spinbox(1T) Tk Built-In Commands spinbox(1T)
spinbox - Create and manipulate spinbox widgets
spinbox pathName ?options?
-activebackground -highlightthickness -repeatinterval
-background -insertbackground -selectbackground
-borderwidth -insertborderwidth -selectborderwidth
-cursor -insertontime -selectforeground
-exportselection -insertwidth -takefocus
-font -insertofftime -textvariable
-foreground -justify -xscrollcommand
See the options manual entry for details on the standard options.
[-buttonbackground buttonBackground] The background color to be used for the spin buttons. [-buttoncursor buttonCursor] The cursor to be
used when over the spin buttons. If this is empty (the default), a default cursor will be used. [-buttondownrelief buttonDownRelief] The
relief to be used for the upper spin button. [-buttonuprelief buttonUpRelief] The relief to be used for the lower spin button. [-com-
mand command] Specifies a Tcl command to invoke whenever a spinbutton is invoked. The command recognizes several percent substitutions: %W
for the widget path, %s for the current value of the widget, and %d for the direction of the button pressed (up or down). [-disabledback-
ground disabledBackground] Specifies the background color to use when the spinbox is disabled. If this option is the empty string, the
normal background color is used. [-disabledforeground disabledForeground] Specifies the foreground color to use when the spinbox is dis-
abled. If this option is the empty string, the normal foreground color is used. [-format format] Specifies an alternate format to use
when setting the string value when using the -from and -to range. This must be a format specifier of the form %<pad>.<pad>f, as it will
format a floating-point number. [-from from] A floating-point value corresponding to the lowest value for a spinbox, to be used in con-
junction with -to and -increment. When all are specified correctly, the spinbox will use these values to control its contents. This value
must be less than the -to option. If -values is specified, it supercedes this option. [-invalidcommand or -invcmd invalidCommand] Speci-
fies a script to eval when validateCommand returns 0. Setting it to an empty string disables this feature (the default). The best use of
this option is to set it to bell. See Validation below for more information. [-increment increment] A floating-point value specifying the
increment. When used with -from and -to, the value in the widget will be adjusted by -increment when a spin button is pressed (up adds the
value, down subtracts the value). [-readonlybackground readonlyBackground] Specifies the background color to use when the spinbox is read-
only. If this option is the empty string, the normal background color is used. [-state state] Specifies one of three states for the spin-
box: normal, disabled, or readonly. If the spinbox is readonly, then the value may not be changed using widget commands and no insertion
cursor will be displayed, even if the input focus is in the widget; the contents of the widget may still be selected. If the spinbox is
disabled, the value may not be changed, no insertion cursor will be displayed, the contents will not be selectable, and the spinbox may be
displayed in a different color, depending on the values of the -disabledforeground and -disabledbackground options. [-to to] A floating-
point value corresponding to the highest value for the spinbox, to be used in conjunction with -from and -increment. When all are speci-
fied correctly, the spinbox will use these values to control its contents. This value must be greater than the -from option. If -values
is specified, it supercedes this option. [-validate validate] Specifies the mode in which validation should operate: none, focus, focusin,
focusout, key, or all. It defaults to none. When you want validation, you must explicitly state which mode you wish to use. See Valida-
tion below for more. [-validatecommand or -vcmd validateCommand] Specifies a script to evaluate when you want to validate the input in the
widget. Setting it to an empty string disables this feature (the default). Validation occurs according to the value of -validate. This
command must return a valid Tcl boolean value. If it returns 0 (or the valid Tcl boolean equivalent) then the value of the widget will not
change and the invalidCommand will be evaluated if it is set. If it returns 1, then value will be changed. See Validation below for more
information. [-values values] Must be a proper list value. If specified, the spinbox will use these values as to control its contents,
starting with the first value. This option has precedence over the -from and -to range. [-width width] Specifies an integer value indi-
cating the desired width of the spinbox window, in average-size characters of the widget's font. If the value is less than or equal to
zero, the widget picks a size just large enough to hold its current text. [-wrap wrap] Must be a proper boolean value. If on, the spinbox
will wrap around the values of data in the widget.
The spinbox command creates a new window (given by the pathName argument) and makes it into a spinbox widget. Additional options,
described above, may be specified on the command line or in the option database to configure aspects of the spinbox such as its colors,
font, and relief. The spinbox command returns its pathName argument. At the time this command is invoked, there must not exist a window
named pathName, but pathName's parent must exist.
