Code Quality Rank: L5
Programming language: Swift
License: MIT License
Tags: Logging    
Latest version: v3.2.0

Rainbow alternatives and similar libraries

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Rainbow adds text color, background color and style for console and command line output in Swift. It is born for cross-platform software logging in terminals, working in both Apple's platforms and Linux.

Basic Usage

Nifty way, using the String extension, and print the colorized string.

Named Color & Style

import Rainbow

print("Red text".red)
print("Blue background".onBlue)
print("Light green text on white background".lightGreen.onWhite)

print("Cyan with bold and blinking".cyan.bold.blink)

print("Plain text".red.onYellow.bold.clearColor.clearBackgroundColor.clearStyles)

It gives you something like this:


Swift Package Manager

If you are developing a cross platform software in Swift, Swift Package Manager might be your choice for package management. Just add the url of this repo to your Package.swift file as a dependency:

import PackageDescription

let package = Package(
    name: "YourAwesomeSoftware",
    dependencies: [
        .package(url: "https://github.com/onevcat/Rainbow", .upToNextMajor(from: "4.0.0"))
    targets: [
            name: "MyApp",
            dependencies: ["Rainbow"]

Then run swift build whenever you get prepared.

You could know more information on how to use Swift Package Manager in Apple's official page.

Other Usage

String Interpolation & Nested

Swift string interpolation is supported. Define the color for part of the string. Or even create nested colorful strings. The inner color style will be kept:


ANSI 256-Color Mode

8-bit color is fully supported, for both text color and background color:


Hex Colors (approximated)

It also accepts a Hex color. Rainbow tries to convert it to a most approximate .bit8 color:


Valid format: "FFF", "#FFF", "FFFFFF", "#FFFFFF", 0xFFFFFF

True color

A few terminal emulators supports 24-bit true color. If you are sure the 24-bit colors can be displayed in your user's terminal, Rainbow has no reason to refuse them!

print("\("春色满园".hex("#ea517f", to: .bit24))关不住,\("一枝红杏".hex("#f43e06", to: .bit24))出墙来。")

Output Target

By default, Rainbow should be smart enough to detect the output target, to determine if it is a tty. For example, it automatically output plain text if written to a file:

// main.swift
print("Hello Rainbow".red)

$ .build/debug/RainbowDemo > output.txt

// output.txt
Hello Rainbow

This is useful for sharing the same code for logging to console and to a log file.

You can manually change this behavior by either:

  • Set the Rainbow.outputTarget yourself.
  • Pass a "NO_COLOR" environment value when executing your app.
  • Or set the Rainbow.enabled to false.

Verbose Way

You can also use the more verbose way if you want:

import Rainbow
let output = "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog"
                .applyingCodes(Color.red, BackgroundColor.yellow, Style.bold)
print(output) // Red text on yellow, bold of course :)

Or even construct everything from scratch:

let entry = Rainbow.Entry(
    segments: [
        .init(text: "Hello ", color: .named(.magenta)),
        .init(text: "Rainbow", color: .bit8(214), backgroundColor: .named(.lightBlue), styles: [.underline]),
print(Rainbow.generateString(for: entry))

Please remember, the string extensions (such as "Hello".red) is O(n). So if you are handling a huge string or very complex nesting, there might be a performance issue or hard to make things in stream. The manual way is a rescue for these cases.

Motivation and Compatibility

Thanks to the open source of Swift, developers now could write cross platform programs with the same language. And I believe the command line software would be the next great platform for Swift. Colorful and well-organized output always helps us to understand what happens. It is really a necessary utility to create wonderful software.

Rainbow should work well in both OS X and Linux terminals. It is smart enough to check whether the output is connected to a valid text terminal or not, to decide the log should be modified or not. This could be useful when you want to send your log to a file instead to console.


Follow and contact me on Twitter or Sina Weibo. If you find an issue, just open a ticket on it. Pull requests are warmly welcome as well.

Backers & Sponsors

Open-source projects cannot live long without your help. If you find Kingfisher is useful, please consider supporting this project by becoming a sponsor. Your user icon or company logo shows up on my blog with a link to your home page.

Become a sponsor through GitHub Sponsors. :heart:


Rainbow is released under the MIT license. See LICENSE for details.

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the Rainbow README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.