ConsoleFormat is a console/shell output formatting library and script.

Command-Line interface

The command line interface is via a script of the name "consoleformat". Input may be specified with a flag of --input or simply piped in via stdin:

$ consoleformat <options> --input 'this be my input string thankyouverymuch'

$ cat ./catsndogs.txt | consoleformat <options>

The command-line arguments for each formatting code are of the form:

--<code> 'string'


$ cat ./sweets_v_meats.html | consoleformat --lt-fg-blue '/<p[^>]*>(.*?)</p>/'

For a full listing of available formatting options as well as examples of how the formatted text appears in your console, consult the current help text via the -h|--help and -p|--print-examples options.

Formatting codes

All formatting codes are given as strings, with foreground and background colors being prefixed by either fg_ or bg_ and the light versions of each color being further prefixed with lt_, e.g:

lt_fg_yellow = Light Yellow Foreground
bg_blue = Blue Background

Multiple occurrences of a formatting code and associated string argument will be honored. Strings containing whitespace should be quoted. Match strings enclosed in forward slashes will be converted into regular expressions, e.g.:

--fg-red "/Once upon a (.*?),.*/"

Target/Match arguments

Strings one wants to be formatted should be targeted either with plain strings or regexes, the latter being surrounded by forward slashes, e.g.:

$ consoleformat --bg-blue "/puppy(.*)/" --fg-red "dragons"

Syntax files

External syntax files may be passed to cut down on command line verbosity. The name of the file is irrelevant but it must be in valid python syntax and contain a dictionary assigned to the name CONSOLE_FORMAT with target strings or regexes as keys and lists of formatting codes as values, e.g.:

# example syntax file

    "/^wolves:.*$/": ['bg_red'],
    "/.*meatball[0-9]{4}/": ['fg_blue', 'bg_white'],
    "frogman": ['lt_fg_green', 'bg_black'],

Known Issues

Overlapping escape sequences will most likely NOT output what one would expect, e.g.:

$ echo 'these tweezers are dull' | \
    consoleformat --lt-fg-blue tweezers --bg-red these\ tweezers\ are

This example will result in the words these tweezers having a red background and tweezers having a blue foreground, but are will remain unformatted because of the "reset" escape at the end of tweezers. "What!?", you say, "is up with that?" Call it a bug for now.

Full support for case-insensitivity and first/all matching of regular expression strings isn't yet ready.