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Formatter Helper

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Read the updated version of this page for Symfony 6.2 (the current stable version).

Formatter Helper

The Formatter helpers provides functions to format the output with colors. You can do more advanced things with this helper than you can in The Console Component.

The FormatterHelper is included in the default helper set, which you can get by calling getHelperSet():

$formatter = $this->getHelperSet()->get('formatter');

The methods return a string, which you'll usually render to the console by passing it to the OutputInterface::writeln method.

Symfony offers a defined style when printing a message that belongs to some "section". It prints the section in color and with brackets around it and the actual message to the right of this. Minus the color, it looks like this:

[SomeSection] Here is some message related to that section

To reproduce this style, you can use the
formatSection() method:

$formattedLine = $formatter->formatSection(
    'Here is some message related to that section'

Sometimes you want to be able to print a whole block of text with a background color. Symfony uses this when printing error messages.

If you print your error message on more than one line manually, you will
notice that the background is only as long as each individual line. Use the formatBlock() to generate a block output:

$errorMessages = array('Error!', 'Something went wrong');
$formattedBlock = $formatter->formatBlock($errorMessages, 'error');

As you can see, passing an array of messages to the
formatBlock() method creates the desired output. If you pass true as third parameter, the
block will be formatted with more padding (one blank line above and below the messages and 2 spaces on the left and right).

The exact "style" you use in the block is up to you. In this case, you're using the pre-defined error style, but there are other styles, or you can create your own. See The Console Component.

This work, including the code samples, is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license.