Using the Syntax Inspector

The Syntax Inspector is a tool available within Nova’s editor that helps you see behind the scenes of syntax highlighting.


To activate the Syntax Inspector, click the crosshair button in the editor’s status area or choose the “Syntax Inspector” item in the Editor menu. When active, the crosshair button will turn purple and show “Inspecting.” To deactivate the Inspector, click the crosshair button or choose the menu item once more.

While the inspector is active, hovering over any syntax-highlighted text in that editor will display a hover information popup.

The Syntax Inspector details popup

The inspection popup shows several pieces of information important to syntax highlighting:

When building either a syntax language extension or theme, it is useful to be able to see exactly how the editor is parsing text and what syntax highlighting selectors and styles it’s applying. Using the Syntax Inspector should help show exactly what’s happening and better help you to get your extension just right.