Color Printf's

Posted on 1998-05-01
Last Modified: 2013-12-14
I would like change the color of several printf statements in a VC++ console app. For example, I would like to have certain strings printed to the user display in
a red color to better distinguish them. Could someone provide an example or point me in the direction of how to
do this?
Question by:vd
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Expert Comment

ID: 1256743
The function _textcolor is used to specify color number.
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Expert Comment

ID: 1256744
There is no such function in MSVC 4.2.  I think is is probably a 16 bit function.
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Expert Comment

ID: 1256745
Yes, it is for 16-bit. Only the 32-bit version you need?
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Expert Comment

ID: 1256746
A "console app" implies Win32.  There was no concept of consoles in Win3.x, only DOS mode applications.

Author Comment

ID: 1256747
No, there doesn't appear to be a _textcolor function!
BBAO/ALEXO:  Yes, it's a Win32 Console App (MS VC++ 4)

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Accepted Solution

RONSLOW earned 80 total points
ID: 1256748
Console can have text background and foreground colours
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Expert Comment

ID: 1256749
SetConsoleTextAttribute sets the foreground and background colours for console output.  You can use combinations of FOREGROUND_BLUE, FOREGROUND_GREEN, FOREGROUND_RED, FOREGROUND_INTENSITY, BACKGROUND_BLUE, BACKGROUND_GREEN, BACKGROUND_RED, and BACKGROUND_INTENSITY

Write to the console using WriteConsole (printf probably works as well).

You can set up screen buffers which can by scrolled around in the window.  You can directly draw colours and/or characters in rectangular block .. have multiple screen buffer etc. It is quite powerful really.


Author Comment

ID: 1256750
Could you show me how to use WriteConsole(), particularly with
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Expert Comment

ID: 1256751
Let me just look it up in my little black book :-)

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Expert Comment

ID: 1256752
Look at the "Console" SDK sample

here is a snippet...

  /* set attributes for new writes to the console */
  SetConsoleTextAttribute(hConsole, BACKGROUND_BLUE | FOREGROUND_WHITE);
  /* clear screen to newly set color attribute */
  /* source code for cls is in console sample */
  coordScreen.X = 0;
  coordScreen.Y = 0;
  SetConsoleCursorPosition(hConsole, coordScreen);
  sprintf(szTemps, "%-3d%s", i + 1, conAPIs[i]);
  myPuts(hConsole, szTemps);
  /* source code for myPuts is in console sample */
  /* it calls WriteConsole */
  /* color the number yellow on blue */
  FillConsoleOutputAttribute(hConsole, FOREGROUND_YELLOW | FOREGROUND_INTENSITY | BACKGROUND_BLUE, 3, coordScreen, &cCharsWritten);
  coordScreen.X = 3;
  /* color text light cyan on blue */
  FillConsoleOutputAttribute(hConsole, FOREGROUND_CYAN | FOREGROUND_INTENSITY | BACKGROUND_BLUE, strlen(conAPIs[i]), coordScreen, &cCharsWritten);

myPuts is:

BOOL myPuts(HANDLE hConsole, PCHAR s) {
  BOOL bSuccess;
  DWORD cCharsWritten;
  const PCHAR crlf = "\n";
  BOOL retflag = TRUE;  
  /* write the string to the console */
  bSuccess = WriteConsole(hConsole, s, strlen(s), &cCharsWritten, NULL);
  retflag = bSuccess;
  /* put a carriage return & line feed after the string */
  bSuccess = WriteConsole(hConsole, crlf, strlen(crlf), &cCharsWritten, NULL);
  if (!bSuccess) retflag = FALSE;

and cls is

void cls(HANDLE hConsole) {
  COORD coordScreen = { 0, 0 };
  BOOL bSuccess;
  DWORD cCharsWritten;
  DWORD dwConSize;
  GetConsoleScreenBufferInfo(hConsole, &csbi);
  dwConSize = csbi.dwSize.X * csbi.dwSize.Y;
  FillConsoleOutputCharacter(hConsole, (TCHAR) ' ', dwConSize, coordScreen, &cCharsWritten);
  GetConsoleScreenBufferInfo(hConsole, &csbi);
  FillConsoleOutputAttribute(hConsole, csbi.wAttributes, dwConSize, coordScreen, &cCharsWritten);
  SetConsoleCursorPosition(hConsole, coordScreen);

See the Console sample and on-line help for more details.


Author Comment

ID: 1256753

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