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Shortcut for Syntax Highlighting in Keynote

Shortcut for Syntax Highlighting in Keynote

The idea is based on a gist by @jimbojsb.

You can use Pygments or Highlight.

Install Pygmentsa

brew install python

pip install pygments --pre (pre is currently required to get version 2.0rc1, which adds fontsize to the rtf formatter)

Pygments quick help:

  • show available styles, formatters, etc: pygmentize -L
  • show help for a formatter: pygmentize -H formatter rtf


  • pygmentize -L style
  • previews:
  • others are available: pip search pygments, e.g. pip install pygments-style-solarized or pip install pygments-style-github

Install Highlight

brew install highlight

Styles: highlight --list-themes

Create a Service

Start the Automator, File - New, choose Service.

Add Copy to Clipboard, then Run AppleScript.

Paste the script below, adjust to your preferences:

-- for pygmentize
set command to "/usr/local/bin/pygmentize -l scala -f rtf -O style=github,fontface=\"Source Code Pro\",fontsize=48"

-- for highlight
-- set command to "/usr/local/bin/highlight --syntax scala --out-format rtf --style solarized-light --font \"DejaVu Sans Mono\" --font-size 24"

do shell script "/bin/bash -c 'pbpaste | " & command & " | pbcopy'"

tell application "System Events" to tell (process 1 where frontmost is true)
  click menu item "Paste" of menu 1 of menu bar item "Edit" of menu bar 1
end tell

Save the service as Syntax Highligh (or a different name).

See Screenshot 1

Go to System Preferences - Keyboard - Shortcuts. Under Services, look for your new service and add a shortcut.

See Screenshot 2

Go to System Preferences - Security & Privacy - Privacy. Under click the lock on the bottom left. Under Accessibility, add Keynote (or PowerPoint) to the list of apps.

See Screenshot 3

In Keynote, create a text box and add some code. Select the code and hit your shortcut. That should replace the text by its highlighted version.

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