A spinbox is an extended entry widget that allows he user to move, or spin, through a fixed set of ascending or descending values such as
times or dates in addition to editing the value as in an entry. When first created, a spinbox's string is empty. A portion of the spinbox
may be selected as described below. If a spinbox is exporting its selection (see the exportSelection option), then it will observe the
standard protocols for handling the selection; spinbox selections are available as type STRING. Spinboxes also observe the standard Tk
rules for dealing with the input focus. When a spinbox has the input focus it displays an insertion cursor to indicate where new charac-
ters will be inserted.
Spinboxes are capable of displaying strings that are too long to fit entirely within the widget's window. In this case, only a portion of
the string will be displayed; commands described below may be used to change the view in the window. Spinboxes use the standard xScroll-
Command mechanism for interacting with scrollbars (see the description of the xScrollCommand option for details). They also support scan-
ning, as described below.
Validation works by setting the validateCommand option to a script which will be evaluated according to the validate option as follows:
none Default. This means no validation will occur.
focus validateCommand will be called when the spinbox receives or loses focus.
focusin validateCommand will be called when the spinbox receives focus.
focusout validateCommand will be called when the spinbox loses focus.
key validateCommand will be called when the spinbox is edited.
all validateCommand will be called for all above conditions.
It is possible to perform percent substitutions on the validateCommand and invalidCommand, just as you would in a bind script. The follow-
ing substitutions are recognized:
%d Type of action: 1 for insert, 0 for delete, or -1 for focus, forced or textvariable validation.
%i Index of char string to be inserted/deleted, if any, otherwise -1.
%P The value of the spinbox should edition occur. If you are configuring the spinbox widget to have a new textvariable, this will be the
value of that textvariable.
%s The current value of spinbox before edition.
%S The text string being inserted/deleted, if any. Otherwise it is an empty string.
%v The type of validation currently set.
%V The type of validation that triggered the callback (key, focusin, focusout, forced).
%W The name of the spinbox widget.
In general, the textVariable and validateCommand can be dangerous to mix. Any problems have been overcome so that using the validateCom-
mand will not interfere with the traditional behavior of the spinbox widget. Using the textVariable for read-only purposes will never
cause problems. The danger comes when you try set the textVariable to something that the validateCommand would not accept, which causes
validate to become none (the invalidCommand will not be triggered). The same happens when an error occurs evaluating the validateCommand.
Primarily, an error will occur when the validateCommand or invalidCommand encounters an error in its script while evaluating or validate-
Command does not return a valid Tcl boolean value. The validate option will also set itself to none when you edit the spinbox widget from
within either the validateCommand or the invalidCommand. Such editions will override the one that was being validated. If you wish to
edit the value of the widget during validation and still have the validate option set, you should include the command
%W config -validate %v
in the validateCommand or invalidCommand (whichever one you were editing the spinbox widget from). It is also recommended to not set an
associated textVariable during validation, as that can cause the spinbox widget to become out of sync with the textVariable.
The spinbox command creates a new Tcl command whose name is pathName. This command may be used to invoke various operations on the widget.
It has the following general form:
pathName option ?arg arg ...?
Option and the args determine the exact behavior of the command.
Many of the widget commands for spinboxes take one or more indices as arguments. An index specifies a particular character in the spin-
box's string, in any of the following ways:
number Specifies the character as a numerical index, where 0 corresponds to the first character in the string.
anchor Indicates the anchor point for the selection, which is set with the select from and select adjust widget commands.
end Indicates the character just after the last one in the spinbox's string. This is equivalent to specifying a numerical index
equal to the length of the spinbox's string.
insert Indicates the character adjacent to and immediately following the insertion cursor.
sel.first Indicates the first character in the selection. It is an error to use this form if the selection isn't in the spinbox window.
sel.last Indicates the character just after the last one in the selection. It is an error to use this form if the selection isn't in
the spinbox window.
@number In this form, number is treated as an x-coordinate in the spinbox's window; the character spanning that x-coordinate is used.
For example, ``@0'' indicates the left-most character in the window.
Abbreviations may be used for any of the forms above, e.g. ``e'' or ``sel.f''. In general, out-of-range indices are automatically rounded
to the nearest legal value.
The following commands are possible for spinbox widgets:
pathName bbox index
Returns a list of four numbers describing the bounding box of the character given by index. The first two elements of the list give
the x and y coordinates of the upper-left corner of the screen area covered by the character (in pixels relative to the widget) and
the last two elements give the width and height of the character, in pixels. The bounding box may refer to a region outside the
visible area of the window.
pathName cget option
Returns the current value of the configuration option given by option. Option may have any of the values accepted by the spinbox
pathName configure ?option? ?value option value ...?
