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Terminal string styling done right

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See what's new in Chalk 2



$ npm install chalk


const chalk = require('chalk');
console.log('Hello world!'));

Chalk comes with an easy to use composable API where you just chain and nest the styles you want.

const chalk = require('chalk');
const log = console.log;
// Combine styled and normal strings 
log('Hello') + 'World' +'!'));
// Compose multiple styles using the chainable API 
log('Hello world!'));
// Pass in multiple arguments 
log('Hello', 'World!', 'Foo', 'bar', 'biz', 'baz'));
// Nest styles 
log('Hello', chalk.underline.bgBlue('world') + '!'));
// Nest styles of the same type even (color, underline, background) 
    'I am a green line ' +'with a blue substring') +
    ' that becomes green again!'
// ES2015 template literal 
CPU: ${'90%')}
RAM: ${'40%')}
DISK: ${chalk.yellow('70%')}
// ES2015 tagged template literal 
CPU: {red ${cpu.totalPercent}%}
RAM: {green ${ram.used / * 100}%}
DISK: {rgb(255,131,0) ${disk.used / * 100}%}
// Use RGB colors in terminal emulators that support it. 
log(chalk.keyword('orange')('Yay for orange colored text!'));
log(chalk.rgb(123, 45, 67).underline('Underlined reddish color'));
log(chalk.hex('#DEADED').bold('Bold gray!'));

Easily define your own themes:

const chalk = require('chalk');
const error =;
const warning = chalk.keyword('orange');

Take advantage of console.log string substitution:

const name = 'Sindre';
console.log('Hello %s'), name);
//=> 'Hello Sindre' 


chalk.<style>[.<style>...](string, [string...])

Example:'Hello', 'world');

Chain styles and call the last one as a method with a string argument. Order doesn't matter, and later styles take precedent in case of a conflict. This simply means that is equivalent to

Multiple arguments will be separated by space.


Color support is automatically detected, as is the level (see chalk.level). However, if you'd like to simply enable/disable Chalk, you can do so via the .enabled property.

Chalk is enabled by default unless expicitly disabled via the constructor or chalk.level is 0.

If you need to change this in a reusable module, create a new instance:

const ctx = new chalk.constructor({enabled: false});


Color support is automatically detected, but you can override it by setting the level property. You should however only do this in your own code as it applies globally to all Chalk consumers.

If you need to change this in a reusable module, create a new instance:

const ctx = new chalk.constructor({level: 0});

Levels are as follows:

  1. All colors disabled
  2. Basic color support (16 colors)
  3. 256 color support
  4. Truecolor support (16 million colors)


Detect whether the terminal supports color. Used internally and handled for you, but exposed for convenience.

Can be overridden by the user with the flags --color and --no-color. For situations where using --color is not possible, add the environment variable FORCE_COLOR=1 to forcefully enable color or FORCE_COLOR=0 to forcefully disable. The use of FORCE_COLOR overrides all other color support checks.

Explicit 256/Truecolor mode can be enabled using the --color=256 and --color=16m flags, respectively.



  • reset
  • bold
  • dim
  • italic (Not widely supported)
  • underline
  • inverse
  • hidden
  • strikethrough (Not widely supported)


  • black
  • red
  • green
  • yellow
  • blue (On Windows the bright version is used since normal blue is illegible)
  • magenta
  • cyan
  • white
  • gray ("bright black")
  • redBright
  • greenBright
  • yellowBright
  • blueBright
  • magentaBright
  • cyanBright
  • whiteBright

Background colors

  • bgBlack
  • bgRed
  • bgGreen
  • bgYellow
  • bgBlue
  • bgMagenta
  • bgCyan
  • bgWhite
  • bgBlackBright
  • bgRedBright
  • bgGreenBright
  • bgYellowBright
  • bgBlueBright
  • bgMagentaBright
  • bgCyanBright
  • bgWhiteBright

Tagged template literal

Chalk can be used as a tagged template literal.

const chalk = require('chalk');
const miles = 18;
const calculateFeet = miles => miles * 5280;
  There are {bold 5280 feet} in a mile.
  In {bold ${miles} miles}, there are {green.bold ${calculateFeet(miles)} feet}.

Blocks are delimited by an opening curly brace ({), a style, some content, and a closing curly brace (}).

Template styles are chained exactly like normal Chalk styles. The following two statements are equivalent:

console.log(chalk.bold.rgb(10, 100, 200)('Hello!'));
console.log(chalk`{bold.rgb(10,100,200) Hello!}`);

Note that function styles (rgb(), hsl(), keyword(), etc.) may not contain spaces between parameters.

All interpolated values (chalk`${foo}`) are converted to strings via the .toString() method. All curly braces ({ and }) in interpolated value strings are escaped.

256 and Truecolor color support

Chalk supports 256 colors and Truecolor (16 million colors) on supported terminal apps.

Colors are downsampled from 16 million RGB values to an ANSI color format that is supported by the terminal emulator (or by specifying {level: n} as a Chalk option). For example, Chalk configured to run at level 1 (basic color support) will downsample an RGB value of #FF0000 (red) to 31 (ANSI escape for red).


  • chalk.hex('#DEADED').underline('Hello, world!')
  • chalk.keyword('orange')('Some orange text')
  • chalk.rgb(15, 100, 204).inverse('Hello!')

Background versions of these models are prefixed with bg and the first level of the module capitalized (e.g. keyword for foreground colors and bgKeyword for background colors).

  • chalk.bgHex('#DEADED').underline('Hello, world!')
  • chalk.bgKeyword('orange')('Some orange text')
  • chalk.bgRgb(15, 100, 204).inverse('Hello!')

The following color models can be used:

  • rgb - Example: chalk.rgb(255, 136, 0).bold('Orange!')
  • hex - Example: chalk.hex('#FF8800').bold('Orange!')
  • keyword (CSS keywords) - Example: chalk.keyword('orange').bold('Orange!')
  • hsl - Example: chalk.hsl(32, 100, 50).bold('Orange!')
  • hsv - Example: chalk.hsl(32, 1, 1).bold('Orange!')
  • hwb - Example: chalk.hsl(32, 0, 50).bold('Orange!')
  • ansi16
  • ansi256


If you're on Windows, do yourself a favor and use cmder instead of cmd.exe.

Origin story

colors.js used to be the most popular string styling module, but it has serious deficiencies like extending String.prototype which causes all kinds of problems and the package is unmaintained. Although there are other packages, they either do too much or not enough. Chalk is a clean and focused alternative.