Colorize R output in terminal emulators
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Latest commit cc5fbfa Jun 9, 2018


colorout is an R package that colorizes R output when running in a Unix (e.g. Linux and OS X) terminal emulator; it does not work on Microsoft Windows. The relevant code is written in C and, thus, it runs very quickly and you should not note any slowdown in R output.

R's stdout is parsed and numbers, negative numbers, dates in the standard format, strings, indices, and R constants are identified and wrapped by special ansi escape codes that are interpreted by terminal emulators as commands to colorize the output.

R's stderr is also parsed to identify the expressions "warning" and "error" and their translations to many languages. If these expressions are found, the output is colorized accordingly; otherwise, it is colorized as "stderror" (magenta, by default).


You can customize the colors according to your preference, guided by the color table made by the command show256Colors(). You can also set the colors to any arbitrary string. In this case, it is up to you to set valid values.


You can install the package by running the following commands in a terminal emulator:

git clone
R CMD INSTALL colorout

Some people prefer to use devtools to install packages from github.

NOTE: The package cannot be on CRAN because it changes code already loaded by R and this is prohibited by the CRAN Repository Policy. The package replaces the functions that output results and messages to R Console, and this is necessary because we cannot colorize the output without replacing these functions.

Previous Versions:

Recently released versions are available at and older versions are at