Highlight Text Manually In LaTeX Slides

29/04/2018

Sometimes I’ve been in the situation that I have a text snippet where a splash of color would explain things in a far easier way than having to create a visualization or use a laser pointer. Imagine something like a backtrace, with different parts highlighted in different colors. This thing can be done pretty easily, even when using LaTeX indirectly, like when compiling it from Org in Emacs.

The following trick relies on using the minted package for highlighting. It supports an option for embedding LaTeX escapes into your code snippets. The documentation shows off a mathematic formula in a comment, however we can do far more, like using the \textcolor command from the xcolor package to insert colored text. Have a silly example:

\setminted{escapeinside=||}
\definecolor{green}{HTML}{218A21}

...

\begin{minted}[]{text}
|\textcolor{red}{RR}|
|\textcolor{green}{GG}|
|\textcolor{blue}{BB}|
\end{minted}

In an Org file you’d have to do a bit less typing (assuming you customized Org to always use minted):

#+LATEX_HEADER: \setminted{escapeinside=||}
#+LATEX: \definecolor{green}{HTML}{218A21}

...

#+BEGIN_SRC text
|\textcolor{red}{RR}|
|\textcolor{green}{GG}|
|\textcolor{blue}{BB}|
#+END_SRC