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Colorful worry-free console applications for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.

Project description

Yet another ANSI color text library for Python. Provides “auto colors” for dark/light terminals. Works on Linux, OS X, and Windows. For Windows support you just need to call Windows.enable() in your application.

On Linux/OS X autocolors are toggled by calling set_light_background() and set_dark_background(). On Windows this can be done automatically if you call Windows.enable(auto_colors=True). Even though the latest Windows 10 does support ANSI color codes natively, you still need to run Windows.enable() to take advantage of automatically detecting the console’s background color.

In Python2.x this library subclasses unicode, while on Python3.x it subclasses str.

  • Python 2.6, 2.7, PyPy, PyPy3, 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5 supported on Linux and OS X.

  • Python 2.7, 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5 supported on Windows (both 32 and 64 bit versions of Python).

Build Status Windows Build Status Coverage Status Latest Version Downloads



pip install colorclass

Piped Command Line

It is possible to pipe curly-bracket tagged (or regular ANSI coded) text to Python in the command line to produce color text. Some examples:

echo "{red}Red{/red}" |python -m colorclass  # Red colored text.
echo -e "\033[31mRed\033[0m" | COLOR_DISABLE=true python -m colorclass  # Strip colors
echo -e "\033[31mRed\033[0m" | COLOR_ENABLE=true python -m colorclass &> file.txt  # Force colors.

Export these environment variables as “true” to enable/disable some features:

Env Variable



Force colors even when piping to a file.


Strip all colors from incoming text.


Use light colored text for dark backgrounds.


Use dark colored text for light backgrounds.

Example Implementation

Example Script Screenshot Example Windows Screenshot

Source code for the example code is:


Different colors are chosen using curly-bracket tags, such as {red}{/red}. For a list of available colors, call colorclass.list_tags().

The available “auto colors” tags are:

  • autoblack

  • autored

  • autogreen

  • autoyellow

  • autoblue

  • automagenta

  • autocyan

  • autowhite

  • autobgblack

  • autobgred

  • autobggreen

  • autobgyellow

  • autobgblue

  • autobgmagenta

  • autobgcyan

  • autobgwhite

Methods of Class instances try to return sane data, such as:

from colorclass import Color
color_string = Color('{red}Test{/red}')




There are also a couple of helper attributes for all Color instances:




This project adheres to Semantic Versioning.

2.1.0 - 2016-05-07

  • keep_tags boolean keyword argument to Color(). Prevents colorclass from parsing curly brackets.

  • Automatically skip replacing stderr/stdout streams on latest Windows 10 versions with native ANSI color support.

  • Refactored most of

  • Background color determined from either stderr or stdout, instead of just one stream (e.g. piping stderr to file).


2.0.0 - 2016-04-10

  • Python 3.5 support.

  • enable_all_colors(), is_enabled(), and is_light() toggle functions.

  • Library can be used as a script (e.g. echo "{red}Red{/red}" |python -m colorclass).

  • Ability to add/multiply Color instances just like str.

  • Ability to iterate a Color instance and have each character keep its color codes.

  • Converted library from Python module to a package.

  • set_light_background() and set_dark_background() no longer enable colors. Use enable_all_colors().

  • Colors are disabled by default when STDERR and STDOUT are not streams (piped to files/null). Similar to grep.

  • Reduce size of ANSI escape sequences by removing codes that have no effect. e.g. \033[31;35m to \033[35m.

  • Color methods that return strings now return Color instances instead of str instances.


1.2.0 - 2015-03-19


1.1.2 - 2015-01-07

  • Maintaining Color type through .encode() and .decode() chains.

1.1.1 - 2014-11-03

  • Python 2.7 64-bit original colors bug on Windows.

  • resetting colors when reset_atexit is True.

  • Improved sorting of list_tags().

1.1.0 - 2014-11-01

  • Native Windows support and automatic background colors.

1.0.2 - 2014-10-20

  • Ability to disable/strip out all colors.

1.0.1 - 2014-09-11

  • splitlines() method.

1.0.0 - 2014-09-01

  • Initial release.

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