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Powershell ANSI Escape Sequences

This MIT Licensed cross-platform binary module contains classes and functions for doing ANSI colored output, named entities, and more in the console from .NET and PowerShell on platforms where they are supported: Windows 10, Linux, OS X, etc.

I ♥ PS> function prompt { "I $(New-Text "♥" -fg "DarkRed") PS> " }

The goal of this project was to experiment with some classes and interfaces to address PowerShell #2381 and give PowerShell full RGB support for Write-Host, but also provide full color support in format files, etc. Along the way, I've incorporated a whole library worth of color space theory to make comparing colors and generating gradients and complementary colors easy.


For terminal output, you require an ANSI-capable host like xTerm, Windows Terminal, ConEmu (Cmder), or PowerShell or Cmd on Windows 10.

For PowerShell support, you need PowerShell 5.x or higher. You can install it from the gallery:

Install-Module Pansies -AllowClobber

For .NET Projects, you can find PANSIES on NuGet. Install with:

dotnet add reference PANSIES

If you have troubles, please file issues:

Building from source.

Compiling Pansies requires the .NET Command Line Tools (v2.0.2 or newer) and my Configuration module.

There is one submodule being used (my personally modified version version of beefarino/p2f), but it's very simple to get everything and compile.

With those dependencies preinstalled and on your path, you can just:

git clone --recursive
cd Pansies

Note: Because I'm including p2f as a submodule, you may ocassionally need to update it with:

git submodule update --init --recursive

Currently Pansies provides five commands:

Cmdlet Description
New-Text Creates a Text object. Provides parameters for BackgroundColor and ForegroundColor properties, that renders in console
New-Hyperlink Takes a Uri and optional text and writes a hyperlink supported by most terminals
Write-Host Writes to host just like Write-Host, but with full RGBColor support and a -PersistentColor option
Get-Gradient Get a range of colors between two colors
Get-Complement Gets the Hue complement of a color

One key feature is that New-Text and Write-Host both support HTML named entities like ♥ and ½ or ü, and numerical unicode character entities in both decimal (e.g. Ξ) and hexadeximal (Ξ), so you can easily embed characters, and even color them, so to write out "I PS" with a red heart you can just:

"I $(Text "♥" -Fg Red) PS"

Pansies also provides a couple of important classes:

RgbColor is a powerful representation of RGB colors with support for parsing CSS style color strings "#RRGGBB" and XTerm indexes, as well as handling the ConsoleColor values PowerShell users are used to. In addition to that, it has conversions to other color spaces for the purpose of doing color math like generating palettes and gradients, etc. The ToString() implementation shows the properties, but there is an overload which takes a boolean for Background or Foreground and renders to ANSI escape sequences. It has built-in palette for XTerm, and a built-in ConsoleColor palette which (on Windows) sniffs the current console's current color configuration. It uses these palettes to automatically downsample RGB colors to the nearest match when it's necessary to render in those color spaces.

Text is a text class which contains BackgroundColor and ForegroundColor properties and a ToString() implementation based on VT escape sequences. It also supports HTML named enties like the ♥ example above.

There are also Palette classes which support the XTerm 256 color palette and the default ConsoleColor 16 color palette (which currently supports loading the actual palette of the console in Windows, but may therefore break off of Windows), with the ability to find the closest match to any RgbColor.

You can play with setting [PoshCode.Pansies.RgbColor]::ColorMode to change how the colors are down-sampled, and modify the actual palettes in [PoshCode.Pansies.RgbColor]::ConsolePalette and [PoshCode.Pansies.RgbColor]::XTermPalette


The end goal for this project is for the Color and Text classes (possibly without the color space conversions) to make it into the core PowerShell product, so what I'm most interested in here is any ideas people have for a better user experience for writing text and partially colored text, as well as other ANSI Virtual Terminal escape sequences.

For the sake of PowerShell 5, I intend to keep this module around, and features that don't belong in PowerShell core for awhile, and we'll even make some attempt to support older versions of PowerShell for Windows (running in ConEmu with ANSI support, or just downsampling everything to ConsoleColors).


Powershell ANSI Escape Sequences, functions for colored output, etc.








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