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Terminals reliably recognize the 8 basic ANSI colors. There are also bright versions of each of these colors that you can use, but less reliably.

A table describing the usage of the 8 basic colors.

Things to note

  • Background color is available but we haven’t taken advantage of it yet.
  • Some terminals do not reliably support 256-color escape sequences.
  • Users can customize how their terminal displays the 8 basic colors, but that’s opt-in (for example, the user knows they’re making their greens not green).
  • Only use color to enhance meaning, not to communicate meaning.