- Download and docs:
- Source code & Development:
- Colorama for Enterprise:
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 (https://pypi.org/project/termcolor/) or the fabulous Blessings (https://pypi.org/project/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:
These screengrabs show that, on Windows, Colorama does not support ANSI 'dim text'; it looks the same as 'normal text'.
Copyright Jonathan Hartley & Arnon Yaari, 2013. BSD 3-Clause license; see LICENSE file.
None, other than Python. Tested on Python 2.7, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7 and 3.8.
Applications should initialise Colorama using:
from colorama import init init()
On Windows, calling
init() will filter ANSI escape sequences out of any
text sent to
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
This will restore
stderr to their original values, so that
Colorama is disabled. To resume using Colorama again, call
reinit(); it is
cheaper than calling
init() again (but does the same thing).
Cross-platform printing of colored text can then be done using Colorama's constant shorthand for ANSI escape sequences:
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(Style.RESET_ALL) print('back to normal now')
...or simply by manually printing ANSI sequences from your own code:
print('\033[31m' + 'some red text') print('\033[39m') # and reset to default color
...or, Colorama can be used happily in conjunction with existing ANSI libraries such as Termcolor:
from colorama import init from termcolor import colored # use Colorama to make Termcolor work on Windows too init() # then use Termcolor for all colored text output print(colored('Hello, World!', 'green', 'on_red'))
Available formatting constants are:
Fore: BLACK, RED, GREEN, YELLOW, BLUE, MAGENTA, CYAN, WHITE, RESET. Back: BLACK, RED, GREEN, YELLOW, BLUE, MAGENTA, CYAN, WHITE, RESET. Style: DIM, NORMAL, BRIGHT, RESET_ALL
Style.RESET_ALL resets foreground, background, and brightness. Colorama will
perform this reset automatically on program exit.
ANSI codes to reposition the cursor are supported. See
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:
from colorama import init init(autoreset=True) print(Fore.RED + 'some red text') print('automatically back to default color again')
Falseto 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).
Falseto 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.stderrwith 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
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
import sys from colorama import init, AnsiToWin32 init(wrap=False) 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)
colorama is currently installable from PyPI:
pip install colorama
colorama also can be installed by the conda package manager:
conda install -c anaconda colorama
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: https://github.com/tartley/colorama/issues
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>
<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 # FOREGROUND: 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 # BACKGROUND 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 GitHub.
Help and fixes welcome!
Running tests requires:
- Michael Foord's
mockmodule to be installed on Python < 3.3.
- Tests are written using 2010-era updates to
To run tests:
python -m unittest discover -p *_test.py
This, like a few other handy commands, is captured in a
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
|Professional support for colorama is available as part of the Tidelift Subscription. Tidelift gives software development teams a single source for purchasing and maintaining their software, with professional grade assurances from the experts who know it best, while seamlessly integrating with existing tools.|
- Marc Schlaich (schlamar) for a
setup.pyfix 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
- 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 fix.
- 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 output.
- 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.