Console Helper

Writing one-off scripts or vendor binaries for a package is often problematic:

Zend\Stdlib\ConsoleHelper helps to address the second major bullet point and all beneath it in a minimal fashion.


Typical usage is to instantiate a ConsoleHelper, and call one of its methods:

use Zend\Stdlib\ConsoleHelper;

$helper = new ConsoleHelper();
$helper->writeLine('This is output');

You can optionally pass a PHP stream resource to the constructor, which will be used to determine whether or not color support is available:

$helper = new ConsoleHelper($stream);

By default, it assumes STDOUT, and tests against that.

Available methods

ConsoleHelper provides the following methods.


colorize() accepts a formatted string, and will then apply ANSI color sequences to them, if color support is detected.

The following sequences are currently supported:

You may mix multiple sequences within the same stream.


Emits the provided $string to the provided $stream (which defaults to STDOUT if not provided). Any EOL sequences are convered to PHP_EOL. If $colorize is true, the string is first passed to colorize() as well.


Same as write(), except it also appends a PHP_EOL sequence to the $string.


Wraps $message in an <error></error> sequence, and passes it to writeLine(), using STDERR as the $stream.


Below is an example class that accepts an argument list, and determines how and what to emit.

namespace Foo;

use Zend\Stdlib\ConsoleHelper;

class HelloWorld
    private $helper;

    public function __construct(ConsoleHelper $helper = null)
        $this->helper = $helper ?: new ConsoleHelper();

    public function __invoke(array $args)
        if (! count($args)) {
            $this->helper->writeErrorMessage('Missing arguments!');

        if (count($args) > 1) {
            $this->helper->writeErrorMessage('Too many arguments!');

        $target = array_shift($args);

            '<info>Hello</info> %s',

When to upgrade

ConsoleHelper is deliberately simple, and assumes that your primary need for console tooling is for output considerations.

If you need to parse complex argument strings, we recommend using zend-console/zf-console or symfony/console, as these packages provide those capabilities, as well as far more colorization and console feature detection facilities.