Code Quality Rank: L4
Monthly Downloads: 0
Programming language: JavaScript
License: MIT License
Tags: Ansi     Log     Text     Logging     Command Line Utilities     String     Console     Str     Terminal     CLI     Color     Style     Tty     Command-line     Shell     Colors     Xterm     Formatting     Rgb     Styles     Colour    
Latest version: v4.1.0

chalk alternatives and similar modules

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Terminal string styling done right

Coverage Status npm dependents Downloads run on repl.it Support Chalk on DEV

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$ npm install chalk


import chalk from 'chalk';

console.log(chalk.blue('Hello world!'));

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

import chalk from 'chalk';

const log = console.log;

// Combine styled and normal strings
log(chalk.blue('Hello') + ' World' + chalk.red('!'));

// Compose multiple styles using the chainable API
log(chalk.blue.bgRed.bold('Hello world!'));

// Pass in multiple arguments
log(chalk.blue('Hello', 'World!', 'Foo', 'bar', 'biz', 'baz'));

// Nest styles
log(chalk.red('Hello', chalk.underline.bgBlue('world') + '!'));

// Nest styles of the same type even (color, underline, background)
    'I am a green line ' +
    chalk.blue.underline.bold('with a blue substring') +
    ' that becomes green again!'

// ES2015 template literal
CPU: ${chalk.red('90%')}
RAM: ${chalk.green('40%')}
DISK: ${chalk.yellow('70%')}

// ES2015 tagged template literal
CPU: {red ${cpu.totalPercent}%}
RAM: {green ${ram.used / ram.total * 100}%}
DISK: {rgb(255,131,0) ${disk.used / disk.total * 100}%}

// Use RGB colors in terminal emulators that support it.
log(chalk.rgb(123, 45, 67).underline('Underlined reddish color'));
log(chalk.hex('#DEADED').bold('Bold gray!'));

Easily define your own themes:

import chalk from 'chalk';

const error = chalk.bold.red;
const warning = chalk.hex('#FFA500'); // Orange color


Take advantage of console.log string substitution:

import chalk from 'chalk';

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


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

Example: chalk.red.bold.underline('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 chalk.red.yellow.green is equivalent to chalk.green.

Multiple arguments will be separated by space.


Specifies the level of color support.

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:

import {Chalk} from 'chalk';

const customChalk = new Chalk({level: 0});
Level Description
0 All colors disabled
1 Basic color support (16 colors)
2 256 color support
3 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, use the environment variable FORCE_COLOR=1 (level 1), FORCE_COLOR=2 (level 2), or FORCE_COLOR=3 (level 3) 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.

chalkStderr and supportsColorStderr

chalkStderr contains a separate instance configured with color support detected for stderr stream instead of stdout. Override rules from supportsColor apply to this too. supportsColorStderr is exposed for convenience.



  • reset - Resets the current color chain.
  • bold - Make text bold.
  • dim - Emitting only a small amount of light.
  • italic - Make text italic. (Not widely supported)
  • underline - Make text underline. (Not widely supported)
  • inverse- Inverse background and foreground colors.
  • hidden - Prints the text, but makes it invisible.
  • strikethrough - Puts a horizontal line through the center of the text. (Not widely supported)
  • visible- Prints the text only when Chalk has a color level > 0. Can be useful for things that are purely cosmetic.


  • black
  • red
  • green
  • yellow
  • blue
  • magenta
  • cyan
  • white
  • blackBright (alias: gray, grey)
  • redBright
  • greenBright
  • yellowBright
  • blueBright
  • magentaBright
  • cyanBright
  • whiteBright

Background colors

  • bgBlack
  • bgRed
  • bgGreen
  • bgYellow
  • bgBlue
  • bgMagenta
  • bgCyan
  • bgWhite
  • bgBlackBright (alias: bgGray, bgGrey)
  • bgRedBright
  • bgGreenBright
  • bgYellowBright
  • bgBlueBright
  • bgMagentaBright
  • bgCyanBright
  • bgWhiteBright

Tagged template literal

Chalk can be used as a tagged template literal.

import chalk from '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 three statements are equivalent:

import chalk from 'chalk';

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

Note that function styles (rgb(), hex(), 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.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. hex for foreground colors and bgHex for background colors).

  • chalk.bgHex('#DEADED').underline('Hello, world!')
  • 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!')
  • ansi256 - Example: chalk.bgAnsi256(194)('Honeydew, more or less')

Browser support

Since Chrome 69, ANSI escape codes are natively supported in the developer console.


If you're on Windows, do yourself a favor and use Windows Terminal 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.

chalk for enterprise

Available as part of the Tidelift Subscription.

The maintainers of chalk and thousands of other packages are working with Tidelift to deliver commercial support and maintenance for the open source dependencies you use to build your applications. Save time, reduce risk, and improve code health, while paying the maintainers of the exact dependencies you use. Learn more.