33.6. "Colorizing" Scripts

The ANSI [1] escape sequences set screen attributes, such as bold text, and color of foreground and background. DOS batch files commonly used ANSI escape codes for color output, and so can Bash scripts.

Example 33-11. A "colorized" address database

#!/bin/bash # ex30a.sh: "Colorized" version of ex30.sh. # Crude address database clear # Clear the screen. echo -n " " echo -e '\E[37;44m'"\033[1mContact List\033[0m" # White on blue background echo; echo echo -e "\033[1mChoose one of the following persons:\033[0m" # Bold tput sgr0 echo "(Enter only the first letter of name.)" echo echo -en '\E[47;34m'"\033[1mE\033[0m" # Blue tput sgr0 # Reset colors to "normal." echo "vans, Roland" # "[E]vans, Roland" echo -en '\E[47;35m'"\033[1mJ\033[0m" # Magenta tput sgr0 echo "ones, Mildred" echo -en '\E[47;32m'"\033[1mS\033[0m" # Green tput sgr0 echo "mith, Julie" echo -en '\E[47;31m'"\033[1mZ\033[0m" # Red tput sgr0 echo "ane, Morris" echo read person case "$person" in # Note variable is quoted. "E" | "e" ) # Accept upper or lowercase input. echo echo "Roland Evans" echo "4321 Floppy Dr." echo "Hardscrabble, CO 80753" echo "(303) 734-9874" echo "(303) 734-9892 fax" echo "revans@zzy.net" echo "Business partner & old friend" ;; "J" | "j" ) echo echo "Mildred Jones" echo "249 E. 7th St., Apt. 19" echo "New York, NY 10009" echo "(212) 533-2814" echo "(212) 533-9972 fax" echo "milliej@loisaida.com" echo "Girlfriend" echo "Birthday: Feb. 11" ;; # Add info for Smith & Zane later. aboutauthor.html aliases.html arithexp.html arrays.html asciitable.html assortedtips.html authorsnote.html awk.html bash2.html bash-options.html bashver2.html bashver3.html basic.html biblio.html colorizing.html command-line-options.html commandsub.html communications.html comparison-ops.html complexfunct.html contributed-scripts.html copyright.html credits.html dblparens.html debugging.html declareref.html devproc.html devref1.html disclaimer.html dosbatch.html endnotes.html escapingsection.html exercises.html exitcodes.html exit-status.html external.html extmisc.html filearchiv.html files.html fto.html functions.html globbingref.html gotchas.html here-docs.html histcommands.html index.html intandnonint.html internal.html internalvariables.html invoking.html io-redirection.html ioredirintro.html ivr.html list-cons.html localization.html localvar.html loopcontrol.html loops1.html loops.html mathc.html mirrorsites.html miscellany.html moreadv.html nestedifthen.html nestedloops.html numerical-constants.html operations.html opprecedence.html ops.html optimizations.html options.html othertypesv.html parameter-substitution.html part1.html part2.html part3.html part4.html part5.html portabilityissues.html prelimexer.html process-sub.html procref1.html quoting.html quotingvar.html randomvar.html recess-time.html recurnolocvar.html recursionsct.html redirapps.html redircb.html refcards.html regexp.html restricted-sh.html revisionhistory.html sample-bashrc.html scriptanalysis.html scrstyle.html securityissues.html sedawk.html sha-bang.html special-chars.html standard-options.html string-manipulation.html subshells.html sysscripts.html systemdirs.html system.html terminalccmds.html testbranch.html testconstructs.html testsandcomparisons.html tests.html testtest.html textproc.html timedate.html todolist.html toolsused.html unofficialst.html untyped.html varassignment.html variables2.html variables.html varsubn.html wherehelp.html why-shell.html winscript.html wrapper.html writingscripts.html x16044.html x16712.html x16834.html x21467.html x8885.html xrefindex.html zeros.html ) # Default option. # Empty input (hitting RETURN) fits here, too. echo echo "Not yet in database." ;; esac tput sgr0 # Reset colors to "normal." echo exit 0

