I am using the following settings to format my code blocks:

% xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Code Snippet STARTS xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  language=C,                     % choose the language of the code
  stepnumber=1,                   % the step between two line-numbers. If it's 1, each line will be numbered
 % numbersep=5pt,                 % how far the line-numbers are from the code
%  backgroundcolor=\color{white}, % choose the background color. You must add \usepackage{color}
  showspaces=false,               % show spaces adding particular underscores
  showstringspaces=false,         % underline spaces within strings
  showtabs=false,                 % show tabs within strings adding particular underscores
  tabsize=4,                      % sets default tabsize to 2 spaces
  captionpos=t,                   % sets the caption-position to top
  breaklines=true,                % sets automatic line breaking
  breakatwhitespace=true,         % sets if automatic breaks should only happen at whitespace
 % title=\lstname,                % show the filename of files included with \lstinputlisting;
 caption={Array of Pointers to Strings},
 keywordstyle=\color{purple},         % keyword style
 commentstyle=\color{blue},           % comment style
 stringstyle=\color{violet},          % string literal style
 belowcaptionskip = 0.2in,            % Space below caption
 abovecaptionskip = 0.2in,            % Space above caption

int main()
    char *strings[] = {

    char *ptr_swap;   /* A temporary pointer to swap strings */

    /* Swap "String2" with 'String3' */
    ptr_swap  = names [1];
    names [1] = names [2];                    
    names [2] = ptr_swap;

    return 0;
% xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Code Snippet ENDS xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The Output is as follows: enter image description here

My Question is:

The C Keywords (like: int, char) are NOT differently colored than the rest of the code.

I want to obtain a more beautiful output (like in professional books).

Please guide me on this issue.


  • 2
    int, char and return have indeed a different shade on my monitor. They are red-purple-ish, while variable names are red-orange-ish. Do you have a slight form of daltonism maybe? (no, I am not trolling, I am serious). Aug 16, 2012 at 9:46
  • 1
    What I remember from my Pascal days: identifierstyle=\color{black}, keywordstyle={\color{blue}\bf}, commentstyle=\color{gray}, stringstyle=\color{green!40!gray}. Aug 16, 2012 at 11:29
  • @Federico: I was looking for a gvim kind of output. Aug 16, 2012 at 12:47

1 Answer 1


Well, I'm not sure I really understood your question, as on the output you show, the keywords seem very much to be coloured, but in case you want to add coloured keywords, the following options seems to do the trick :

morekeywords={*,keyword1, keyword2, ...}

In case you want your keywords not to be coloured, then just set keywordstyle=\color{purple}, to the same colour as your stringstyle option.

As pointed out by @FedericoPoloni , purple and violet are also indeed very close colours. Maybe you would like to make sure by using less close ones.

In addition to that I'd also like to point out that in your example, the \lstset command has a comma after the last option, which can cause you a lot of problems.

And I know that it doesn't belong to your question, but the C code you are typing out seems to be very wrong. But it also could be that we lack a lot of context and it's not that important anyway.

  • Thanks for pointing out the mistake in lstset. The example code was vaguely adapted from somewhere to highlight the formatting issue only :) Aug 16, 2012 at 12:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .