Consoles manage input and output (I/O) for character-mode applications (applications that do not provide their own graphical user interface).
The console functions enable different levels of access to a console. The high-level console I/O functions enable an application to read from standard input to retrieve keyboard input stored in a console's input buffer. The functions also enable an application to write to standard output or standard error to display text in the console's screen buffer. The high-level functions also support redirection of standard handles and control of console modes for different I/O functionality. The low-level console I/O functions enable applications to receive detailed input about keyboard and mouse events, as well as events involving user interactions with the console window. The low-level functions also enable greater control of output to the screen.
This overview describes support for character-mode applications.