How To Performing Clear Screen (CLS) in a Console Application

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Article ID: 99261 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q99261
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SUMMARY

Some non-Microsoft versions of C++ provide a clrscr function for clearing the screen in a DOS application. However, there is no Win32 Application Programming Interface (API) or C-Runtime function that will perform this function.

To accomplish this task for a Win32 console application, use one of the following methods:
  • Use a system function.
  • Write a function that will programmatically clear the screen.
These methods are described in the following "More Information" section.

MORE INFORMATION

Use a system function

#include <stdlib.h>

void main()
{
   system("cls");
}
				

Write a function that will programmatically clear the screen

The following function clears the screen:
 /* Standard error macro for reporting API errors */ 
 #define PERR(bSuccess, api){if(!(bSuccess)) printf("%s:Error %d from %s \ 
    on line %d\n", __FILE__, GetLastError(), api, __LINE__);}

 void cls( HANDLE hConsole )
 {
    COORD coordScreen = { 0, 0 };    /* here's where we'll home the
                                        cursor */ 
    BOOL bSuccess;
    DWORD cCharsWritten;
    CONSOLE_SCREEN_BUFFER_INFO csbi; /* to get buffer info */ 
    DWORD dwConSize;                 /* number of character cells in
                                        the current buffer */ 

    /* get the number of character cells in the current buffer */ 

    bSuccess = GetConsoleScreenBufferInfo( hConsole, &csbi );
    PERR( bSuccess, "GetConsoleScreenBufferInfo" );
    dwConSize = csbi.dwSize.X * csbi.dwSize.Y;

    /* fill the entire screen with blanks */ 

    bSuccess = FillConsoleOutputCharacter( hConsole, (TCHAR) ' ',
       dwConSize, coordScreen, &cCharsWritten );
    PERR( bSuccess, "FillConsoleOutputCharacter" );

    /* get the current text attribute */ 

    bSuccess = GetConsoleScreenBufferInfo( hConsole, &csbi );
    PERR( bSuccess, "ConsoleScreenBufferInfo" );

    /* now set the buffer's attributes accordingly */ 

    bSuccess = FillConsoleOutputAttribute( hConsole, csbi.wAttributes,
       dwConSize, coordScreen, &cCharsWritten );
    PERR( bSuccess, "FillConsoleOutputAttribute" );

    /* put the cursor at (0, 0) */ 

    bSuccess = SetConsoleCursorPosition( hConsole, coordScreen );
    PERR( bSuccess, "SetConsoleCursorPosition" );
    return;
 }
				

Properties

Article ID: 99261 - Last Review: November 21, 2006 - Revision: 3.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Win32 Application Programming Interface, when used with:
    • Microsoft Windows NT 3.51 Service Pack 5
    • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
    • Microsoft Windows 95
    • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Standard Edition
    • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
    • the operating system: Microsoft Windows XP
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbapi kbconsole kbkernbase kbcode KB99261

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