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pypm install colout

How to install colout

  1. Download and install ActivePython
  2. Open Command Prompt
  3. Type pypm install colout
 Python 2.7Python 3.2Python 3.3
Windows (32-bit)
Windows (64-bit)
Mac OS X (10.5+)
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Linux (32-bit)
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Linux (64-bit)
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Lastest release
version 0.1 on May 16th, 2013

System Message: WARNING/2 (<string>, line 2)

Title underline too short.


Colout is Color text streams with this simple commandinja 2 and good intentions. And before you ask: It's BSD licensed!


colout [-h][-e] [-g][-t] [-s][-l] PATTERN [COLOR(S)][STYLE(S)]


colout read lines of text stream on the standard input and output characters matching a given regular expression PATTERN in given and STYLE.

If groups are specified in the regular expression pattern, only them are taken into account, else the whole matching pattern is colored.

You can specify severall colors or styles when using groups by separating them with commas. If you indicate more colors than groups, the last ones will be ignored. If you ask for less colors, the last one will be duplicated across remaining groups.

Available colors are: blue, black, yellow, cyan, green, magenta, white, red, rainbow, random, Random, scale, none or any number between 0 and 255.

Available styles are: normal, bold, faint, italic, underline, blink, rapid_blink, reverse, conceal or random.

Random will color each matching pattern with a random color among the 255 available in the ANSI table. random will do the same in 8 colors mode.

rainbow` will cycle over a 8 colors rainbow at each matching pattern.

scale will parse the matching text as a decimal number and apply the rainbow colormap according to its position on a scale defined by the -l option (see below, [0-100] by default).

When not specified, a COLOR defaults to red and a STYLE defaults to bold.

colout comes with some predefined themes to rapidely color well-known outputs (see the -t switch below).

If the python-pygments library is available, colout can be used as an interface to it (see also the -s switch below).

colout is released under the GNU Public License v3.


  • -h, --help: Show an help message and exit
  • -g, --groups: For color maps (like "rainbow"), iterate over matching groups in the pattern instead of over patterns.
  • -c, --colormap: Use the given list of comma-separated colors as a colormap (cycle the colors at each match).
  • -l, --scale: When using the 'scale' colormap, parse matches as decimal numbers (taking your locale into account) and apply the rainbow colormap linearly between the given SCALE=min,max (SCALE=0,100, by default).
  • -a, --all: Color the whole input at once instead of line per line (really useful for coloring a source code file with strings on multiple lines).
  • -t, --theme: Interpret PATTERN as a predefined theme (perm, cmake, g++, etc.)
  • -s, --source: Interpret PATTERN as a source code readable by the Pygments library. If the first letter of PATTERN is upper case, use the 256 colors mode, if it is lower case, use the 8 colors mode. In 256 colors, interpret COLOR as a Pygments style (e.g. "default").


A regular expression (or regex) is a pattern that describes a set of strings that matches it.

colout understands regex as specifed in the re python module. Given that colout is generally called by the command line, you may have to escape special characters that would be recognize by your shell.


Recommended packages :

  • argparse for a usable arguments parsing
  • pygments for the source code syntax coloring
  • babel for a locale-aware number parsing


  • Color in bold red every occurence of the word color in colout sources: cat colout.py | colout color red bold
  • Color in bold violet home directories in /etc/passwd: colout '/home/[a-z]+' 135 < /etc/passwd
  • Use a different color for each line of the auth log grep user /var/log/auth.log | colout "^.*$" rainbow
  • Color in yellow user/groups id, in bold green name and in bold red home directories in /etc/passwd: colout ':x:([0-9]+:[0-9]+):([^:]+).*(/home/[a-z]+)' yellow,green,red normal,bold < /etc/passwd
  • Color in yellow file permissions with read rights for everyone: ls -l | colout '.(r.-){3}' yellow normal
  • Color in green read permission, in bold red write and execution ones: ls -l | colout '(r)(w*)(x*)' green,red normal,bold
  • Color permissions with a predefined template: ls -l | colout -t perm
  • Color in green comments in colout sources: colout '.*(#.*)$' green normal < colout.py
  • Color permissions with a predefined template: ls -l | colout -t perm
  • Color in green comments in colout sources: colout '.*(#.*)$' green normal < colout.py
  • Color in light green comments in non-empty colout sources, with the sharp in bold green: grep -v '^\s*$' colout.py | colout '.*(#)(.*)$' green,119 bold,normal
  • Color in bold green every numbers and in bold red the words error in make output: make 2>&1 | colout '[0-9]+' green normal | colout error
  • Color a make output, line numbers in yellow, errors in bold red, warning in magenta, pragma in green and C++ file base names in cyan: make 2>&1 | colout ':([0-9]+):[0-9]*' yellow normal | colout error | colout warning magenta | colout pragma green normal | colout '/(\w+)*\.(h|cpp)' cyan normal Or using themes: make 2>&³ | colout -t cmake | colout -t g++
  • Color each word in the head of auth.log with a rainbow color map, starting a new colormap at each new line (the begining of the command is just bash magic to repeat the string "(\w+)\W+": L=$(seq 10) ; P=${L//??/(\\w+)\\W+} ; head /var/log/auth.log | colout -g "^${P}(.*)$" rainbow
  • Color each line of a file with a different color among a 256 color gradient from cyan to green: head /var/log/auth.log | colout -c "^.*$" 39,38,37,36,35,34
  • Color a source code in 8 colors mode, without seeing comments: cat colout.py | grep -v "#" | colout -s python
  • Color a source code in 256 colors mode: cat colout.py | colout -s Python monokai
  • Color a JSON stream: echo '{"foo": "lorem", "bar":"ipsum"}' | python -mjson.tool | colout -t json
  • Color a source code substring: echo "There is an error in 'static void Functor::operator()( EOT& indiv ) { return indiv; }' you should fix it" | colout "'(.*)'" Cpp monokai

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Last updated May 16th, 2013

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