attroff(), attron(), attrset(), standend(), standout(), wattroff(), wattron(), wattrset(), wstandend(), wstandout()

curses character and window attribute control routines 

Curses Function


#include <curses.h>

int attroff(int attrs);

int wattroff(WINDOW *win, int attrs);

int attron(int attrs);

int wattron(WINDOW *win, int attrs);

int attrset(int attrs);

int wattrset(WINDOW *win, int attrs);

int standend(void);

int wstandend(WINDOW *win);

int standout(void);

int wstandout(WINDOW *win);

attr_t attr_get(void);

attr_t wattr_get(WINDOW *);

int attr_off(attr_t attrs);

int wattr_off(WINDOW *, attr_t attrs);

int attr_on(attr_t attrs);

int wattr_on(WINDOW *, attr_t attrs);

int attr_set(attr_t attrs);

int wattr_set(WINDOW *, attr_t attrs);

int chgat(int n, attr_t attr, short color, const void *opts);

int wchgat(WINDOW *, int n, attr_t attr, short color, const void *opts);

int mvchgat(int y, int x, int n, attr_t attr, short color, const void *opts);

int mvwchgat(WINDOW *, int y, int x, int n, attr_t attr, short color, const void *opts);


These routines manipulate the current attributes of the named window. The current attributes of a window apply to all characters that are written into the window with waddch(), waddstr() and wprintw(). Attributes are a property of the character, and move with the character through any scrolling and insert/delete line/character operations. To the extent possible, they are displayed as appropriate modifications to the graphic rendition of characters put on the screen.

The routine attrset() sets the current attributes of the given window to attrs. The routine attroff() turns off the named attributes without turning any other attributes on or off. The routine attron() turns on the named attributes without affecting any others. The routine standout() is the same as attron(A_STANDOUT). The routine standend() is the same as attrset(A_NORMAL) or attrset(0), that is, it turns off all attributes.

The routine wattr_get() returns the current attribute for the given window; attr_get() returns the current attribute for stdscr(). The remaining attr_*() functions operate exactly like the corresponding attr()* functions, except that they take arguments of type attr_t rather than int.

The routine chgat() changes the attributes of a given number of characters starting at the current cursor location of stdscr(). It does not update the cursor and does not perform wrapping. A character count of -1 or greater than the remaining window width means to change attributes all the way to the end of the current line. The wchgat() function generalizes this to any window; the mvwchgat() function does a cursor move before acting. In these functions, the color argument is a color-pair index (as in the first argument of init_pair, see curs_color()). The opts argument is not presently used, but is reserved for the future (leave it NULL).


The following video attributes, defined in <curses.h>, can be passed to the routines attron(), attroff(), and attrset(), or OR'ed with the characters passed to addch().

A_NORMAL        Normal display (no highlight)
A_STANDOUT      Best highlighting mode of the terminal
A_UNDERLINE     Underlining
A_REVERSE       Reverse video
A_BLINK         Blinking
A_DIM           Half bright
A_BOLD          Extra bright or bold
A_PROTECT       Protected mode
A_INVIS         Invisible or blank mode
A_ALTCHARSET    Alternate character set
A_CHARTEXT      Bit-mask to extract a character
COLOR_PAIR(n)   Color-pair number n

The following macro is the reverse of COLOR_PAIR(n):


returns the pair number associated with the COLOR_PAIR(n) attribute.

The return values of many of these routines are not meaningful (they are implemented as macro-expanded assignments and simply return their argument). The SVr4 manual page claims (falsely) that these routines always return 1.


Note that attroff(), wattroff(), attron(), wattron(), attrset(), wattrset(), standend(), and standout() may be macros.


All these functions are supported in the XSI Curses standard, Issue 4. The standard defined the dedicated type for highlights, attr_t, which is not defined in SVr4 curses. The chars taking attr_t arguments are not supported under SVr4.

The XSI Curses standard states that whether the traditional functions attron()/attroff()/attrset() can manipulate attributes other than A_BLINK, A_BOLD, A_DIM, A_REVERSE, A_STANDOUT, or A_UNDERLINE is "unspecified". Under this implementation as well as SVr4 curses, these functions correctly manipulate all other highlights (specifically, A_ALTCHARSET, A_PROTECT, and A_INVIS).

XSI Curses added the new entry points, attr_get(), attr_on(), attr_off(), attr_set(), wattr_on(), wattr_off(), wattr_get(), wattr_set(). These are intended to work with a new series of highlight macros prefixed with WA_.

WA_NORMAL         Normal display (no highlight)
WA_STANDOUT       Best highlighting mode of the terminal
WA_UNDERLINE      Underlining
WA_REVERSE        Reverse video
WA_BLINK          Blinking
WA_DIM            Half bright
WA_BOLD           Extra bright or bold
WA_ALTCHARSET     Alternate character set

The XSI curses standard specifies that each pair of corresponding A_ and WA_-using functions operates on the same current-highlight information.

The XSI standard extended conformance level adds new highlights A_HORIZONTAL, A_LEFT, A_LOW, A_RIGHT, A_TOP, A_VERTICAL (and corresponding WA_ macros for each) which this curses does not yet support.


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curs_addch(), curs_addstr(), curs_printw(), curses()

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