(For code that is for Ruby on Rails questions on SO)

I have some output in my terminal.

When things work I get a green status line, e..g

Using /Users/durrantm/.rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.3-p125 with gemset dmworkflow

I would like to be able to show that in SO in green, which is the way is appear in the terminal.

This would also be useful for manual red/green coloring of passing/failing tests that people would want to colorize to be easier to read.

  • 1
    Please gods, no.
    – ale
    Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 13:12
  • 3
    >implying text colors
    – Ben Brocka
    Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 13:15
  • 4
    >Check out these dubs Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 13:25
  • 1
    If we ever do this, can we make sure it implements CIE color matching too? It's ever so important that all users see exactly the same shade of green as I do! Especially if they're color-blind!!! </sarcasm> Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 13:47
  • 1
    People already abuse headers (to draw attention), bolding (to draw attention -- can't find a link right now but I've seen answers that are solid bold), italicization (because it's just so dang pretty) and code blocks (to highlight all kinds of things that aren't code... because they already used up all the bold, I guess). Any benefit this feature might have will be obliterated by the abuse that's sure to come with it.
    – Pops
    Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 18:28

2 Answers 2


This is not possible by design.

Allowing too much formatting would quickly detract from the quality and readability of posts. While a case could be made that some cases such as the one you mention might be an improvement, on the whole more people would abuse it than would use it effectively.

If visuals are so important to understanding something, a small pertinent screen shot should be used. If the idea can be communicated using words, better to take a stab at it. Rather than making everybody sort through the screen full of successes for the red failure message, do the filtering for us and just put the error message in the question in the first place.


You mean like this? You can't.

  • You obviously don't work at Google.
    – Caleb
    Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 13:26
  • @Caleb Well, I don't, but, ehm, I don't get it. Didn't I provide the correct alt text? What more could I do?
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 13:32
  • @Caleb by the way, did you downvote? Why? Because I showed the OP a way to simulate colour?
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 13:33
  • 1
    My comment was a veiled humorous reference to Google's "Don't be evil." motto . Your answer isn't evil in the sense of being morally depraved, but I do think it sets a bad example by showing something as possible using an ugly hack even while stating it isn't possible. Doing this should not be encouraged. Since you answer does not state why this is not possible and or discourage use of the hack that you demonstrate, I downvoted it as not-useful. It's kind of funny but it sends mixed messages.
    – Caleb
    Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 14:32
  • I see. Well, I didn't mean it as a demonstration of that it's easy to do, just something you can use as a last resort if it's really really necessary. Anyway, the other answer already was there, so I felt I didn't need to explain again! And by the way, screen shots can contain colour too.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 15:07

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