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  6. Text editor

Text editor

The text editor is used by the HTTP message editor for displaying requests and responses in raw form, and elsewhere within Burp for displaying plain text content.

Syntax analysis

Syntax in HTTP requests and responses is automatically colorized to highlight interesting items, such as parameters in requests and HTML elements in responses. JavaScript, JSON, and CSS content is also fully colorized. You can configure this behavior, and adjust the font, in message display options.

When syntax colorizing is enabled, the editor also displays mouse-over popups showing the decoded values of syntax items where appropriate. For HTTP requests, the popups perform URL-decoding, and for responses they perform HTML-decoding.

Pretty printing

The editor currently supports pretty printing of the following formats:

This greatly improves the readability of data, markup, and code in HTTP messages by displaying them with standardized indentation and line breaks. In editable messages, such as in Burp Repeater, supported text formats will be dynamically prettified as you type wherever possible. Otherwise, the text will be prettified when you send the request.

By default, pretty printing is enabled for all messages in which Burp detects a supported text format. You can also manually toggle it on and off by clicking the "Pretty" button.

If you would prefer not to use pretty printing by default, you can disable this setting under "User options" > "Display" > "HTTP Message Display".

Non-printing characters

By default, non-printing characters in HTTP requests and responses are hidden. However, you can use the "\n" button to toggle whether these characters are rendered as small "lozenges" within the message. This is supported for any bytes with a hexadecimal value lower than 20, which includes tabs, line feeds, carriage returns, and null bytes.

This feature is beneficial for many use cases, for example:

You can also edit the byte values from the "Hex" view.

Text editor hotkeys

The text editor supports hotkeys for various common actions. These can be configured in the hotkeys options, and the default hotkeys relevant to the text editor are as follows:

At the bottom of the text editor is a search bar that can be used to quickly find expressions within the displayed text. As you type into the search box, the editor will automatically highlight matching items in the text. The "<" and ">" buttons can be used to move the selection to the previous or next match. The "+" button displays the following options:

Note that in addition to search highlights, some Burp tools apply their own highlights to requests and responses. For example, Burp Scanner highlights relevant parts of HTTP messages in its issue advisories. If you are not using the search function, you can use the "<" and ">" to move the selection between the tool-generated highlights.