getmouse(), mousemask(), ungetmouse()

mouse interface through curses 

Curses Function


#include <curses.h>

typedef unsigned long mmask_t;

typedef struct {
	int x, y, z;	 /* event coordinates */
	mmask_t bstate;  /* button state bits */ 

int getmouse(MEVENT *event);

int ungetmouse(MEVENT *event);

mmask_t mousemask(mmask_t newmask, mmask_t *oldmask);

bool wenclose(WINDOW *win, int y, int x);

int mouseinterval(int erval);


These functions provide an interface to mouse events from ncurses(). Mouse events are represented by KEY_MOUSE() pseudo-key values in the wgetch() input stream.

To make mouse events visible, use the mousemask() function. This will set the mouse events to be reported. By default, no mouse events are reported. The function will return a mask to indicate which of the specified mouse events can be reported; on complete failure it returns 0. If oldmask is non-NULL, this function fills the indicated location with the previous value of the given window's mouse event mask.

As a side effect, setting a zero mousemask may turn off the mouse pointer; setting a nonzero mask may turn it on. Whether this happens is device-dependent.

Here are the mouse event type masks:

       Name                        Description
       BUTTON1_PRESSED          mouse button 1 down
       BUTTON1_RELEASED         mouse button 1 up
       BUTTON1_CLICKED          mouse button 1 clicked
       BUTTON1_DOUBLE_CLICKED   mouse button 1 double clicked
       BUTTON1_TRIPLE_CLICKED   mouse button 1 triple clicked
       BUTTON2_PRESSED          mouse button 2 down
       BUTTON2_RELEASED         mouse button 2 up
       BUTTON2_CLICKED          mouse button 2 clicked
       BUTTON2_DOUBLE_CLICKED   mouse button 2 double clicked
       BUTTON2_TRIPLE_CLICKED   mouse button 2 triple clicked
       BUTTON3_PRESSED          mouse button 3 down
       BUTTON3_RELEASED         mouse button 3 up
       BUTTON3_CLICKED          mouse button 3 clicked
       BUTTON3_DOUBLE_CLICKED   mouse button 3 double clicked
       BUTTON3_TRIPLE_CLICKED   mouse button 3 triple clicked
       BUTTON4_PRESSED          mouse button 4 down
       BUTTON4_RELEASED         mouse button 4 up
       BUTTON4_CLICKED          mouse button 4 clicked
       BUTTON4_DOUBLE_CLICKED   mouse button 4 double clicked
       BUTTON4_TRIPLE_CLICKED   mouse button 4 triple clicked
       BUTTON_SHIFT             shift was down during button state change
       BUTTON_CTRL              control was down during button state change
       BUTTON_ALT               alt was down during button state change
       ALL_MOUSE_EVENTS         report all button state changes
       REPORT_MOUSE_POSITION    report mouse movement

Once a class of mouse events have been made visible in a window, calling the wgetch() function on that window may return KEY_MOUSE as an indicator that a mouse event has been queued. To read the event data and pop the event off the queue, call getmouse(). This function will return OK if a mouse event is actually visible in the given window, ERR otherwise. When getmouse() returns OK, the data deposited as y and x in the event structure coordinates will be screen-relative character-cell coordinates. The returned state mask will have exactly one bit set to indicate the event type.

The ungetmouse() function behaves analogously to ungetch(). It pushes a KEY_MOUSE event onto the input queue, and associates with that event the given state data and screen-relative character-cell coordinates.

The wenclose() function tests whether a given pair of screen-relative character-cell coordinates is enclosed by a given window, returning TRUE if it is and FALSE otherwise. It is useful for determining what subset of the screen windows enclose the location of a mouse event.

The mouseinterval() function sets the maximum time (in thousands of a second) that can elapse between press and release events in order for them to be recognized as a click. This function returns the previous interval value. The default is one fifth of a second.

Note that mouse events will be ignored when input is in cooked mode, and will cause an error beep when cooked mode is being simulated in a window by a function such as getstr() that expects a linefeed for input-loop termination.


All routines return the integer ERR upon failure or OK upon successful completion.


These calls were designed for ncurses(), and are not found in SVr4 curses, 4.4BSD curses, or any other previous version of curses.

The feature macro NCURSES_MOUSE_VERSION is provided so the preprocessor can be used to test whether these features are present (its value is 1). NOTE: THIS INTERFACE IS EXPERIMENTAL AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE! If the interface is changed, the value of NCURSES_MOUSE_VERSION will be incremented.

The order of the MEVENT structure members is not guaranteed. Additional fields may be added to the structure in the future.

Under ncurses, these calls are implemented using either xterm's built-in mouse-tracking API or Alessandro Rubini's gpm server. If you are using something other than xterm there is no gpm daemon running on your machine, mouse events will not be visible to ncurses (and the wmousemask() function will always return 0).

The z member in the event structure is not presently used. It is intended for use with touch screens (which may be pressure-sensitive) or with 3D-mice/trackballs/power gloves.


Mouse events under xterm will not in fact be ignored during cooked mode, if they have been enabled by wmousemask(). Instead, the xterm mouse report sequence will appear in the string read.

Mouse events under xterm will not be detected correctly in a window with its keypad bit off.


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