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23.6.7 Faces for Font Lock

Font Lock mode can highlight using any face, but Emacs defines several faces specifically for Font Lock to use to highlight text. These Font Lock faces are listed below. They can also be used by major modes for syntactic highlighting outside of Font Lock mode (see Major Mode Conventions).

Each of these symbols is both a face name, and a variable whose default value is the symbol itself. Thus, the default value of font-lock-comment-face is font-lock-comment-face.

The faces are listed with descriptions of their typical usage, and in order of greater to lesser “prominence”. If a mode's syntactic categories do not fit well with the usage descriptions, the faces can be assigned using the ordering as a guide.

font-lock-warning-face
for a construct that is peculiar, or that greatly changes the meaning of other text, like ‘;;;###autoload’ in Emacs Lisp and ‘#error’ in C.
font-lock-function-name-face
for the name of a function being defined or declared.
font-lock-variable-name-face
for the name of a variable being defined or declared.
font-lock-keyword-face
for a keyword with special syntactic significance, like ‘for’ and ‘if’ in C.
font-lock-comment-face
for comments.
font-lock-comment-delimiter-face
for comments delimiters, like ‘/*’ and ‘*/’ in C. On most terminals, this inherits from font-lock-comment-face.
font-lock-type-face
for the names of user-defined data types.
font-lock-constant-face
for the names of constants, like ‘NULL’ in C.
font-lock-builtin-face
for the names of built-in functions.
font-lock-preprocessor-face
for preprocessor commands. This inherits, by default, from font-lock-builtin-face.
font-lock-string-face
for string constants.
font-lock-doc-face
for documentation strings in the code. This inherits, by default, from font-lock-string-face.
font-lock-negation-char-face
for easily-overlooked negation characters.