Query or modify the configuration options of the widget. If no option is specified, returns a list describing all of the available
options for pathName (see Tk_ConfigureInfo for information on the format of this list). If option is specified with no value, then
the command returns a list describing the one named option (this list will be identical to the corresponding sublist of the value
returned if no option is specified). If one or more option-value pairs are specified, then the command modifies the given widget
option(s) to have the given value(s); in this case the command returns an empty string. Option may have any of the values accepted
by the spinbox command.
pathName delete first ?last?
Delete one or more elements of the spinbox. First is the index of the first character to delete, and last is the index of the char-
acter just after the last one to delete. If last isn't specified it defaults to first+1, i.e. a single character is deleted. This
command returns an empty string.
Returns the spinbox's string.
pathName icursor index
Arrange for the insertion cursor to be displayed just before the character given by index. Returns an empty string.
pathName identify x y
Returns the name of the window element corresponding to coordinates x and y in the spinbox. Return value is one of: none, button-
down, buttonup, entry.
pathName index index
Returns the numerical index corresponding to index.
pathName insert index string
Insert the characters of string just before the character indicated by index. Returns an empty string.
pathName invoke element
Causes the specified element, either buttondown or buttonup, to be invoked, triggering the action associated with it.
pathName scan option args
This command is used to implement scanning on spinboxes. It has two forms, depending on option:
pathName scan mark x
Records x and the current view in the spinbox window; used in conjunction with later scan dragto commands. Typically this
command is associated with a mouse button press in the widget. It returns an empty string.
pathName scan dragto x
This command computes the difference between its x argument and the x argument to the last scan mark command for the widget.
It then adjusts the view left or right by 10 times the difference in x-coordinates. This command is typically associated
with mouse motion events in the widget, to produce the effect of dragging the spinbox at high speed through the window. The
return value is an empty string.
pathName selection option arg
This command is used to adjust the selection within a spinbox. It has several forms, depending on option:
pathName selection adjust index
Locate the end of the selection nearest to the character given by index, and adjust that end of the selection to be at index
(i.e. including but not going beyond index). The other end of the selection is made the anchor point for future select to
commands. If the selection isn't currently in the spinbox, then a new selection is created to include the characters between
index and the most recent selection anchor point, inclusive. Returns an empty string.
pathName selection clear
Clear the selection if it is currently in this widget. If the selection isn't in this widget then the command has no effect.
Returns an empty string.
pathName selection element ?element?
Sets or gets the currently selected element. If a spinbutton element is specified, it will be displayed depressed.
pathName selection from index
Set the selection anchor point to just before the character given by index. Doesn't change the selection. Returns an empty
pathName selection present
Returns 1 if there is are characters selected in the spinbox, 0 if nothing is selected.
pathName selection range start end
Sets the selection to include the characters starting with the one indexed by start and ending with the one just before end.
If end refers to the same character as start or an earlier one, then the spinbox's selection is cleared.
pathName selection to index
If index is before the anchor point, set the selection to the characters from index up to but not including the anchor point.
If index is the same as the anchor point, do nothing. If index is after the anchor point, set the selection to the charac-
ters from the anchor point up to but not including index. The anchor point is determined by the most recent select from or
select adjust command in this widget. If the selection isn't in this widget then a new selection is created using the most
recent anchor point specified for the widget. Returns an empty string.
pathName set ?string?
If string is specified, the spinbox will try and set it to this value, otherwise it just returns the spinbox's string. If valida-
tion is on, it will occur when setting the string.
This command is used to force an evaluation of the validateCommand independent of the conditions specified by the validate option.
This is done by temporarily setting the validate option to all. It returns 0 or 1.
pathName xview args
This command is used to query and change the horizontal position of the text in the widget's window. It can take any of the follow-
Returns a list containing two elements. Each element is a real fraction between 0 and 1; together they describe the hori-
zontal span that is visible in the window. For example, if the first element is .2 and the second element is .6, 20% of the
spinbox's text is off-screen to the left, the middle 40% is visible in the window, and 40% of the text is off-screen to the
right. These are the same values passed to scrollbars via the -xscrollcommand option.
pathName xview index
Adjusts the view in the window so that the character given by index is displayed at the left edge of the window.
pathName xview moveto fraction
Adjusts the view in the window so that the character fraction of the way through the text appears at the left edge of the
window. Fraction must be a fraction between 0 and 1.
pathName xview scroll number what
This command shifts the view in the window left or right according to number and what. Number must be an integer. What must
be either units or pages or an abbreviation of one of these. If what is units, the view adjusts left or right by number
average-width characters on the display; if it is pages then the view adjusts by number screenfuls. If number is negative
then characters farther to the left become visible; if it is positive then characters farther to the right become visible.
