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Coloring the Console Application (AddingText and Background color in C#)

Submitted on: 12/9/2004 6:11:06 AM
By: SolutionNet 
Level: Intermediate
User Rating: By 2 Users
Compatibility: C#
Views: 8534
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     This code changes text and back ground color in a console C# Application. This artical also explain that how we can call Win32 Api's in our c# program or say how to use unmanaged code in managed enviroment.
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// Name: Coloring the Console Application (AddingText and Background color in C#)
// Description:This code changes text and back ground color in a console C# Application. This artical also explain that how we can call Win32 Api's in our c# program or say how to use unmanaged code in managed enviroment.
// By: SolutionNet
//This code is copyrighted and has// limited warranties.Please see details.//**************************************

Coloring the console
Kashif Bilal
When working with console applications in c#, always a black screen with white foreground comes. We can change the fore color as well as back ground color of our console application by using win32 API SetConsoleTextAttribute().
SetConsoleTextAttribute takes two arguments 
1.	Handle to console screen buffer
2.	character attributes
BOOL SetConsoleTextAttribute(
 HANDLE hConsoleOutput,
 WORD wAttributes
We can get handle to console screen buffer by using another function of win32 API i.e. GetStdHandle(),which takes a parameter and returns handle for input, output or error device.
We give -10 for input,-11 for output and -12 for error device as parameter to GetStdHandle function.
We have attributes for fore ground and background colors like 0x0001 for fore ground blue and 0x0010 for back ground blue.
How Use Win32 API Function in C#.
First of all declare the function using DllImport attribute. An API function must be declared static extern.
DllImport is used to call an unmanaged code inside a mangaed code, so we must have to use it to call unmanaged win32 APIís.
Letís start an example
using System;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices; // for DllImport attribute 
namespace color_console
	class Class1
		static void Main(string[] args)
			// TODO: Add code to start application here
			Class1 c =new Class1();
		[DllImport("kernel32.dll", SetLastError=true)]
		public static extern bool SetConsoleTextAttribute(
			IntPtr hConsoleOutput,
			CharacterAttributes wAttributes); /* declaring the setconsoletextattribute function*/
		public static extern IntPtr GetStdHandle(int nStdHandle); //declaring the getstdhandle funtion 
																/* to get thehandle that would be used in setConsoletextattribute function */
		void change()
			IntPtr hOut; /* declaring varianle to get handle*/
			hOut= GetStdHandle(-11);/* -11 is sent for output device*/ 
			/*Displaying text in different colors and background colors*/
				SetConsoleTextAttribute(hOut, CharacterAttributes.FOREGROUND_BLUE );
				Console.WriteLine(" Subhan ALLAH ");
				SetConsoleTextAttribute(hOut, CharacterAttributes.BACKGROUND_RED);
				Console.WriteLine(" Alkhamdolillah ");
				SetConsoleTextAttribute(hOut, CharacterAttributes.BACKGROUND_GREEN );
						Console.WriteLine(" Allah O Akbar ");
				SetConsoleTextAttribute(hOut, CharacterAttributes.FOREGROUND_RED );
				Console.WriteLine(" Pakistan ");
/* This enumeration lists all of the character attributes. You can combine attributes to achieve specific effects.*/
		public enum CharacterAttributes
			FOREGROUND_BLUE = 0x0001,
			FOREGROUND_RED = 0x0004,
			BACKGROUND_BLUE = 0x0010,
			BACKGROUND_RED = 0x0040,
We can also change the font and cursor of console application using win32 APIís.
Changing the Title of Console is also much easier, just use SetConsoleTitle()function and provide a string to it as parameter, that would be title of console. You can do it easily
		public static extern bool SetConsoleTitle(String lpConsoleTitle);
First declare setconsoletitle function and then use it
SetConsoleTitle(" ALlah O Akbar ... ");
Thanks Ö 
Kashif Bilal

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Other User Comments

12/9/2009 1:27:38 AMAl

You can also use the built-in Console.BackgroundColor, Console.ForegroundColor and the ConsoleColor enumeration
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12/9/2009 5:17:44 PMDerek Schwartz

This must be for .NET v1.1, since .NET 2.0+ has the atributes Console.BackgroundColor,
Console.ForegroundColor with a color definition from System.ConsoleColor.

This also appears to be a copy/paste example from " ColoringTheConsole.aspx"
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