R package for colored terminal output
R Rebol



Stylish terminal output in R

Project Status: Active - The project has reached a stable, usable state and is being actively developed. Linux Build Status Windows Build status CRAN RStudio mirror downloads Coverage Status

With crayon it is easy to add color to terminal output, create styles for notes, warnings, errors; and combine styles.

ANSI color support is automatically detected and used. Crayon was largely inspired by chalk.




Crayon defines several styles, that can be combined. Each style in the list has a corresponding function with the same name.

General styles

  • reset
  • bold
  • blurred (usually called dim, renamed to avoid name clash)
  • italic (not widely supported)
  • underline
  • inverse
  • hidden
  • strikethrough (not widely supported)

Text colors

  • black
  • red
  • green
  • yellow
  • blue
  • magenta
  • cyan
  • white
  • silver (usually called gray, renamed to avoid name clash)

Background colors

  • bgBlack
  • bgRed
  • bgGreen
  • bgYellow
  • bgBlue
  • bgMagenta
  • bgCyan
  • bgWhite

Screenshot on OSX


The styling functions take any number of character vectors as arguments, and they concatenate and style them:

cat(blue("Hello", "world!\n"))

Crayon defines the %+% string concatenation operator, to make it easy to assemble stings with different styles.

cat("... to highlight the " %+% red("search term") %+% " in a block of text\n")

Styles can be combined using the $ operator:

cat(yellow$bgMagenta$bold('Hello world!\n'))

Styles can also be nested, and then inner style takes precedence:

  'I am a green line ' %+%
  blue$underline$bold('with a blue substring') %+%
  ' that becomes green again!\n'

It is easy to define your own themes:

error <- red $ bold
warn <- magenta $ underline
note <- cyan
cat(error("Error: subscript out of bounds!\n"))
cat(warn("Warning: shorter argument was recycled.\n"))
cat(note("Note: no such directory.\n"))

256 colors

Most modern terminals support the ANSI standard for 256 colors, and you can define new styles that make use of them. The make_style function defines a new style. It can handle R's built in color names (see the output of colors()), and also RGB specifications, via the rbg() function. It automatically chooses the ANSI colors that are closest to the specified R and RGB colors, and it also has a fallback to terminals with 8 ANSI colors only.

ivory <- make_style("ivory")
bgMaroon <- make_style("maroon", bg = TRUE)
fancy <- combine_styles(ivory, bgMaroon)
cat(fancy("This will have some fancy colors"), "\n")


MIT @ Gábor Csárdi