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Source code & Development:
Makes ANSI escape character sequences (for producing colored terminal text and
cursor positioning) work under MS Windows.
ANSI escape character sequences have long been used to produce colored terminal
text and cursor positioning on Unix and Macs. Colorama makes this work on
Windows, too, by wrapping ``stdout``, stripping ANSI sequences it finds (which
would appear as gobbledygook in the output), and converting them into the
appropriate win32 calls to modify the state of the terminal. On other platforms,
Colorama does nothing.
Colorama also provides some shortcuts to help generate ANSI sequences
but works fine in conjunction with any other ANSI sequence generation library,
such as the venerable Termcolor (
or the fabulous Blessings (
This has the upshot of providing a simple cross-platform API for printing
colored terminal text from Python, and has the happy side-effect that existing
applications or libraries which use ANSI sequences to produce colored output on
Linux or Macs can now also work on Windows, simply by calling
An alternative approach is to install ``ansi.sys`` on Windows machines, which
provides the same behaviour for all applications running in terminals. Colorama
is intended for situations where that isn't easy (e.g., maybe your app doesn't
have an installer.)
Demo scripts in the source code repository print some colored text using
ANSI sequences. Compare their output under Gnome-terminal's built in ANSI
handling, versus on Windows Command-Prompt using Colorama:
.. image::
:width: 661
:height: 357
:alt: ANSI sequences on Ubuntu under gnome-terminal.
.. image::
:width: 668
:height: 325
:alt: Same ANSI sequences on Windows, using Colorama.
These screengrabs show that, on Windows, Colorama does not support ANSI 'dim
text'; it looks the same as 'normal text'.
Copyright Jonathan Hartley 2013. BSD 3-Clause license; see LICENSE file.
None, other than Python. Tested on Python 2.7, 3.4, 3.5 and 3.6.
Applications should initialise Colorama using:
.. code-block:: python
from colorama import init
On Windows, calling ``init()`` will filter ANSI escape sequences out of any
text sent to ``stdout`` or ``stderr``, and replace them with equivalent Win32
On other platforms, calling ``init()`` has no effect (unless you request other
optional functionality; see "Init Keyword Args", below). By design, this permits
applications to call ``init()`` unconditionally on all platforms, after which
ANSI output should just work.
To stop using colorama before your program exits, simply call ``deinit()``.
This will restore ``stdout`` and ``stderr`` to their original values, so that
Colorama is disabled. To resume using Colorama again, call ``reinit()``; it is
cheaper to calling ``init()`` again (but does the same thing).
Colored Output
Cross-platform printing of colored text can then be done using Colorama's
constant shorthand for ANSI escape sequences:
.. code-block:: python
from colorama import Fore, Back, Style
print(Fore.RED + 'some red text')
print(Back.GREEN + 'and with a green background')
print(Style.DIM + 'and in dim text')
print('back to normal now')
...or simply by manually printing ANSI sequences from your own code:
.. code-block:: python
print('\033[31m' + 'some red text')
print('\033[30m') # and reset to default color
...or, Colorama can be used happily in conjunction with existing ANSI libraries
such as Termcolor:
.. code-block:: python
from colorama import init
from termcolor import colored
# use Colorama to make Termcolor work on Windows too
# then use Termcolor for all colored text output
print(colored('Hello, World!', 'green', 'on_red'))
Available formatting constants are::
``Style.RESET_ALL`` resets foreground, background, and brightness. Colorama will
perform this reset automatically on program exit.
Cursor Positioning
ANSI codes to reposition the cursor are supported. See ``demos/`` for
an example of how to generate them.
Init Keyword Args
``init()`` accepts some ``**kwargs`` to override default behaviour.
If you find yourself repeatedly sending reset sequences to turn off color
changes at the end of every print, then ``init(autoreset=True)`` will
automate that:
.. code-block:: python
from colorama import init
print(Fore.RED + 'some red text')
print('automatically back to default color again')
Pass ``True`` or ``False`` to override whether ansi codes should be
stripped from the output. The default behaviour is to strip if on Windows
or if output is redirected (not a tty).
Pass ``True`` or ``False`` to override whether to convert ANSI codes in the
output into win32 calls. The default behaviour is to convert if on Windows
and output is to a tty (terminal).
On Windows, colorama works by replacing ``sys.stdout`` and ``sys.stderr``
with proxy objects, which override the ``.write()`` method to do their work.
If this wrapping causes you problems, then this can be disabled by passing
``init(wrap=False)``. The default behaviour is to wrap if ``autoreset`` or
``strip`` or ``convert`` are True.
