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Comprehensive, composable utility library for ANSI terminals. Better, stronger, faster. Tch-tch-tch-tch…

Project description

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Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1979…

╰─(˙𝀓˙)─╮ ╭─(^0^)─╯


Yet another package that makes it easy to generate the inline codes used to display colors and character styles in ANSI-compatible terminals and emulators, as well as other functionality such clearing screens, moving cursors, setting title bars, and detecting capabilities.

How is this one different? Well, it’s highly composable and more comprehensive than most. How does it work? It’s a piece of cake.

“Piece of cake? Oh, I wish somebody would tell me what that means.” —Dr. Huer

␛[1;3m Hello World ␛[0m

There are many flexible ways to use console’s styling functionality. Most simply, adding a little color with console might look like this. First, import the styling palettes and go to town. The palette entries (aka attributes) can be used in place of strings and handle everything a string might:

>>> from console import fg, bg, fx

>>> + 'Hello World!' + fg.default
'\x1b[32mHello World!\x1b[39m'

>>> f'{fx.dim}Lo-key text:{fx.end}'
'\x1b[2mLo-key text:\x1b[0m'

>>> print(, fx.italic, '♥ Heart', fx.end,
...       ' of Glass…', sep='')

 Heart of Glass  # ← not styled due to readme limits 😉

FYI, the string '\x1b' represents the ASCII Escape character (27 in decimal, 1b hex). Command [32m turns the text green and [39m back to the default color. But, there’s no need to worry about any of that. That’s why you’re here, right?

Call() Form

Above, fx.end is a convenient object to note—it ends all styles and fore/background colors at once, where as fg.default or bg.default for example, resets only the fore or background to its default color. To avoid that responsibility (while increasing specificity in what styles are deactivated), one may also use the call-form instead, where it’s automatic:

>>> fg.yellow('Far Out!')  # <-- ends fg color only
'\x1b[33mFar Out!\x1b[39m'

>>> fx.italic('Up your nose with a rubber hose!')  # italic only
'\x1b[3mUp your nose with a rubber hose!\x1b[23m'

This is neat because call-form will end specific colors/styles and not interfere with others.

There’s also a rich-text printer that handles basic HTML (and even hyperlinks if your terminal supports it):

>>> from console.viewers import hprint as print
>>> print('<i>Hello <b>World!</b> ;-)</i>')

*Hello World! ;-)*  # 😉

But there’s a shitload,^H^H^H^H^H, crap-ton,^H^H^H^H^H err… lot more!  Kindly read on.


“East bound and down, loaded up and truckin’…
We gonna do what they say can’t be done”—Smokey and the Bandit

Console’s palette entry objects are meant to be highly composable and useful in multiple ways. For example, you might like to create your own compound styles to use over and over again. How to? Just add ‘em up:

>>> muy_importante = fg.white + fx.bold +
>>> print(muy_importante('¡AHORITA!', fx.underline))  # ← mixin

¡AHORITA!  # ← not styled due to readme limits 😉

One nice feature—when palette objects are combined together as done above, the list of codes to be rendered is kept on ice until final output as a string. Meaning, there won’t be redundant styling (Select Graphic Rendition) sequences in the output, no matter how many you add:

# ⇤-----------⇥  One compound sequence, not four 😎

Styles can be built on the fly as well, if need-be:

>>> print(
...   f'{fg.i208 + fx.reverse}Tangerine Dream{fx.end}',  # or
...     (fg.i208 + fx.reverse)('Tangerine Dream'),
... )
Tangerine Dream  # 😉


To build templates, call a palette entry with placeholder strings, with (or instead of) text:

>>> sam_template = bg.i22('{}')  # dark green
>>> print(sam_template.format(' GREEN Eggs… '))
GREEN Eggs   # No, I do not like… 😉

Other template formats are no problem either, try %s or ${}.


Outta Sight!

Console is lightweight, but perhaps you’d like a pre-rendered string to be used in a tight loop for performance reasons. Simply use str() to finalize the output then use it in the loop.

>>> msg = str(muy_importante('¡AHORITA!'))

>>> for i in range(100000000):
...     print(msg)  # rapidinho, por favor


Palette entries work as context-managers as well:

with bg.dodgerblue:
    print('Infield: Garvey, Lopes, Russel, Cey, Yeager')
    print('Outfield: Baker, Monday, Smith')
    print('Coach: Lasorda')
                          ⫻⫻    Tok!

Color Palettes

“Looo-king Gooood!”—Chico and the Man

The color palettes entries may be further broken down into three main categories of available colors. Unleash your inner Britto below:

  • Basic, the original 8/16 ANSI named colors

  • Extended, a set of 256 indexed colors

  • “True” or “Direct”, a.k.a. 16 million colors, consisting of either:

    • RGB specified colors

    • X11-named colors (built-in), or

    • Webcolors-named colors

As mentioned, the original palette, X11, and Webcolor palettes may be accessed directly from a palette object by name. For example:

# Basic                Comment                # One of the original 8 colors
fg.lightred           # Another 8 brighter colors w/o bold

# Truecolor variants
fg.bisque             # Webcolors or X11 color name
fg.navyblue           # Webcolors takes precedence, if installed

Advanced Color Selection

Specific palettes/colors may be chosen via a prefix letter and number of digits (or name) to specify the color. For example:

# Extended     Format  Comment
bg.i_123       iDDD   # Extended/indexed 256-color palette
bg.n_f0f       nHHH   # Hex to *nearest* indexed color

# Truecolor
bg.t_ff00bb    tHHH   # Direct/true color, 3 or 6 digits
bg.x_navyblue  x_NM   # Force an X11 color name (built-in)
bg.w_bisque    w_NM   # Force Webcolors, if installed

(The underscores in the attribute names that are numbers are optional. Choose depending whether brevity or readability are more important to you.)

