FillConsoleOutputCharacter function


This document describes console platform functionality that is no longer a part of our ecosystem roadmap. We do not recommend using this content in new products, but we will continue to support existing usages for the indefinite future. Our preferred modern solution focuses on virtual terminal sequences for maximum compatibility in cross-platform scenarios. You can find more information about this design decision in our classic console vs. virtual terminal document.

Writes a character to the console screen buffer a specified number of times, beginning at the specified coordinates.


BOOL WINAPI FillConsoleOutputCharacter(
  _In_  HANDLE  hConsoleOutput,
  _In_  TCHAR   cCharacter,
  _In_  DWORD   nLength,
  _In_  COORD   dwWriteCoord,
  _Out_ LPDWORD lpNumberOfCharsWritten


hConsoleOutput [in]
A handle to the console screen buffer. The handle must have the GENERIC_WRITE access right. For more information, see Console Buffer Security and Access Rights.

cCharacter [in]
The character to be written to the console screen buffer.

nLength [in]
The number of character cells to which the character should be written.

dwWriteCoord [in]
A COORD structure that specifies the character coordinates of the first cell to which the character is to be written.

lpNumberOfCharsWritten [out]
A pointer to a variable that receives the number of characters actually written to the console screen buffer.

Return value

If the function succeeds, the return value is nonzero.

If the function fails, the return value is zero. To get extended error information, call GetLastError.


If the number of characters to write to extends beyond the end of the specified row in the console screen buffer, characters are written to the next row. If the number of characters to write to extends beyond the end of the console screen buffer, the characters are written up to the end of the console screen buffer.

The attribute values at the positions written are not changed.

This function uses either Unicode characters or 8-bit characters from the console's current code page. The console's code page defaults initially to the system's OEM code page. To change the console's code page, use the SetConsoleCP or SetConsoleOutputCP functions. Legacy consumers may also use the chcp or mode con cp select= commands, but it is not recommended for new development.


This API is not recommended and does not have a specific virtual terminal equivalent. Filling the region outside the viewable window is not supported and is reserved for the terminal's history space. Filling a visible region with new text or color is performed through moving the cursor, setting the new attributes, then writing the desired text for that region, repeating characters if necessary for the length of the fill run. Additional cursor movement may be required followed by writing the desired text to fill a rectangular region. The client application is expected to keep its own memory of what is on the screen and is not able to query the remote state. More information can be found in classic console versus virtual terminal documentation.


Minimum supported client Windows 2000 Professional [desktop apps only]
Minimum supported server Windows 2000 Server [desktop apps only]
Header ConsoleApi2.h (via WinCon.h, include Windows.h)
Library Kernel32.lib
DLL Kernel32.dll
Unicode and ANSI names FillConsoleOutputCharacterW (Unicode) and FillConsoleOutputCharacterA (ANSI)

See also

Console Functions



Low-Level Console Output Functions