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Blog > Fun with Symfony's Console Component

Fun with Symfony's Console Component

By weaverryan and 1 other | Symfony | Sep 29th 2015 |

Fun with Symfony's Console Component

One of the best parts of using Symfony's Console component is all the output control you have to the CLI: colors, tables, progress bars etc. Usually, you create a command to do this. But what you may not know is that you can get to all this goodness in a single, flat PHP file

Using ConsoleOutput in a Flat File

Suppose you've started a new project and want to write a CLI script with some added flare. First, just grab the symfony/console component:

composer require symfony/console

Next, open up a flat php file, require the autoloader and create a new ConsoleOutput object:

// print_pretty.php

require __DIR__.'/vendor/autoload.php';

use Symfony\Component\Console\Output\ConsoleOutput;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Formatter\OutputFormatter;

$output = new ConsoleOutput();
$output->setFormatter(new OutputFormatter(true));

    'The <comment>console</comment> component is'
    .' <bg=magenta;fg=cyan;option=blink>sweet!</>'

The ConsoleOutput class is the heart of all the styling control. And when used with the OutputFormatter, you're able to print text with built-in styles for <comment>, <info>, <error> and <question>. Or, you can control the background and foreground colors manually.

Ok, let's run this from the command line!

php print_pretty.php

Print with Color

That's right, it's blinking. You can also wrap up your custom colorings and options (like our blinking cyan section) into a new style (e.g. <annoying_blinking>). See OutputFormatter and OutputFormatterStyle for details.

How about Table and a Progress Bar?

I'm so glad you asked! With the ConsoleOutput object, using any of the other Console Helpers is easy! Let's build a table with a progress bar that shows how things are going:

// print_pretty.php

use Symfony\Component\Console\Helper\ProgressBar;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Helper\Table;

// ... all the other code from before

$rows = 10;
$progressBar = new ProgressBar($output, $rows);

$table = new Table($output);
for ($i = 0; $i<$rows; $i++) {
        sprintf('Row <info># %s</info>', $i),
        rand(0, 1000)



Moment of truth:

php print_pretty.php

Check out the animated gif below!


Yes, that is a beer icon :). You can find more icons here. Just use the UTF-8 value - e.g. 0xF0 0x9F 0x8D 0xBA or f09f8dba and put it into the \xF0\x9F\x8D\xBA format.

That's just another trick hidden inside Symfony. If you want to learn more, check out our entire Symfony track!

Have fun!

With table and progress bar