ColrC  0.3.7
An easy to use C library for linux terminal colors/escape-codes.


The ColrC repo includes the ColrC Tool, which is a program that colorizes text from the command line. It offers all of the important features from the original colr tool, but operates much faster because it was written in a compiled language. You can have both of these installed at the same time. The ColrC version is known as colrc, where the original is known as colr.

If you would like to use the ColrC tool, you will have to build it and install it.

The ColrC tool can be used in shell scripts or as a standalone application in a variety of ways. Long options are used in the examples, but they all have a single-letter short form as well:

Colorizing Text

The most basic use of colrc is to colorize text (from arguments or stdin). The FORE, BACK, and STYLE arguments are optional, and order only matters when you're not using the explicit --fore, --back, and --style flags.

For instance, creating some red text is as simple as:

colrc "Hello World" red

If you want to colorize output from another program, use - as the text:

date | colrc - red

If you only want to set the back color or style you would need to be explicit:

# Set only the back color, to white:
colrc "Hello World" --back white
# Set only the style, to underline:
colrc "Hello World" --style underline


The Colr tool can make "rainbowized" text, much like lolcat except faster (only because of the language choice).

The options for ColrC do not match lolcat exactly, but if you would like to "rainbowize" some text, all you have to do is set the fore or back color to rainbow:

colrc "Hello World" rainbow

One of the most common uses is to pipe some output to ColrC to make it prettier:

# "Display a rainbow cookie."
fortune | colrc - rainbow

You can also "rainbowize" the background, and optionally set the fore color and style at the same time:

# Just the background:
fortune | colrc - --back rainbow
# Fix the foreground and style so the words are more visible:
fortune | colrc - black rainbow bright

Stripping Colorized Output

If you have a program that doesn't have a --color=never or --nocolor option, and you'd like to remove all escape-codes from it's output, use colrc to strip them.

Using the section above as an example, I'll run fortune through lolcat and then "undo" all of those fancy colors:

fortune | lolcat | colrc --stripcodes

The result is like running fortune by itself. No colors.

Inspecting Colorized Output

The ColrC tool can parse output from another program and list all colors/styles that are found with an example, a name, and the string that produced them:

# Have to use -f with lolcat to force colorized output, for this example.
fortune | lolcat -f | colrc --listcodes

If that was too much information (too many codes), you can trim the output by listing only unique codes:

# Again, using -f to force colorized output from lolcat.
fortune | lolcat -f | colrc --listcodes --unique

Translating Color Codes

ColrC will translate any valid color name (BasicValue), 256-color value (ExtendedValue), RGB value, or Hex color. A "closest match" will be used for basic names and 256-color values when converting to/from RGB and Hex colors.

colrc -t red
# Or:
echo "red" | colrc -t

To get the closest matching color from an RGB value (for terminals that don't support them):

colrc -t '96;96;96'

Same thing with hex values:

colrc -t '#606060'

You'll notice that when you reverse the translation, you get a different RGB/Hex value:

# 59 was the closest match from the previous runs.
colrc -t 59