How to Format Code Blocks in Google Docs

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How to Format Code Blocks in Google Docs

Formatting Google Docs papers is simple until code blocks appear. Google Docs does not have a default method for inserting code blocks, and copying and pasting them directly messes up the normal layout.

To correctly style code snippets in Google Docs, we must either apply several manual workarounds or install an add-on.

This tutorial will teach you how to manually and using add-ons format code blocks in Google Docs.

How to Format Code Blocks Manually in Google Docs

In Google Docs, you may format code blocks in a variety of ways. Nonetheless, all of the techniques need third-party technologies. This implies that you won’t be able to format code blocks in Google Docs without leaving the workspace.

The three techniques for manually formatting code blocks in Google Docs are as follows:

1. How to Format Code Blocks in Google Docs Using Syntax Highlighter

A syntax highlighter allows you to effortlessly modify the style of your text or code. Many syntax highlighters are available; however, for this example, we will utilize pinetools syntax highlighter.

Here’s how to use it in Google Docs to format code blocks:

  1. Copy the unhighlighted code from the Google Docs document you want to format.
  2. Go to Pinetools’ Syntax Highlighter.
  3. Copy the code and paste it into the Unhighlighted Code box.
  4. Pick Autodetect in the right-hand pane if you want the tool to guess the language for you, or select your chosen one by clicking on Select one and selecting the language from the Select Language dropdown box.
  5. Select your favorite style from the Style dropdown menu.
  6. Select the green Highlight option.

The preceding steps will give you the highlighted code together with its HTML.

Even if you copy and paste the highlighted code into Google Docs, it will simply highlight the code and leave whitespace between code lines. As a result, the final format seems jumbled, as demonstrated below.

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Follow the instructions below to make the formatting more appealing:

  1. The syntax highlighter’s highlighted code should be copied.
  2. Choose the Google Docs document to which you want to add the code.
  3. Select a 1×1 table from the Insert > Table menu.
  4. Go to Table properties by right-clicking the table box.
  5. Match the background color of the Cell to the background color of the syntax highlighter style.

We used Ir Black for the style and Black for the backdrop color to get the following result.

If you can’t find an appropriate format for your paper, you may use a template. Check read our post on the many templates available in Google Docs to make your life simpler.

2. How to Format Code Blocks in Google Docs Using HTML Code

The second method for formatting code blocks in Google Docs is to use HTML code. To do so, do the following steps:

  1. In the syntax highlighter output, copy the HTML code of the highlighted text.
  2. In Notepad, copy and paste the HTML code.
  3. Save the file as .HTML.
  4. Open the.HTML file in Google Docs directly.

Google Docs will open the file in its original format after running the HTML code rather than basic HTML, like we did with the Notepad file.

You can copy the code, paste it into your original document, and remove white spacing from the code lines using the steps mentioned above. As a result, you will find that the final output is nearly identical to method one.

If you don’t like changing the formatting with table properties, there is another way to do it. The goal is to format codes placed in Google Docs using a Microsoft Word document. Here is how you can go about it.

3. How to Format Code Blocks in Google Docs Using Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word allows you to copy the highlighted code from the syntax highlighter directly in the document, and it keeps the background consistent without any white space between the lines.

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As a result, you may take advantage of this versatility by formatting all code blocks in a Microsoft Word document and then uploading that document to Google Docs afterwards.

To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open a blank Microsoft Word document or the downloaded Google Docs document in Microsoft Word.
  2. Follow the identical procedures as in approach one to obtain the highlighted code from the syntax highlighter.
  3. Pasting the highlighted code into a Microsoft Word document will automatically format the code block.
  4. Upload the Microsoft Word document to Google Docs after saving it.

Google Docs code may be copied to other Docs papers while preserving its layout. So, you may format Google Docs files using this way, or you can format just the codes in a separate file and then copy-paste them into the original file.

Disadvantages of Manually Formatting Code Blocks in Google Docs

The main downside of manually formatting code blocks in Google Docs is that all three approaches will take up a substantial amount of your time. Furthermore, altering any coding style necessitates starting from scratch.

Minor errors may occur if the syntax highlighter does not support the programming language you are attempting to format.

You may get around these limits by using Google Docs add-ons. There are other add-ons available for this task, but we’ll utilize Code Blocks in this case.

Let’s look at how you may use the add-on to format code blocks and what advantages it provides.

How to Format Code Blocks in Google Docs Using Code Blocks Add-on

To format code blockers with the add-on, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Google Docs file.
  2. Go to the Add-ons tab. Purchase add-ons.
  3. Type “Code Blocks” into the search field and press Enter.
  4. Select the first add-on listed above and click Install.
  5. Select Add-ons > Code Blocks > Start.
  6. In the right-sidebar, choose the code text and your selected language and theme.
  7. Click the Format button.
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The preceding procedures will format code blocks in the same way as we did manually. Checking the No backdrop checkbox directly above the Format button causes the formatted code blocks to be shown as plain text with no background.

Benefits of Formatting Code Blocks Using Add-on

The add-on streamlines how you format code blocks, saving you a significant amount of time. Furthermore, you may easily style code blocks in multiple languages inside the same document without substantially modifying the formatting settings in the syntax highlighter.

As a result, if you want to save time and have more formatting control, utilizing the add-on is the way to go.

Even if Google Docs provides more versatility, if you don’t like the appearance and feel of it, there are many more online word editing applications to pick from.

Format Code Blocks in Google Docs With Ease

To make your papers seem more beautiful and simpler to read, format your code blocks in Google Docs, either manually or using the add-on. Manual approaches are your best choice if you find an add-on that is problematic or does not format as expected.

Code Blocks is just one of several add-ons that may help you manage formatting and make your papers seem more professional. There are other others that you should investigate.

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