[Tutor] Changing text colors on WinXP py2.6.2

Dave Angel davea at ieee.org
Tue Oct 13 17:50:56 CEST 2009

Tim Golden wrote:
> <div class="moz-text-flowed" style="font-family: -moz-fixed">Alan 
> Gauld wrote:
>> "Tim Golden" <mail at timgolden.me.uk> wrote
>>> No. ANSI escapes don't work on Windows. 
>> Wouldn't the ANSI codes work if ANSI.SYS were loaded?
>> I thought you could still load ANSI.SYS it just wasn't normally 
>> there? The help system says you should load it in config.nt with:
>> device=c:\winnt\system32\ansi.sys
>> But I admit I've never tried it - I didn't even like ANSI.SYS when I 
>> was using DOS!
> (from memory). I'm fairly sure that even that
> no longer works. When this question last came
> up I think we went round that loop and discovered
> that it didn't. Happy to be wrong. :)
(Also from memory).   ANSI.SYS is still available in XP, but only for 16 
bit DOS apps. 

See:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/101875

So it wouldn't be useful for Python apps like the OP had.  In 
particular, you can load a COMMAND.COM shell with ANSI.SYS driver in 
that (16bit) process.

What ought to work is a 3rd party console replacement.  One example of 
such a replacement (from an old established company) is "Take Command" 
(formerly 4NT) from

However, it appears that they only support ANSI sequences in output from 
their built-in commands, such as TYPE.  See:

Other things to consider:


I make no promises as to compatibility, safety, or performance, though.  
I haven't used any of these, except older versions of 4NT.

To change text colors in a standard console, you need to use the Console 
API.  Of course, you can change them for the entire console with the 
Properties dialog.


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