Keyword Escaper

Oxygene has added (and keeps adding) new language features not available in Delphi, and with that comes the introduction of a range of new keywords to support those features.

While many of these keywords are (just as in Delphi) limited to specific contexts and this will not interfere with your regular code much, some keywords are global, and must be escaped using "&" to be used as regular identifiers (or the identifier can of course be renamed to something else), unless used after a period (".").

Oxygene provides a "Keyword Escaper" tool that can automate this process for you. Keyword Escaper, available as part of the Oxidizer Command-Line Tool, can process a single file or a full folder hierarchy, find all usage of Oxygene-only keywords in your code, and escape them, where needed.

Note that Keyword Escaper is a one-time process that you should run on your Delphi code before starting to use Oxygene-specific features in it. If your code already uses Oxygene-only keywords, running Keyword Escaper will most likely break it!


To use Keyword Escaper, you run the Oxidizer.exe tool that ships with Elements, passing the --escape-keywords command line switch.

Keyword Escaper requires two additional parameters, the input file or folder, and the output file or folder.

  • When specifying an individual file, both input and output must have a .pas file extension. Keyword Escaper will read the input, process it, and save it under the output name, potentially replacing the existing file.

  • When specifying a folder, Keyword Escaper will process all .pas files in the folder and all its sub-folders, and recreate the same folder structure in the output destination. (It will not process or copy any other files)

C:> Oxidizer --escape-keywords-only <SourceFile>.pas <TargetFile>.pas
C:> Oxidizer --escape-keywords-only <SourceFolder> <TargetFolder>
# mono Oxidizer.exe --escape-keywords-only <SourceFile>.pas <TargetFile>.pas
# mono Oxidizer.exe --escape-keywords-only <SourceFolder> <TargetFolder>
# mono Oxidizer.exe --escape-keywords-only <SourceFile>.pas <TargetFile>.pas
# mono Oxidizer.exe --escape-keywords-only <SourceFolder> <TargetFolder>

You can specify the same path as input and output, in which case Keyword Escaper will update your files in place. Do note that this will be irreversible, so be sure to have your files backed up or under version control before doing so.

Again do note that running Keyword Escaper on files that already use Oxygene syntax (which it cannot detect, because – how?) will be a very bad idea!