The assorted truecolor forms are used to specify a color explicitly without ambiguity—X11 and Webcolors differ on a few obscure colors. Though nothing beats “þe auld” hexdigits for certainty.

Installen-Sie, Bitte

 pip3 install --user console

Suggested additional support packages, some of which may be installed automatically if needed:

webcolors             # Moar! color names
future_fstrings       # Needed for: Python Version < 3.6

colorama              # Needed for: Windows Version < 10
win_unicode_console   # Useful: for Win Python < 3.6
jinxed                # terminfo, for SSH *into* Windows

Jah! While console is cross-platform, colorama will need to be installed and .init() run beforehand to view these examples under the lame (no-ANSI support) versions of Windows < 10

Der console package has recently been tested on:

  • Ubuntu Linux 20.04 - Python 3.8

    • xterm, mate-terminal, linux console, fbterm

    • Very occasionally on kitty, guake

  • FreeBSD 11 - Python 3.7

  • MacOS 11.2 - Python 3.8

  • MacOS 10.13 - Python 3.6

    •, iTerm2

  • Windows 10 - Python 3.7 - 64bit

    • Conhost, WSL, Windows Terminal

Not so recently:

  • Windows XP - Python 3.4 - 32 bit + colorama, ansicon

  • Windows 7 - Python 3.6 - 32 bit + colorama


Package Overview

“Hey, Mr. Kot-tair!”—Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington

As mentioned, console handles lots more than color and styles.

Utils Module

console.utils includes a number of nifty functions:

>>> from console.utils import cls, set_title

>>> cls()  # whammo! a.k.a. reset terminal
>>> set_title('Le Freak')  # c'est chic
'\x1b]2;Le Freak\x07'

It can also strip_ansi from strings, wait for keypresses, clear a line or the screen (with or without scrollback), make hyperlinks, or easily pause a script like the old DOS commands of yesteryear.

There are also modules to print stylish progress bars: console.progress, or beep up a storm with console.beep.

Screen Module

With console.screen you can save, create a new, or restore a screen. Move the cursor around, get its position, and enable bracketed paste if any of that floats your boat. Blessings-compatible context managers are available for full-screen fun.

>>> from console.screen import sc

>>> with sc.location(40, 20):
...     print('Hello, Woild.')

Detection Module

Detect the terminal environment with console.detection:

  • Determine palette support

  • Redirection—is this an interactive “tty” or not?

  • Check relevant user preferences through environment variables, such as NO_COLOR, COLORFGBG, and CLICOLOR, and even TERM.

  • Query terminal colors and themes—light or dark?

  • Get titles, cursor position, and more.

  • Legacy Windows routines are in

Console does its best to figure out what your terminal supports on startup and will configure its convenience objects (we imported above) to do the right thing. They will deactivate themselves automatically at startup when output is redirected into a pipe, for example.

Detection can be bypassed and handled manually when needed however. Simply use the detection functions in the module or write your own as desired, then create your own objects from the classes in the and console.screen modules. (See the Environment Variables section for full deactivation.)

There’s also logging done—enable the debug level before loading the console package and you’ll see the results of the queries from the detection module. See below for a ready-made CLI example.


A number of useful constants are provided in console.constants, such as CSI and OSC for building your own apps. You can:

from console.constants import BEL
print(f'Ring my {BEL}… Ring my {BEL}')  # ring-a-ling-a-ling…

ASCII Table, and Command-Line Interface

A four-column ASCII table in fruity flavors is provided for your convenience and learning opportunities. This format is great for spotting Control key correspondence with letters, e.g.: Ctrl+M=Enter, Ctrl+H=Backspace, etc.

This might be a good time for a quick mention of the console command-line program that runs quite a few of these utility functions and methods:

 console ascii --link

00111   7 07  BEL         39 27  '           71 47  G          103 67  g
...  # 😉

Remember the detection CLI we mentioned above? Here’s how to use it:

 console detect -v

The Rest

See the Advanced page for more details.

Demos and Tests

“I got chills, they’re multiplyin’…”—Danny Zuko

A series of positively jaw-dropping demos (haha, ok maybe not) may be run at the command-line with:

⏵ python3 -m console.demos

If you have pytest installed, tests can be run from the install folder.

 pytest -s

The Makefile in the repo at github has more details on such topics.

Wrapping Up


“Use the Source, Luke!”—‘Ben’ Kenobi

Could use some help testing on Windows and MacOS as my daily driver is a 🐧 Tux racer. Can you help?

Release Notes

  • Version 0.9907 - Apologies, the Screen class will have a few changes in the names of attributes to make them more consistent. Stick with 0.9906 until older code can be ported. This should be rare before 1.0 and non-existent afterwards.


Additional docs may be found here at bitbucket.


“Stickin’ it to the Man”

  • Copyright 2018-2021, Mike Miller

  • Released under the LGPL, version 3+.

  • Enterprise Pricing:

    6 MEEllion dollars… Bwah-haha-ha!
    (only have to sell one copy!)

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