5 Dec 2011

Printing colors in the terminal

If you fancy adding a bit of color to your console print statements, you can do that by using the ANSI escape sequences. Pasting the following in a Python console (Linux/Mac) will get you some green text!

print "\033[0;32mGREEN TEXT\033[0m"

Although that looks gibberish, the format can be broken down like this:

START_SEQx;y;zmDISPLAY_TEXTEND_SEQ

Starting sequence: \033[
x;y;z: ANSI color codes
Display text: Text you want to display
Ending sequence: \033[0m

You can mix and match x;y;z combinations to get a variety of effects! For example, this will print a blinking green text on red background:

print "\033[5;41;32mGREEN TEXT\033[0m"  # oh the horror!

ANSI color codes for your pleasure:

Text color Code Text style Code Background color Code
Black 30 No effect 0 Black 40
Red 31 Bold 1 Red 41
Green 32 Underline 4 Green 42
Yellow 33 Blink 5 Yellow 43
Blue 34 Inverse 7 Blue 44
Purple 35 Hidden 8 Purple 45
Cyan 36 Cyan 46
White 37 White 47

Use it wisely. Please don’t pollute the screen.

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