Example 33-12. Drawing a box

#!/bin/bash # Draw-box.sh: Drawing a box using ASCII characters. # Script by Stefano Palmeri, with minor editing by document author. # Minor edits suggested by Jim Angstadt. # Used in the "ABS Guide" with permission. ###################################################################### ### draw_box function doc ### # The "draw_box" function lets the user #+ draw a box into a terminal. # # Usage: draw_box ROW COLUMN HEIGHT WIDTH [COLOR] # ROW and COLUMN represent the position #+ of the upper left angle of the box you're going to draw. # ROW and COLUMN must be greater than 0 #+ and less than current terminal dimension. # HEIGHT is the number of rows of the box, and must be > 0. # HEIGHT + ROW must be <= than current terminal height. # WIDTH is the number of columns of the box and must be > 0. # WIDTH + COLUMN must be <= than current terminal width. # # E.g.: If your terminal dimension is 20x80, # draw_box 2 3 10 45 is good # draw_box 2 3 19 45 has bad HEIGHT value (19+2 > 20) # draw_box 2 3 18 78 has bad WIDTH value (78+3 > 80) # # COLOR is the color of the box frame. # This is the 5th argument and is optional. # 0=black 1=red 2=green 3=tan 4=blue 5=purple 6=cyan 7=white. # If you pass the function bad arguments, #+ it will just exit with code 65, #+ and no messages will be printed on stderr. # # Clear the terminal before you start to draw a box. # The clear command is not contained within the function. # This allows the user to draw multiple boxes, even overlapping ones. ### end of draw_box function doc ### ###################################################################### draw_box(){ #=============# HORZ="-" VERT="|" CORNER_CHAR="+" MINARGS=4 E_BADARGS=65 #=============# if [ $# -lt "$MINARGS" ]; then # If args are less than 4, exit. exit $E_BADARGS fi # Looking for non digit chars in arguments. # Probably it could be done better (exercise for the reader?). if echo $@ | tr -d [:blank:] | tr -d [:digit:] | grep . &> /dev/null; then exit $E_BADARGS fi BOX_HEIGHT=`expr $3 - 1` # -1 correction needed because angle char "+" is BOX_WIDTH=`expr $4 - 1` #+ a part of both box height and width. T_ROWS=`tput lines` # Define current terminal dimension T_COLS=`tput cols` #+ in rows and columns. if [ $1 -lt 1 ] || [ $1 -gt $T_ROWS ]; then # Start checking if arguments exit $E_BADARGS #+ are correct. fi if [ $2 -lt 1 ] || [ $2 -gt $T_COLS ]; then exit $E_BADARGS fi if [ `expr $1 + $BOX_HEIGHT + 1` -gt $T_ROWS ]; then exit $E_BADARGS fi if [ `expr $2 + $BOX_WIDTH + 1` -gt $T_COLS ]; then exit $E_BADARGS fi if [ $3 -lt 1 ] || [ $4 -lt 1 ]; then exit $E_BADARGS fi # End checking arguments. plot_char(){ # Function within a function. echo -e "\E[${1};${2}H"$3 } echo -ne "\E[3${5}m" # Set box frame color, if defined. # start drawing the box count=1 # Draw vertical lines using for (( r=$1; count<=$BOX_HEIGHT; r++)); do #+ plot_char function. plot_char $r $2 $VERT let count=count+1 done count=1 c=`expr $2 + $BOX_WIDTH` for (( r=$1; count<=$BOX_HEIGHT; r++)); do plot_char $r $c $VERT let count=count+1 done count=1 # Draw horizontal lines using for (( c=$2; count<=$BOX_WIDTH; c++)); do #+ plot_char function. plot_char $1 $c $HORZ let count=count+1 done count=1 r=`expr $1 + $BOX_HEIGHT` for (( c=$2; count<=$BOX_WIDTH; c++)); do plot_char $r $c $HORZ let count=count+1 done plot_char $1 $2 $CORNER_CHAR # Draw box angles. plot_char $1 `expr $2 + $BOX_WIDTH` $CORNER_CHAR plot_char `expr $1 + $BOX_HEIGHT` $2 $CORNER_CHAR plot_char `expr $1 + $BOX_HEIGHT` `expr $2 + $BOX_WIDTH` $CORNER_CHAR echo -ne "\E[0m" # Restore old colors. P_ROWS=`expr $T_ROWS - 1` # Put the prompt at bottom of the terminal. echo -e "\E[${P_ROWS};1H" } # Now, let's try drawing a box. clear # Clear the terminal. R=2 # Row C=3 # Column H=10 # Height W=45 # Width col=1 # Color (red) draw_box $R $C $H $W $col # Draw the box. exit 0 # Exercise: # -------- # Add the option of printing text within the drawn box.

