Dec 052017
Information about the ANSI Escape Controls.
File ANSIINFO.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
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Information about the ANSI Escape Controls.
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Contents of the ANSI.TXT file

Information About ANSI Controls

To access the extended console functions of the ANSI.SYS driver, first be
sure that the command :


is in your CONFIG.SYS file. Then simply send specially-formatted text
sequences to the console (CON). A program may use any of the DOS Character
I/O functions which display characters on the console. From the DOS
command interpreter, you can TYPE a file, ECHO text sequences, or include
them in your PROMPT.

In the following list, items in angle brackets ( <> ) are parameters (usually
numeric values in ASCII) and the '*' character is an ESC (ASCII 1bH). The
bottom of this page shows several examples.

Sequence ( * is ESC ) Function
<<< Cursor Movement >>>
*[;H positions the cursor at ,.
Default is 1;1 (top left corner)

*[;f (same as above)

*[A moves the cursor up. Default: 1.
Won't go above top.

*[B moves cursor down. Default: 1.
Won't go below bottom.

*[C moves the cursor forward (to the right) Default: 1

*[D moves the cursor backward (to the left) Default: 1

<<< Erase Operations >>>
*[2J erases the screen and homes the cursor

*[K erases to the end of the current line

<<< Miscellaneous >>>
*[6n outputs the current line and column in the form:

*[s saves the current cursor position (see *[u)

*[u restores cursor to last position saved by *[s

<<< Screen Control >>>
*[;...;m sets display attributes. values are:
0 normal (white on black)
1 bold (character colors are high-intensity)
4 underline (IBM Monochrome monitor only)
5 blink (foreground blinks)
7 reverse (black on white)
8 no display (foreground = background)
30 BLACK foreground 40 BLACK background
31 RED foreground 41 RED background
32 GREEN foreground 42 GREEN background
33 YELLOW foreground 43 YELLOW background
34 BLUE foreground 44 BLUE background
35 MAGENTA foreground 45 MAGENTA background
36 CYAN foreground 46 CYAN background
37 WHITE foreground 47 WHITE background

*[=h sets screen width and mode where values are:
0 40x25 text mode black and white
1 40x25 text mode color
2 80x25 text mode black and white
3 80x25 text mode color
4 320x200 graphics mode color
5 320x200 graphics mode black and white
6 640x200 graphics mode black and white
7 Causes cursor to wrap to new line at end of line.

*[=7l stops cursor from wrapping at end of line
<<< Keyboard Redefinition >>>
*[;...p redefines a keystroke so it yields different values.
or The first (or first character of ) is
*[""p the key being redefined. The following values are the
or new value for the key.
*[;""p The following redefines Ctrl-D key to be: DIR C:[Enter]
or *[4;"DIR C:";13p
combinations Certain keystrokes must be defined with two s.
For example, [F1] is: 0;59; and [Home] is: 0;71;
The following redefines the F10 key to be: DIR [Enter]

See Extended ASCII Keystrokes for a full listing.

Note: To reset a key to its original value, use its
code(s) twice. The following resets [F10].


To find if ANSI.SYS is installed, display the *[6n function and immediately
read standard input. It should yield a value in the form: *[;R

Here are some examples usages in two programming languages:

;============================= ASM example =========================
data_seg segment
ColorMode db 1bH,'=3h','$'
SetF10 db 1bH,'0;68;"F10 was pressed"p','$'
data_seg ends

code_seg segment
mov dx,offset ColorMode ;set screen to 80x25 color mode
mov ah,9 ;DOS display string function
int 21H
mov dx,offset SetF10 ;redefine the F10 key to a string of text
mov ah,9
int 21H
code_seg ends

/* ====================== C function example ======================= */
int row,clm;

It is difficult to experiment with ANSI sequences from the DOS
command prompt since DOS does not allow direct keyboard input of
the ESC character. Here are three ways to experiment:

use the PROMPT command to output an ESC to the console. For instance:

PROMPT $e[7m sets up to display in reverse video
PROMPT $e[0;68;"DIR";13p redefines the F10 key
PROMPT sets the prompt back to normal

Create a disk file with BASIC and then TYPE it from DOS:

OPEN "ansitest.txt" FOR OUTPUT AS #1
PRINT #1,CHR$(27);"[7m" '** display reverse video
PRINT #1,CHR$(27);"[0;68;'DIR';13p" '** redefine F10 key as DIR
TYPE ansitest.txt

Go into BASIC, open the "CON" file and use PRINT # to send escape sequences
the the DOS console driver.


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