our JavaScript helper, we export the highlighter and the codeToHtml function, which accepts our language and themes and returns syntax-highlighted HTML.

  return highlighter.codeToHtml(code, {
    lang: lang,
    themes: {
      dark: 'github-dark',
      light: 'github-light',
    },
});

React Server Component for Syntax Highlighting

With our helper function ready, let's integrate it into our React Server Component:

import { codeToHtml } from '@/utils/shiki';

export default async function Code({ code, language }) {

  const html = await codeToHtml({
    code,
    language,
  });

  return <div className="px-5" dangerouslySetInnerHTML={{ __html: html }} />;
}

Adding the Necessary CSS for Dual Theme Support

With our component and syntax highlighting in place, we can enhance the user experience by incorporating CSS styles that respect the user's theme preferences. This step is optional but recommended if your site supports light and dark modes.

To implement theme-based rendering, you'll need to have TailwindCSS configured with darkMode set to class.

Here's an example of how you can define your CSS to switch between themes:

html.dark .shiki,
html.dark .shiki span {
  color: var(--shiki-dark) !important;
  background-color: var(--shiki-dark-bg) !important;
  /* Optional, if you also want font styles */
  font-style: var(--shiki-dark-font-style) !important;
  font-weight: var(--shiki-dark-font-weight) !important;
  text-decoration: var(--shiki-dark-text-decoration) !important;
}

/* Optional, for the code block we add overflow, borders and padding */
.shiki {
  @apply overflow-x-auto rounded-xl p-5;
}

By adding these styles to your CSS file and ensuring that your site's HTML includes the appropriate classes, you can provide a seamless and visually appealing experience for users, whether they prefer light or dark mode.

Remember to test your styles to ensure that they switch correctly based on the user's preference and that the syntax highlighting remains legible and attractive in both themes.

Conclusion

And there you have it! We've successfully set up beautiful, syntax-highlighted code blocks without shipping any extra JavaScript to our readers. Enjoy the seamless integration of Shiki, React Server Components, and Next.js in your projects.


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lokman musliu
Lokman Musliu

Founder and CEO of Lucky Media

Technologies:

Next.js
React
Heading Pattern

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