The simplest, and perhaps most useful ANSI escape sequence is bold text, \033[1m ... \033[0m. The \033 represents an escape, the "[1" turns on the bold attribute, while the "[0" switches it off. The "m" terminates each term of the escape sequence.
bash$ echo -e "\033[1mThis is bold text.\033[0m" 

A similar escape sequence switches on the underline attribute (on an rxvt and an aterm).
bash$ echo -e "\033[4mThis is underlined text.\033[0m" 

Note

With an echo, the -e option enables the escape sequences.

Other escape sequences change the text and/or background color.

bash$ echo -e '\E[34;47mThis prints in blue.'; tput sgr0 bash$ echo -e '\E[33;44m'"yellow text on blue background"; tput sgr0 bash$ echo -e '\E[1;33;44m'"BOLD yellow text on blue background"; tput sgr0 

Note

It's usually advisable to set the bold attribute for light-colored foreground text.

The tput sgr0 restores the terminal settings to normal. Omitting this lets all subsequent output from that particular terminal remain blue.

Note

Since tput sgr0 fails to restore terminal settings under certain circumstances, echo -ne \E[0m may be a better choice.

The numbers in the following table work for an rxvt terminal. Results may vary for other terminal emulators.

Table 33-2. Numbers representing colors in Escape Sequences

ColorForegroundBackground
black3040
red3141
green3242
yellow3343
blue3444
magenta3545
cyan3646
white3747

Example 33-13. Echoing colored text

#!/bin/bash # color-echo.sh: Echoing text messages in color. # Modify this script for your own purposes. # It's easier than hand-coding color. black='\E[30;47m' red='\E[31;47m' green='\E[32;47m' yellow='\E[33;47m' blue='\E[34;47m' magenta='\E[35;47m' cyan='\E[36;47m' white='\E[37;47m' alias Reset="tput sgr0" # Reset text attributes to normal #+ without clearing screen. cecho () # Color-echo. # Argument $1 = message # Argument $2 = color { local default_msg="No message passed." # Doesn't really need to be a local variable. message=${1:-$default_msg} # Defaults to default message. color=${2:-$black} # Defaults to black, if not specified. echo -e "$color" echo "$message" Reset # Reset to normal. return } # Now, let's try it out. # ---------------------------------------------------- cecho "Feeling blue..." $blue cecho "Magenta looks more like purple." $magenta cecho "Green with envy." $green cecho "Seeing red?" $red cecho "Cyan, more familiarly known as aqua." $cyan cecho "No color passed (defaults to black)." # Missing $color argument. cecho "\"Empty\" color passed (defaults to black)." "" # Empty $color argument. cecho # Missing $message and $color arguments. cecho "" "" # Empty $message and $color arguments. # ---------------------------------------------------- echo exit 0 # Exercises: # --------- # 1) Add the "bold" attribute to the 'cecho ()' function. # 2) Add options for colored backgrounds.

