After upgrading to emacs 29.2 and org 9.7, my example blocks are no longer syntax highlighted in emacs. They used to be syntax highlighted when I specified the block's language. Any ideas?

I use Doom, so it might have been a third-party feature.

I know org-mode officially suggests that example blocks should not have syntax highlighting, but I want it anyway. IMO :eval never is just not as good, not to mention tools like pandoc also produce example blocks from markdown source blocks.

Current Behavior (emacs: "29.2", Org version: "9.7"): enter image description here

Old (Correct) Behavior (emacs: "29.0.92", Org version: "9.6.1"): enter image description here

2 Answers 2


Indeed, 9.6.1 fontifies such blocks and latest does not. A git bisection found this commit:

commit 616e80a9f10c4bd085d7b5ac96fd6ea23e9c9191
Author: <elided>
Date:   Thu Apr 6 08:49:20 2023 -0500

    Handle block-type when checking `org-src-fontify-natively`
    * lisp/org.el (org-fontify-meta-lines-and-blocks-1): Only fontify
      natively for blocks of src type.

 lisp/org.el | 5 +++--
 1 file changed, 3 insertions(+), 2 deletions(-)

so it was a deliberate change.

If you build your Org mode from source, you can try reverting that commit from your tree (thereby creating your own fork and having to maintain it in perpetuity, in the sense that every time you update you'll have to revert that particular commit, either manually or by setting up some automation); or override the function org-fontify-meta-lines-and-blocks-1 with the old definition in your init file or similar; or give up on the fontification and go with the flow; or complain to the Org mode mailing list about it.


Thanks to NickD's answer, I wrote this patch which can be put in one's config to make this behavior configurable:

(defvar night/org-fontify-block-types '("src" "example")
  "List of block types to fontify in org-mode.")

(defun night/org-fontify-block-p (block-type)
  "Check if BLOCK-TYPE is one of the types to fontify."
  (member block-type night/org-fontify-block-types))

(defun night/org-fontify-meta-lines-and-blocks-1 (limit)
  "Fontify #+ lines and blocks."
  (let ((case-fold-search t))
    (when (re-search-forward
       (rx bol (group (zero-or-more (any " \t")) "#"
              (group (group (or (seq "+" (one-or-more (any "a-zA-Z")) (optional ":"))
                        (any " \t")
                 (optional (group "_" (group (one-or-more (any "a-zA-Z"))))))
              (zero-or-more (any " \t"))
              (group (group (zero-or-more (not (any " \t\n"))))
                 (zero-or-more (any " \t"))
                 (group (zero-or-more any)))))
       limit t)
      (let ((beg (match-beginning 0))
        (end-of-beginline (match-end 0))
        ;; Including \n at end of #+begin line will include \n
        ;; after the end of block content.
        (block-start (match-end 0))
        (block-end nil)
        (lang (match-string 7))     ; The language, if it is a source block.
        (bol-after-beginline (line-beginning-position 2))
        (dc1 (downcase (match-string 2)))
        (dc3 (downcase (match-string 3)))
        (whole-blockline org-fontify-whole-block-delimiter-line)
        beg-of-endline end-of-endline nl-before-endline quoting block-type)
     ((and (match-end 4) (equal dc3 "+begin"))
      ;; Truly a block
      (setq block-type (downcase (match-string 5))
        ;; Src, example, export, maybe more.
        quoting (member block-type org-protecting-blocks))
      (when (re-search-forward
         (rx-to-string `(group bol (or (seq (one-or-more "*") space)
                           (seq (zero-or-more (any " \t"))
                            ,(match-string 4)
                            (zero-or-more any)))))
         ;; We look further than LIMIT on purpose.
         nil t)
        ;; We do have a matching #+end line.
        (setq beg-of-endline (match-beginning 0)
          end-of-endline (match-end 0)
          nl-before-endline (1- (match-beginning 0)))
        (setq block-end (match-beginning 0)) ; Include the final newline.
        (when quoting
          (org-remove-flyspell-overlays-in bol-after-beginline nl-before-endline)
          (remove-text-properties beg end-of-endline
                      '(display t invisible t intangible t)))
         beg end-of-endline '(font-lock-fontified t font-lock-multiline t))
        (org-remove-flyspell-overlays-in beg bol-after-beginline)
        (org-remove-flyspell-overlays-in nl-before-endline end-of-endline)
         ((and org-src-fontify-natively
                   (night/org-fontify-block-p block-type))
                (org-src-font-lock-fontify-block (or lang "") block-start block-end))
          (add-text-properties bol-after-beginline block-end '(src-block t)))
           bol-after-beginline beg-of-endline
           (list 'face
             (list :inherit
               (let ((face-name
                  (intern (format "org-block-%s" lang))))
                 (append (and (facep face-name) (list face-name))
         ((not org-fontify-quote-and-verse-blocks))
         ((string= block-type "quote")
           bol-after-beginline beg-of-endline 'org-quote t))
         ((string= block-type "verse")
           bol-after-beginline beg-of-endline 'org-verse t)))
        ;; Fontify the #+begin and #+end lines of the blocks
         beg (if whole-blockline bol-after-beginline end-of-beginline)
         '(face org-block-begin-line))
        (unless (eq (char-after beg-of-endline) ?*)
           (if whole-blockline
           (let ((beg-of-next-line (1+ end-of-endline)))
             (min (point-max) beg-of-next-line))
         (min (point-max) end-of-endline))
           '(face org-block-end-line)))
     ((member dc1 '("+title:" "+subtitle:" "+author:" "+email:" "+date:"))
       (match-beginning 0)
       (if (equal "+title:" dc1) (match-end 2) (match-end 0)))
       beg (match-end 3)
       (if (member (intern (substring dc1 1 -1)) org-hidden-keywords)
           '(font-lock-fontified t invisible t)
         '(font-lock-fontified t face org-document-info-keyword)))
       (match-beginning 6) (min (point-max) (1+ (match-end 6)))
       (if (string-equal dc1 "+title:")
           '(font-lock-fontified t face org-document-title)
         '(font-lock-fontified t face org-document-info))))
     ((string-prefix-p "+caption" dc1)
      (org-remove-flyspell-overlays-in (match-end 2) (match-end 0))
      (remove-text-properties (match-beginning 0) (match-end 0)
                  '(display t invisible t intangible t))
      ;; Handle short captions
        (forward-line 0)
        (looking-at (rx (group (zero-or-more (any " \t"))
                   (optional "[" (zero-or-more any) "]")
                (zero-or-more (any " \t")))))
      (add-text-properties (line-beginning-position) (match-end 1)
                   '(font-lock-fontified t face org-meta-line))
      (add-text-properties (match-end 0) (line-end-position)
                   '(font-lock-fontified t face org-block))
     ((member dc3 '(" " ""))
      ;; Just a comment, the plus was not there
      (org-remove-flyspell-overlays-in beg (match-end 0))
       beg (match-end 0)
       '(font-lock-fontified t face font-lock-comment-face)))
     (t ;; Just any other in-buffer setting, but not indented
      (org-remove-flyspell-overlays-in (match-beginning 0) (match-end 0))
      (remove-text-properties (match-beginning 0) (match-end 0)
                  '(display t invisible t intangible t))
      (add-text-properties beg (match-end 0)
                   '(font-lock-fontified t face org-meta-line))
(advice-add 'org-fontify-meta-lines-and-blocks-1 :override #'night/org-fontify-meta-lines-and-blocks-1)

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