1.1.0 • Public • Published



ansiterm is a library for manipulating terminal input and output.


npm install ansiterm


This library provides a main object for interacting with the terminal. Besides the methods on it, instances of the object also function as an EventEmitter to inform the consumer when keys are pressed or the window gets resized.


Clear the screen.


Enable or disable the cursor by passing true or false respectively.


Returns an object indicating the terminal size:

  • h, the number of rows of the terminal
  • w, the number of columns of the terminal


Resets the terminal state.

ANSITerm#moveto(x, y)

Move the cursor to a new location.

Event: "resize"

Indicates that the terminal has been resized. Emits the new size, as represented by ANSITerm#size().

Event: "keypress"

Emitted when a normal key has been pressed. Passes the string representation of the character pressed (e.g., "c", "C", "!", etc.).

Event: "control"

Emitted when a control character has been pressed, e.g. ^C. An object is passed with the event, containing the following fields:

  • key, a representation of the keys pressed, e.g. ^[ for escape, ^C for control-C, ^H for backspace, ^I for tab, etc.
  • ascii, the ASCII name of the control character (e.g. NUL, SOH, etc.)

Event: "special"

Emitted for special keys on the keyboard. An string is passed with the event, indicating which key was pressed:

  • Home ("home")
  • Insert ("insert")
  • Delete ("delete")
  • End ("end")
  • Page Up ("prior")
  • Page Down ("next")
  • Arrow key ("up", "down", "right", or "left")
  • Reverse Tab, usually Shift+Tab ("reverse-tab")

Additionally, an object is passed with the following fields:

  • alt, indicating if alt was held while pressing the key
  • shift, indicating if shift was held while pressing the key
  • control, indicating if control was held while pressing the key
  • meta, indicating if meta (super) was held while pressing the key

Note that terminals don't support the full matrix of possible combinations, and will ignore shift or control in some cases.


When given a numeric UCS codepoint, this function will return how many columns are needed to display it in the terminal. This function is compatible with wcwidth(3C) in C.


When given a string, this function will return how many columns are needed to display it when printed to the terminal. If the string contains any nonprintable characters, then this returns -1. This function is compatible with wcswidth(3C) in C.

forEachGrapheme(str, f)

This function will call f(grapheme, width) for each individual grapheme. Combining characters are grouped with their preceding, printing character, and nonprintable characters (width of -1) are emitted independently.



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