Example 33-14. A "horserace" game

#!/bin/bash # horserace.sh: Very simple horserace simulation. # Author: Stefano Palmeri # Used with permission. ################################################################ # Goals of the script: # playing with escape sequences and terminal colors. # # Exercise: # Edit the script to make it run less randomly, #+ set up a fake betting shop . . . # Um . . . um . . . it's starting to remind me of a movie . . . # # The script gives each horse a random handicap. # The odds are calculated upon horse handicap #+ and are expressed in European(?) style. # E.g., odds=3.75 means that if you bet $1 and win, #+ you receive $3.75. # # The script has been tested with a GNU/Linux OS, #+ using xterm and rxvt, and konsole. # On a machine with an AMD 900 MHz processor, #+ the average race time is 75 seconds. # On faster computers the race time would be lower. # So, if you want more suspense, reset the USLEEP_ARG variable. # # Script by Stefano Palmeri. ################################################################ E_RUNERR=65 # Check if md5sum and bc are installed. if ! which bc &> /dev/null; then echo bc is not installed. echo "Can\'t run . . . " exit $E_RUNERR fi if ! which md5sum &> /dev/null; then echo md5sum is not installed. echo "Can\'t run . . . " exit $E_RUNERR fi # Set the following variable to slow down script execution. # It will be passed as the argument for usleep (man usleep) #+ and is expressed in microseconds (500000 = half a second). USLEEP_ARG=0 # Clean up the temp directory, restore terminal cursor and #+ terminal colors -- if script interrupted by Ctl-C. trap 'echo -en "\E[?25h"; echo -en "\E[0m"; stty echo;\ tput cup 20 0; rm -fr $HORSE_RACE_TMP_DIR' TERM EXIT # See the chapter on debugging for an explanation of 'trap.' # Set a unique (paranoid) name for the temp directory the script needs. HORSE_RACE_TMP_DIR=$HOME/.horserace-`date +%s`-`head -c10 /dev/urandom \ | md5sum | head -c30` # Create the temp directory and move right in. mkdir $HORSE_RACE_TMP_DIR cd $HORSE_RACE_TMP_DIR # This function moves the cursor to line $1 column $2 and then prints $3. # E.g.: "move_and_echo 5 10 linux" is equivalent to #+ "tput cup 4 9; echo linux", but with one command instead of two. # Note: "tput cup" defines 0 0 the upper left angle of the terminal, #+ echo defines 1 1 the upper left angle of the terminal. move_and_echo() { echo -ne "\E[${1};${2}H""$3" } # Function to generate a pseudo-random number between 1 and 9. random_1_9 () { head -c10 /dev/urandom | md5sum | tr -d [a-z] | tr -d 0 | cut -c1 } # Two functions that simulate "movement," when drawing the horses. draw_horse_one() { echo -n " "//$MOVE_HORSE// } draw_horse_two(){ echo -n " "\\\\$MOVE_HORSE\\\\ } # Define current terminal dimension. N_COLS=`tput cols` N_LINES=`tput lines` # Need at least a 20-LINES X 80-COLUMNS terminal. Check it. if [ $N_COLS -lt 80 ] || [ $N_LINES -lt 20 ]; then echo "`basename $0` needs a 80-cols X 20-lines terminal." echo "Your terminal is ${N_COLS}-cols X ${N_LINES}-lines." exit $E_RUNERR fi # Start drawing the race field. # Need a string of 80 chars. See below. BLANK80=`seq -s "" 100 | head -c80` clear # Set foreground and background colors to white. echo -ne '\E[37;47m' # Move the cursor on the upper left angle of the terminal. tput cup 0 0 # Draw six white lines. for n in `seq 5`; do echo $BLANK80 # Use the 80 chars string to colorize the terminal. done # Sets foreground color to black. echo -ne '\E[30m' move_and_echo 3 1 "START 1" move_and_echo 3 75 FINISH move_and_echo 1 5 "|" move_and_echo 1 80 "|" move_and_echo 2 5 "|" move_and_echo 2 80 "|" move_and_echo 4 5 "| 2" move_and_echo 4 80 "|" move_and_echo 5 5 "V 3" move_and_echo 5 80 "V" # Set foreground color to red. echo -ne '\E[31m' # Some ASCII art. move_and_echo 1 8 "..