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The tiniest and the fastest library for terminal output formatting with ANSI colors.

import pc from "picocolors"

console.log(`How are ${pc.italic(`you`)} doing?`)
  • No dependencies.
  • 14 times smaller and 2 times faster than chalk.
  • Used by popular tools like PostCSS, SVGO, Stylelint, and Browserslist.
  • Node.js v6+ & browsers support. Support for both CJS and ESM projects.
  • TypeScript type declarations included.
  • NO_COLOR friendly.


With picocolors we are trying to draw attention to the node_modules size problem and promote performance-first culture.

Prior Art

Credits go to the following projects:


The space in node_modules including sub-dependencies:

$ node ./benchmarks/size.js
Data from
  chalk       101 kB
  cli-color  1249 kB
  ansi-colors  25 kB
  kleur        21 kB
  colorette    17 kB
  nanocolors   16 kB
+ picocolors    7 kB

Library loading time:

$ node ./benchmarks/loading.js
  chalk          6.167 ms
  cli-color     31.431 ms
  ansi-colors    1.585 ms
  kleur          2.008 ms
  kleur/colors   0.773 ms
  colorette      2.476 ms
  nanocolors     0.833 ms
+ picocolors     0.466 ms

Benchmark for simple use case:

$ node ./benchmarks/simple.js
  chalk         24,066,342 ops/sec
  cli-color        938,700 ops/sec
  ansi-colors    4,532,542 ops/sec
  kleur         20,343,122 ops/sec
  kleur/colors  35,415,770 ops/sec
  colorette     34,244,834 ops/sec
  nanocolors    33,443,265 ops/sec
+ picocolors    33,271,645 ops/sec

Benchmark for complex use cases:

$ node ./benchmarks/complex.js
  chalk            969,915 ops/sec
  cli-color        131,639 ops/sec
  ansi-colors      342,250 ops/sec
  kleur            611,880 ops/sec
  kleur/colors   1,129,526 ops/sec
  colorette      1,747,277 ops/sec
  nanocolors     1,251,312 ops/sec
+ picocolors     2,024,086 ops/sec


Picocolors provides an object which includes a variety of text coloring and formatting functions

import pc from "picocolors"

The object includes following coloring functions: black, red, green, yellow, blue, magenta, cyan, white, gray.

console.log(`I see a ${"red door")} and I want it painted ${"black")}`)

The object also includes following background color modifier functions: bgBlack, bgRed, bgGreen, bgYellow, bgBlue, bgMagenta, bgCyan, bgWhite.

    pc.white(`Tom appeared on the sidewalk with a bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush.`)

Besides colors, the object includes following formatting functions: dim, bold, hidden, italic, underline, strikethrough, reset, inverse.

for (let task of tasks) {
  console.log(`${pc.bold(} ${pc.dim(task.durationMs + "ms")}`)

The library provides additional utilities to ensure the best results for the task:

  • isColorSupported — boolean, explicitly tells whether or not the colors or formatting appear on the screen

    import pc from "picocolors"
    if (pc.isColorSupported) {
      console.log("Yay! This script can use colors and formatters")
  • createColors(enabled) — a function that returns a new API object with manually defined color support configuration

    import pc from "picocolors"
    let { red, bgWhite } = pc.createColors(options.enableColors)

Replacing chalk

  1. Replace package name in import:

    - import chalk from 'chalk'
    + import pico from 'picocolors'
  2. Replace variable:

  3. Replace chains to nested calls:

  4. You can use colorize-template to replace chalk’s tagged template literal.

    + import { createColorize } from 'colorize-template'
    + let colorize = createColorize(pico)
    -`full {yellow ${"text"}}`
    + colorize`{red.bold full {yellow ${"text"}}}`