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oclif supports themes that users can either define for themselves or select from a variety of themes you ship with your CLI.

By default, the theme only applies to help output but you can extend the theme for your own purposes if you want. See Extending Themes section below.


By default oclif will read themes from ~/.config/<CLI>/theme.json.

This file takes the following shape:

"bin": "white",
"command": "cyan",
"commandSummary": "white",
"dollarSign": "white",
"flag": "white",
"flagDefaultValue": "blue",
"flagOptions": "white",
"flagRequired": "red",
"flagSeparator": "white",
"sectionDescription": "white",
"sectionHeader": "underline",
"topic": "white",
"version": "white"

Supported Theme Properties

As mentioned, the theme only applies to help output by default. The following properties can be used:

  • alias: the aliases under the ALIASES section
  • bin: the name of your CLI's executable (e.g. sf, heroku)
  • command: the command's name
  • commandSummary: the command's summary
  • dollarSign: the $ printed before examples and usage
  • flag: flag names and short characters
  • flagDefaultValue: the [default: X] shown on flags with a default
  • flagOptions: the valid options for a flag
  • flagRequired: the (required) that shows on required flags
  • flagSeparator: the , that separates the short char and long flag names (e.g. -f, --foo)
  • sectionDescription: the text inside of each section (e.g. everything under DESCRIPTION)
  • sectionHeader: the section header (e.g. DESCRIPTION)
  • topic: the topics under the TOPICS section
  • version: the VERSION section that shows under the root help (e.g. sf --help)

The values for each of these must be one of the following:

Any invalid values will be ignored.

Disabling Themes

Themes can be disabled by using <CLI>_DISABLE_THEME environment variable.

Extending Themes

By default oclif only uses the theme for the help output but you can use the theme for other purposes if you desire. For instance maybe you'd like to log colorized info: logs to the user during a command:

import {Command, ux} from '@oclif/core'

export default class Hello extends Command {
public async run(): Promise<void> {'starting process!')
// do some stuff...'still making progress!')
// do some more stuff...'process complete!')

public info(msg: string): void {
this.log(ux.colorize(this.config.theme?.info, 'info:'), msg)