WriteConsoleOutputAttribute 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.

Copies a number of character attributes to consecutive cells of a console screen buffer, beginning at a specified location.


BOOL WINAPI WriteConsoleOutputAttribute(
  _In_        HANDLE  hConsoleOutput,
  _In_  const WORD    *lpAttribute,
  _In_        DWORD   nLength,
  _In_        COORD   dwWriteCoord,
  _Out_       LPDWORD lpNumberOfAttrsWritten


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.

lpAttribute [in]
The attributes to be used when writing to the console screen buffer. For more information, see Character Attributes.

nLength [in]
The number of screen buffer character cells to which the attributes will be copied.

dwWriteCoord [in]
A COORD structure that specifies the character coordinates of the first cell in the console screen buffer to which the attributes will be written.

lpNumberOfAttrsWritten [out]
A pointer to a variable that receives the number of attributes 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 attributes to be written to extends beyond the end of the specified row in the console screen buffer, attributes are written to the next row. If the number of attributes to be written to extends beyond the end of the console screen buffer, the attributes are written up to the end of the console screen buffer.

The character values at the positions written to are not changed.


This API has a virtual terminal equivalent in the text formatting and cursor positioning sequences. Move the cursor to the location to insert, apply the formatting desired, and write out text to fill. There is no equivalent to apply color to an area without also emitting text. This decision intentionally aligns the Windows platform with other operating systems where the individual client application is expected to remember its own drawn state for further manipulation.


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

See also

Console Functions


Low-Level Console Output Functions