Syntax Highlighting

The Syntax highlighting feature makes PHP code more readable as any other language file integrated in Visual Studio. Script code blocks, variables, keywords, strings, script tags and comments are distinguished to make programming easier.

PHP/HTML syntax highlighting

Moreover, when PHP Editor finds a syntax error or a logical error, the corresponding expression is underlined with a red wave and the error detail is listed in Visual Studio Error List tool window.


PHP Tools editor respects custom color settings from Visual Studio. These settings can be configured in Tools | Options | Environment | Fonts and Colors (see below).

The editor uses most of built-in colors. It lets the user take advantage of the PHP Editor with existing custom settings and themes easily. The following Display items are introduced by PHP Tools in addition to built-in Visual Studio colors:

  • PHP - Encapsulated Variable
  • PHP - Variable
  • PHP Doc - Variable
  • PHP Doc - Delimiter
  • PHP Doc - Tag

Built-in Visual studio colors used by PHP Editor are the following:

  • Comment
  • Identifier
  • Keyword
  • Number
  • Operator
  • String
  • Text
  • HTML Server-Side Script
  • User Types - Classes

PHPDoc Highlighting

Since version 1.16, PHPDoc content is also colorized. Its tags contained type names and variable names are colored according to the settings above.

Type Names and Highlighting

Since version 1.16, type names are highlighted. The color respects Display item User Types - Classes.

Highlighting braces

Matching pair of braces are automatically highlighted as well. Upon moving the keyboard caret at the outer position next to any brace ((, ), [, ], <, >), it gets highlighted together with its matching brace.

PHP brace highlighting

You can also jump between matching braces using the keyboard shortcut (by default Ctrl+]).

Switching Themes

When switching to a different color theme (e.g. Dark Theme), all built-in colors are switched as well to their default, respecting the new theme. Additional colors (prefixed with PHP) have to be changed manually to improve readability in the new theme.