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it's all about Regular expressions; Regular expressions are a very powerful tool for performing pattern matches in strings. You can perform complex tasks that once required lengthy procedures with just a few lines of code using regular expressions...

in this example,i made a simple Code Beautifier and formatter for VB/VBScript/ using JavaScript and CSS.

in this syntax highlighter There are patterns for matching Comments lines,Quoted strings,Escape HTML tags,and Language Keywords..

To extend this to format C# for example; all you need to change is the keywords of that programming language at the line
s = keywords_Beautifier("New|Class|..",s);
where you should place language keywords as one string separated by | as the first parameter

Go ahead try it your self

Output will look like this

Copy & paste this

You will need to include this css
b.KW {
b.Cm , b.Cm b.KW , b.Cm b.QS {
b.QS, b.QS b.KW {

Code Beautifier And Formatter Source Code

<SCRIPT LANGUAGE=javascript>
function Code_Beautifier(){
var a = document.getElementById("codearea");
if (!a) return;
var s = a.value;
//escape HTML Tags <>
s= s.replace(/</g ,"&lt;");
s= s.replace(/>/g ,"&gt;");
//next will use regular expressions patterns, and surround matches with <b ClssS="[Css class]"></b>
// but note that 'ClssS' is misspelled so it don't get changed by keywords pattern
//Beautify a quoted string
s= s.replace(/(\"[^\"]*\")/gi ,'<b ClssS="qs">$1</b>');
//Beautify Comments
s = Comments_Beautifier(s);
//escape lines
s= s.replace(/\n/g ,"<br />");
//escape spaces
s= s.replace(/\s\s/gi ,"&nbsp;&nbsp;");
//Beautify keywords
s = keywords_Beautifier("New|Class|Shared|Protected|Friend|byval|byREF|Optional|RETURN|GET|Property|Erase|LBound|UBound|Let|Set|Rem|Const|Empty|Nothing|Null|True|False|Control|Do|Loop|For|Next|For|If|Then|Else|select|While|Wend|end|Abs|Asc|AscB|AscW|Chr|ChrB|ChrW|CBool|CByte|CDate|CDbl|Cint|CLng|CSng|CStr|DateSerial|DateValue|Hex|Oct|Fix|Int|Sgn|TimeSerial|TimeValue|date|Time|DateSerial|DateValue|Day|Month|Weekday|Year|Hour|Minute|Second|Now|TimeSerial|TimeValue|Dim|Private|Public|ReDim|Sub|On|Err|InputBox|MsgBox|Atn|Cos|Sin|Tan|Exp|Log|Sqr|Randomize|Rnd|Mod|Is|And|Or|Xor|Eqv|Imp|CreateObject|IsObject|option|Call|FUNCTION|Sub|Instr|InStrB|Len|LenB|Lcase|Ucase|Left|LeftB|Mid|MidB|Right|RightB|Space|StrComp|string|Ltrim|Rtrim|Trim|IsArray|IsDate|IsEmpty|IsNull|IsNumeric|IsObject|VarType|ERROR",s);
s = CorrectCssClass(s);
var o = document.getElementById("output") ;
if (o) o.innerHTML = s;
var oa = document.getElementById("outarea");
if (oa) oa.value=s;
function keywords_Beautifier(keys,s) {
var rx = new RegExp("(\\b)("+ keys +")(\\b)", "gi")
return s.replace(rx ,'$1<b ClssS="Kw">$2</b>$3');
function Comments_Beautifier(s) {
return s.replace(/\'([^\n]+)\n/gi ,'<b ClssS="Cm">\'$1</b>\n');
function CorrectCssClass(s) {
return s.replace(/ClssS/g ,'class');

Some fine JavaScript Regular Expressions References
Using Regular Expressions with JavaScript and ActionScript
javascript regual expressions
JavaScript RegExp Object Reference


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Mike MoreWeb developer, jQuery plugin author, social media fan and Technology Blogger.
My favorite topics are: jQuery , Javascript , ASP.Net , Twitter , Google..
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