Tk automatically creates class bindings for spinboxes that give them the following default behavior. In the descriptions below, ``word''
refers to a contiguous group of letters, digits, or ``_'' characters, or any single character other than these.
 Clicking mouse button 1 positions the insertion cursor just before the character underneath the mouse cursor, sets the input focus
to this widget, and clears any selection in the widget. Dragging with mouse button 1 strokes out a selection between the insertion
cursor and the character under the mouse.
 Double-clicking with mouse button 1 selects the word under the mouse and positions the insertion cursor at the beginning of the
word. Dragging after a double click will stroke out a selection consisting of whole words.
 Triple-clicking with mouse button 1 selects all of the text in the spinbox and positions the insertion cursor before the first char-
 The ends of the selection can be adjusted by dragging with mouse button 1 while the Shift key is down; this will adjust the end of
the selection that was nearest to the mouse cursor when button 1 was pressed. If the button is double-clicked before dragging then
the selection will be adjusted in units of whole words.
 Clicking mouse button 1 with the Control key down will position the insertion cursor in the spinbox without affecting the selection.
 If any normal printing characters are typed in a spinbox, they are inserted at the point of the insertion cursor.
 The view in the spinbox can be adjusted by dragging with mouse button 2. If mouse button 2 is clicked without moving the mouse, the
selection is copied into the spinbox at the position of the mouse cursor.
 If the mouse is dragged out of the spinbox on the left or right sides while button 1 is pressed, the spinbox will automatically
scroll to make more text visible (if there is more text off-screen on the side where the mouse left the window).
 The Left and Right keys move the insertion cursor one character to the left or right; they also clear any selection in the spinbox
and set the selection anchor. If Left or Right is typed with the Shift key down, then the insertion cursor moves and the selection
is extended to include the new character. Control-Left and Control-Right move the insertion cursor by words, and Control-Shift-Left
and Control-Shift-Right move the insertion cursor by words and also extend the selection. Control-b and Control-f behave the same
as Left and Right, respectively. Meta-b and Meta-f behave the same as Control-Left and Control-Right, respectively.
 The Home key, or Control-a, will move the insertion cursor to the beginning of the spinbox and clear any selection in the spinbox.
Shift-Home moves the insertion cursor to the beginning of the spinbox and also extends the selection to that point.
 The End key, or Control-e, will move the insertion cursor to the end of the spinbox and clear any selection in the spinbox. Shift-
End moves the cursor to the end and extends the selection to that point.
 The Select key and Control-Space set the selection anchor to the position of the insertion cursor. They don't affect the current
selection. Shift-Select and Control-Shift-Space adjust the selection to the current position of the insertion cursor, selecting
from the anchor to the insertion cursor if there was not any selection previously.
 Control-/ selects all the text in the spinbox.
 Control- clears any selection in the spinbox.
 The F16 key (labelled Copy on many Sun workstations) or Meta-w copies the selection in the widget to the clipboard, if there is a
 The F20 key (labelled Cut on many Sun workstations) or Control-w copies the selection in the widget to the clipboard and deletes the
selection. If there is no selection in the widget then these keys have no effect.
 The F18 key (labelled Paste on many Sun workstations) or Control-y inserts the contents of the clipboard at the position of the
 The Delete key deletes the selection, if there is one in the spinbox. If there is no selection, it deletes the character to the
right of the insertion cursor.
 The BackSpace key and Control-h delete the selection, if there is one in the spinbox. If there is no selection, it deletes the
character to the left of the insertion cursor.
 Control-d deletes the character to the right of the insertion cursor.
 Meta-d deletes the word to the right of the insertion cursor.
 Control-k deletes all the characters to the right of the insertion cursor.
 Control-t reverses the order of the two characters to the right of the insertion cursor.
If the spinbox is disabled using the -state option, then the spinbox's view can still be adjusted and text in the spinbox can still be
selected, but no insertion cursor will be displayed and no text modifications will take place.
The behavior of spinboxes can be changed by defining new bindings for individual widgets or by redefining the class bindings.
spinbox, entry, widget
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
|Availability | SUNWTk |
|Interface Stability | Uncommitted |
Source for Tk is available on http://opensolaris.org.
Tk 8.4 spinbox(1T)