@@@..@@@@@...@@@@@.@...@..@@@@..." move_and_echo 2 8 ".@...@...@.......@...@...@.@......." move_and_echo 3 8 ".@@@@@...@.......@...@@@@@.@@@@...." move_and_echo 4 8 ".@...@...@.......@...@...@.@......." move_and_echo 5 8 ".@...@...@.......@...@...@..@@@@..." move_and_echo 1 43 "@@@@...@@@...@@@@..@@@@..@@@@." move_and_echo 2 43 "@...@.@...@.@.....@.....@....." move_and_echo 3 43 "@@@@..@@@@@.@.....@@@@...@@@.." move_and_echo 4 43 "@..@..@...@.@.....@.........@." move_and_echo 5 43 "@...@.@...@..@@@@..@@@@.@@@@.." # Set foreground and background colors to green. echo -ne '\E[32;42m' # Draw eleven green lines. tput cup 5 0 for n in `seq 11`; do echo $BLANK80 done # Set foreground color to black. echo -ne '\E[30m' tput cup 5 0 # Draw the fences. echo "++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++\ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++" tput cup 15 0 echo "++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++\ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++" # Set foreground and background colors to white. echo -ne '\E[37;47m' # Draw three white lines. for n in `seq 3`; do echo $BLANK80 done # Set foreground color to black. echo -ne '\E[30m' # Create 9 files to stores handicaps. for n in `seq 10 7 68`; do touch $n done # Set the first type of "horse" the script will draw. HORSE_TYPE=2 # Create position-file and odds-file for every "horse". #+ In these files, store the current position of the horse, #+ the type and the odds. for HN in `seq 9`; do touch horse_${HN}_position touch odds_${HN} echo \-1 > horse_${HN}_position echo $HORSE_TYPE >> horse_${HN}_position # Define a random handicap for horse. HANDICAP=`random_1_9` # Check if the random_1_9 function returned a good value. while ! echo $HANDICAP | grep [1-9] &> /dev/null; do HANDICAP=`random_1_9` done # Define last handicap position for horse. LHP=`expr $HANDICAP \* 7 + 3` for FILE in `seq 10 7 $LHP`; do echo $HN >> $FILE done # Calculate odds. case $HANDICAP in 1) ODDS=`echo $HANDICAP \* 0.25 + 1.25 | bc` echo $ODDS > odds_${HN} ;; 2 | 3) ODDS=`echo $HANDICAP \* 0.40 + 1.25 | bc` echo $ODDS > odds_${HN} ;; 4 | 5 | 6) ODDS=`echo $HANDICAP \* 0.55 + 1.25 | bc` echo $ODDS > odds_${HN} ;; 7 | 8) ODDS=`echo $HANDICAP \* 0.75 + 1.25 | bc` echo $ODDS > odds_${HN} ;; 9) ODDS=`echo $HANDICAP \* 0.90 + 1.25 | bc` echo $ODDS > odds_${HN} esac done # Print odds. print_odds() { tput cup 6 0 echo -ne '\E[30;42m' for HN in `seq 9`; do echo "#$HN odds->" `cat odds_${HN}` done } # Draw the horses at starting line. draw_horses() { tput cup 6 0 echo -ne '\E[30;42m' for HN in `seq 9`; do echo /\\$HN/\\" " done } print_odds echo -ne '\E[47m' # Wait for a enter key press to start the race. # The escape sequence '\E[?25l' disables the cursor. tput cup 17 0 echo -e '\E[?25l'Press [enter] key to start the race... read -s # Disable normal echoing in the terminal. # This avoids key presses that might "contaminate" the screen #+ during the race. stty -echo # -------------------------------------------------------- # Start the race. draw_horses echo -ne '\E[37;47m' move_and_echo 18 1 $BLANK80 echo -ne '\E[30m' move_and_echo 18 1 Starting... sleep 1 # Set the column of the finish line. WINNING_POS=74 # Define the time the race started. START_TIME=`date +%s` # COL variable needed by following "while" construct. COL=0 while [ $COL -lt $WINNING_POS ]; do MOVE_HORSE=0 # Check if the random_1_9 function has returned a good value. while ! echo $MOVE_HORSE | grep [1-9] &> /dev/null; do MOVE_HORSE=`random_1_9` done # Define old type and position of the "randomized horse". HORSE_TYPE=`cat horse_${MOVE_HORSE}_position | tail -n 1` COL=$(expr `cat horse_${MOVE_HORSE}_position | head -n 1`) ADD_POS=1 # Check if the current position is an handicap position. if seq 10 7 68 | grep -w $COL &> /dev/null; then if grep -w $MOVE_HORSE $COL &> /dev/null; then ADD_POS=0 grep -v -w $MOVE_HORSE $COL > ${COL}_new rm -f $COL mv -f ${COL}_new $COL else ADD_POS=1 fi else ADD_POS=1 fi COL=`expr $COL + $ADD_POS` echo $COL > horse_${MOVE_HORSE}_position # Store new position. # Choose the type of horse to draw. case $HORSE_TYPE in 1) HORSE_TYPE=2; DRAW_HORSE=draw_horse_two ;; 2) HORSE_TYPE=1; DRAW_HORSE=draw_horse_one esac echo $HORSE_TYPE >> horse_${MOVE_HORSE}_position # Store current type. # Set foreground color to black and background to green. echo -ne '\E[30;42m' # Move the cursor to new horse position. tput cup `expr $MOVE_HORSE + 5` \ `cat horse_${MOVE_HORSE}_position | head -n 1` # Draw the horse. $DRAW_HORSE usleep $USLEEP_ARG # When all horses have gone beyond field line 15, reprint odds. touch fieldline15 if [ $COL = 15 ]; then echo $MOVE_HORSE >> fieldline15 fi if [ `wc -l fieldline15 | cut -f1 -d " "` = 9 ]; then print_odds : > fieldline15 fi # Define the leading horse. HIGHEST_POS=`cat *position | sort -n | tail -1` # Set background color to white. echo -ne '\E[47m' tput cup 17 0 echo -n Current leader: `grep -w $HIGHEST_POS *position | cut -c7`\ " " done # Define the time the race finished. FINISH_TIME=`date +%s` # Set background color to green and enable blinking text. echo -ne '\E[30;42m' echo -en '\E[5m' # Make the winning horse blink. tput cup `expr $MOVE_HORSE + 5` \ `cat horse_${MOVE_HORSE}_position | head -n 1` $DRAW_HORSE # Disable blinking text. echo -en '\E[25m' # Set foreground and background color to white. echo -ne '\E[37;47m' move_and_echo 18 1 $BLANK80 # Set foreground color to black. echo -ne '\E[30m' # Make winner blink. tput cup 17 0 echo -e "\E[5mWINNER: $MOVE_HORSE\E[25m"" Odds: `cat odds_${MOVE_HORSE}`"\ " Race time: `expr $FINISH_TIME - $START_TIME` secs" # Restore cursor and old colors. echo -en "\E[?25h" echo -en "\E[0m" # Restore echoing. stty echo # Remove race temp directory. rm -rf $HORSE_RACE_TMP_DIR tput cup 19 0 exit 0

See also Example A-23, Example A-45, and Example A-42.

Caution

There is, however, a major problem with all this. ANSI escape sequences are emphatically non-portable. What works fine on some terminal emulators (or the console) may work differently, or not at all, on others. A "colorized" script that looks stunning on the script author's machine may produce unreadable output on someone else's. This greatly compromises the usefulness of "colorizing" scripts, and possibly relegates this technique to the status of a gimmick or even a "toy".

Moshe Jacobson's color utility (http://runslinux.net/projects.html#color) considerably simplifies using ANSI escape sequences. It substitutes a clean and logical syntax for the clumsy constructs just discussed.

Henry/teikedvl has likewise created a utility (http://scriptechocolor.sourceforge.net/) to simplify creation of colorized scripts.

Notes

[1]

ANSI is, of course, the acronym for the American National Standards Institute. This august body establishes and maintains various technical and industrial standards.