Formatter Helper

Version: 3.1
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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 How to Color and Style the Console Output.

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

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$formatter = $this->getHelper('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:

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[SomeSection] Here is some message related to that section

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

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$formattedLine = $formatter->formatSection(
    'SomeSection',
    'Here is some message related to that section'
);
$output->writeln($formattedLine);

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:

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

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 How to Color and Style the Console Output.

New in version 3.1

The truncate method was introduced in Symfony 3.1.

Sometimes you want to print a message truncated to an explicit character length. This is possible with the truncate() method.

If you would like to truncate a very long message, for example, to 7 characters, you can write:

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$message = "This is a very long message, which should be truncated";
$truncatedMessage = $formatter->truncate($message, 7);
$output->writeln($truncatedMessage);

And the output will be:

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This is...

The message is truncated to the given length, then the suffix is appended to end of that string.

Negative String Length

If the length is negative, the number of characters to truncate is counted from the end of the string:

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$truncatedMessage = $formatter->truncate($message, -5);

This will result in:

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This is a very long message, which should be trun...

Custom Suffix

By default, the ... suffix is used. If you wish to use a different suffix, simply pass it as the third argument to the method. The suffix is always appended, unless truncate length is longer than a message and a suffix length. If you don't want to use suffix at all, just pass an empty string:

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$truncatedMessage = $formatter->truncate($message, 7, '!!'); // result: This is!!
$truncatedMessage = $formatter->truncate($message, 7, '');   // result: This is
$truncatedMessage = $formatter->truncate('test', 10));
/* result: test
   because length of the "test..." string is shorter than 10 */
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