pastel is a command-line tool to generate, analyze, convert and manipulate colors. It supports many different color formats and color spaces like RGB, HSL, CIELAB, CIELCh as well as ANSI 8-bit and 24-bit representations.
pastel provides a number of commands like
paint. To see a complete list, you can simply run
To get more information about a specific subcommand (say
mix), you can call
pastel mix -h or
pastel help mix.
pastel commands can be composed by piping the output of one command to another, for example:
pastel random | pastel mix red | pastel lighten 0.2 | pastel format hex
Colors can be specified in many different formats:
lightslategray '#778899' 778899 789 'rgb(119, 136, 153)' '119,136,153' 'hsl(210, 14.3%, 53.3%)'
Colors can be passed as positional arguments, for example:
pastel lighten 0.2 orchid orange lawngreen
They can also be read from standard input. So this is equivalent:
printf "%s\n" orchid orange lawngreen | pastel lighten 0.2
You can also explicitly specify which colors you want to read from the input. For example, this mixes
red (which is read from STDIN) with
blue (which is passed on the command line):
pastel color red | pastel mix - blue
Use cases and demo
Converting colors from one format to another
pastel format hsl ff8000
Show and analyze colors on the terminal
pastel color "rgb(255,50,127)" pastel color 556270 4ecdc4 c7f484 ff6b6b c44d58
Pick a color from somewhere on the screen
Generate a set of N visually distinct colors
pastel distinct 8
Get a list of all X11 / CSS color names
Name a given color
pastel format name 44cc11
Print colorized text from a shell script
bg="hotpink" fg="$(pastel textcolor "$bg")" pastel paint "$fg" --on "$bg" "well readable text"
pastel paint -n black --on red --bold " ERROR! " echo " A serious error" pastel paint -n black --on yellow --bold " WARNING! " echo " A warning message" pastel paint -n black --on limegreen --bold " INFO " echo -n " Informational message with a " echo -n "highlighted" | pastel paint -n default --underline echo " word"
On Debian-based systems
You can download the latest Debian package from the release page and install it via
wget "https://github.com/sharkdp/pastel/releases/download/v0.5.2/pastel_0.5.2_amd64.deb" sudo dpkg -i pastel_0.5.2_amd64.deb
On Arch Linux
You can install
pastel from the AUR package:
yay -S pastel
On other distributions
Check out the release page for binary builds.
If you have Rust 1.34 or higher, you can install
pastel from source via
cargo install pastel
Interesting Wikipedia pages:
- Color difference
- CIE 1931 color space
- CIELAB color space
- Line of purples
- Impossible color
- Color theory
- XKCD Color Survey Results
- Peachpuffs and Lemonchiffons - talk about named colors
- List of CSS color keywords
Maximally distinct colors:
- How to automatically generate N "distinct" colors?
- Publication on two algorithms to generate (maximally) distinct colors
Other articles and videos:
Licensed under either of
- Apache License, Version 2.0, (LICENSE-APACHE or http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0)
- MIT license (LICENSE-MIT or http://opensource.org/licenses/MIT)
at your option.