VIS(3) BSD Library Functions Manual VIS(3)
vis -- visually encode characters
Standard C Library (libc, -lc)
vis(char *dst, int c, int flag, int nextc);
strvis(char *dst, const char *src, int flag);
strvisx(char *dst, const char *src, size_t len, int flag);
The vis() function copies into dst a string which represents the character c. If c needs no encoding, it is copied in unaltered. The string
is null terminated, and a pointer to the end of the string is returned. The maximum length of any encoding is four characters (not including
the trailing NUL); thus, when encoding a set of characters into a buffer, the size of the buffer should be four times the number of charac-
ters encoded, plus one for the trailing NUL. The flag argument is used for altering the default range of characters considered for encoding
and for altering the visual representation. The additional character, nextc, is only used when selecting the VIS_CSTYLE encoding format
The strvis() and strvisx() functions copy into dst a visual representation of the string src. The strvis() function encodes characters from
src up to the first NUL. The strvisx() function encodes exactly len characters from src (this is useful for encoding a block of data that
may contain NUL's). Both forms NUL terminate dst. The size of dst must be four times the number of characters encoded from src (plus one
for the NUL). Both forms return the number of characters in dst (not including the trailing NUL).
The encoding is a unique, invertible representation composed entirely of graphic characters; it can be decoded back into the original form
using the unvis(3) or strunvis(3) functions.
There are two parameters that can be controlled: the range of characters that are encoded, and the type of representation used. By default,
all non-graphic characters except space, tab, and newline are encoded. (See isgraph(3).) The following flags alter this:
VIS_GLOB Also encode magic characters ('*', '?', '[' and '#') recognized by glob(3).
VIS_SP Also encode space.
VIS_TAB Also encode tab.
VIS_NL Also encode newline.
VIS_WHITE Synonym for VIS_SP | VIS_TAB | VIS_NL.
VIS_SAFE Only encode "unsafe" characters. Unsafe means control characters which may cause common terminals to perform unexpected func-
tions. Currently this form allows space, tab, newline, backspace, bell, and return - in addition to all graphic characters -
There are four forms of encoding. Most forms use the backslash character '' to introduce a special sequence; two backslashes are used to
represent a real backslash. These are the visual formats:
(default) Use an 'M' to represent meta characters (characters with the 8th bit set), and use caret '^' to represent control characters
see (iscntrl(3)). The following formats are used:
^C Represents the control character 'C'. Spans characters '