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Colorizing output strings

I was curious on how to colorize output (as is done in colorize gem). So, here is a brief info of my findings.

Any colorized string in general looks like the below

  "\x1B[n1;n2….m<your text goes here>\x1B[0m"


  • \x1B is an escape identifier to mark the beginning of colored string
  • n1, n2, n3 are numbered options separated by semicolons. The important numbered options are
    • Color options
      • 30-37 foreground colors
      • 40-47 background colors
        • for eg:
          • 30 is foreground black, 40 is background black
          • 31 is foreground red, 41 is background red and so on..
        • Get the complete list here
    • Other Styling Options
      • 1 - bold
      • 4 - underline
      • 0 - default attributes
      • Get the entire list in SGR (Select Graphic Rendition) parameters section of the wiki.

So, any text that follows \x1B[0m will have default attributes set because of 0.

And to show you an example,

  puts \x1B[1;32;43;4m bold green on yellow\x1B[0mdefault text

results in

And just fyi, the same works with ‘printf’ on bash