When wrapping is disabled, colored printing on non-Windows platforms will
continue to work as normal. To do cross-platform colored output, you can
use Colorama's ``AnsiToWin32`` proxy directly:
.. code-block:: python
import sys
from colorama import init, AnsiToWin32
stream = AnsiToWin32(sys.stderr).stream
# Python 2
print >>stream, Fore.BLUE + 'blue text on stderr'
# Python 3
print(Fore.BLUE + 'blue text on stderr', file=stream)
Status & Known Problems
I've personally only tested it on Windows XP (CMD, Console2), Ubuntu
(gnome-terminal, xterm), and OS X.
Some presumably valid ANSI sequences aren't recognised (see details below),
but to my knowledge nobody has yet complained about this. Puzzling.
See outstanding issues and wishlist:
If anything doesn't work for you, or doesn't do what you expected or hoped for,
I'd love to hear about it on that issues list, would be delighted by patches,
and would be happy to grant commit access to anyone who submits a working patch
or two.
Recognised ANSI Sequences
ANSI sequences generally take the form:
ESC [ <param> ; <param> ... <command>
Where ``<param>`` is an integer, and ``<command>`` is a single letter. Zero or
more params are passed to a ``<command>``. If no params are passed, it is
generally synonymous with passing a single zero. No spaces exist in the
sequence; they have been inserted here simply to read more easily.
The only ANSI sequences that colorama converts into win32 calls are::
ESC [ 0 m # reset all (colors and brightness)
ESC [ 1 m # bright
ESC [ 2 m # dim (looks same as normal brightness)
ESC [ 22 m # normal brightness
ESC [ 30 m # black
ESC [ 31 m # red
ESC [ 32 m # green
ESC [ 33 m # yellow
ESC [ 34 m # blue
ESC [ 35 m # magenta
ESC [ 36 m # cyan
ESC [ 37 m # white
ESC [ 39 m # reset
ESC [ 40 m # black
ESC [ 41 m # red
ESC [ 42 m # green
ESC [ 43 m # yellow
ESC [ 44 m # blue
ESC [ 45 m # magenta
ESC [ 46 m # cyan
ESC [ 47 m # white
ESC [ 49 m # reset
# cursor positioning
ESC [ y;x H # position cursor at x across, y down
ESC [ y;x f # position cursor at x across, y down
ESC [ n A # move cursor n lines up
ESC [ n B # move cursor n lines down
ESC [ n C # move cursor n characters forward
ESC [ n D # move cursor n characters backward
# clear the screen
ESC [ mode J # clear the screen
# clear the line
ESC [ mode K # clear the line
Multiple numeric params to the ``'m'`` command can be combined into a single
ESC [ 36 ; 45 ; 1 m # bright cyan text on magenta background
All other ANSI sequences of the form ``ESC [ <param> ; <param> ... <command>``
are silently stripped from the output on Windows.
Any other form of ANSI sequence, such as single-character codes or alternative
initial characters, are not recognised or stripped. It would be cool to add
them though. Let me know if it would be useful for you, via the Issues on
Help and fixes welcome!
Running tests requires:
- Michael Foord's ``mock`` module to be installed.
- Tests are written using 2010-era updates to ``unittest``
To run tests::
python -m unittest discover -p *
This, like a few other handy commands, is captured in a ``Makefile``.
If you use nose to run the tests, you must pass the ``-s`` flag; otherwise,
``nosetests`` applies its own proxy to ``stdout``, which confuses the unit
* Marc Schlaich (schlamar) for a ```` fix for Python2.5.
* Marc Abramowitz, reported & fixed a crash on exit with closed ``stdout``,
providing a solution to issue #7's setuptools/distutils debate,
and other fixes.
* User 'eryksun', for guidance on correctly instantiating ``ctypes.windll``.
* Matthew McCormick for politely pointing out a longstanding crash on non-Win.
* Ben Hoyt, for a magnificent fix under 64-bit Windows.
* Jesse at Empty Square for submitting a fix for examples in the README.
* User 'jamessp', an observant documentation fix for cursor positioning.
* User 'vaal1239', Dave Mckee & Lackner Kristof for a tiny but much-needed Win7
* Julien Stuyck, for wisely suggesting Python3 compatible updates to README.
* Daniel Griffith for multiple fabulous patches.
* Oscar Lesta for a valuable fix to stop ANSI chars being sent to non-tty
* Roger Binns, for many suggestions, valuable feedback, & bug reports.
* Tim Golden for thought and much appreciated feedback on the initial idea.
* User 'Zearin' for updates to the README file.
* John Szakmeister for adding support for light colors
* Charles Merriam for adding documentation to demos
* Jurko for a fix on 64-bit Windows CPython2.5 w/o ctypes
* Florian Bruhin for a fix when stdout or stderr are None
* Thomas Weininger for fixing ValueError on Windows
* Remi Rampin for better Github integration and fixes to the README file
* Simeon Visser for closing a file handle using 'with' and updating classifiers
to include Python 3.3 and 3.4
* Andy Neff for fixing RESET of LIGHT_EX colors.
* Jonathan Hartley for the initial idea and implementation.