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Feb 28, 2012 (last update: Mar 20, 2013)

Add color to your console window

Score: 4.0/5 (231 votes)
*****
This article is deprecated. It will probably work but it is not recommended to use it. Use the new version instead.

This code shows how to use WinAPI to color up console windows in Windows.

concol.h:
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#ifndef _EKU_CONCOL
#define _EKU_CONCOL

#ifndef _INC_WINDOWS
#include<windows.h>
#endif /*_INC_WINDOWS*/

bool textcolorprotect=true;
/*doesn't let textcolor be the same as backgroung color if true*/

enum concol
{
	black=0,
	dark_blue=1,
	dark_green=2,
	dark_aqua,dark_cyan=3,
	dark_red=4,
	dark_purple=5,dark_pink=5,dark_magenta=5,
	dark_yellow=6,
	dark_white=7,
	gray=8,
	blue=9,
	green=10,
	aqua=11,cyan=11,
	red=12,
	purple=13,pink=13,magenta=13,
	yellow=14,
	white=15
};

inline void setcolor(concol textcolor,concol backcolor);
inline void setcolor(int textcolor,int backcolor);
int textcolor();/*returns current text color*/
int backcolor();/*returns current background color*/

#define std_con_out GetStdHandle(STD_OUTPUT_HANDLE)

//-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

int textcolor()
{
	CONSOLE_SCREEN_BUFFER_INFO csbi;
	GetConsoleScreenBufferInfo(std_con_out,&csbi);
	int a=csbi.wAttributes;
	return a%16;
}

int backcolor()
{
	CONSOLE_SCREEN_BUFFER_INFO csbi;
	GetConsoleScreenBufferInfo(std_con_out,&csbi);
	int a=csbi.wAttributes;
	return (a/16)%16;
}

inline void setcolor(concol textcol,concol backcol)
{setcolor(int(textcol),int(backcol));}

inline void setcolor(int textcol,int backcol)
{
	if(textcolorprotect)
	{if((textcol%16)==(backcol%16))textcol++;}
	textcol%=16;backcol%=16;
	unsigned short wAttributes= ((unsigned)backcol<<4)|(unsigned)textcol;
	SetConsoleTextAttribute(std_con_out, wAttributes);
}

#if defined(_INC_OSTREAM)||defined(_IOSTREAM_)
ostream& operator<<(ostream& os,concol c)
{os.flush();setcolor(c,backcolor());return os;}
#endif

#if defined(_INC_ISTREAM)||defined(_IOSTREAM_)
istream& operator>>(istream& is,concol c)
{cout.flush();setcolor(c,backcolor());return is;}
#endif

#endif /*_EKU_CONCOL*/ 


For example, the following code

console.cpp:
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#include<iostream>
using namespace std;
#include"concol.h"

void main()
{
	char a[30];
	SetConsoleTitle("Color");
	concol b=concol(backcolor());
	cout<<red<<"Hello"<<endl;
	setcolor(red,yellow);
	cout<<"Hello2"<<endl;
	setcolor(cyan,b);
	cout<<"Hello3"<<endl;
	cout<<blue<<"Enter a word ";
	cin>>green>>a;
	cout<<pink<<"You entered "<<yellow<<a<<endl;
}


will give output



So now you can get rid of that black n white console and put in lively colors.

Caution: If you are using <iostream> as your means of IO, then you should include <iostream> and use namespace std before including "concol.h".

By Eklavya Sharma