attroff, wattroff, attron, wattron, attrset, wattrset, color_set, wcolor_set, standend,
wstandend, standout, wstandout, attr_get, wattr_get, attr_off, wattr_off, attr_on,
wattr_on, attr_set, wattr_set, chgat, wchgat, mvchgat, mvwchgat, PAIR_NUMBER - curses
character and window attribute control routines
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 color_set(short color_pair_number, void* opts);
int wcolor_set(WINDOW *win, short color_pair_number,
int wstandend(WINDOW *win);
int wstandout(WINDOW *win);
int attr_get(attr_t *attrs, short *pair, void *opts);
int wattr_get(WINDOW *win, attr_t *attrs, short *pair,
int attr_off(attr_t attrs, void *opts);
int wattr_off(WINDOW *win, attr_t attrs, void *opts);
int attr_on(attr_t attrs, void *opts);
int wattr_on(WINDOW *win, attr_t attrs, void *opts);
int attr_set(attr_t attrs, short pair, void *opts);
int wattr_set(WINDOW *win, attr_t attrs, short pair, void *opts);
int chgat(int n, attr_t attr, short color,
const void *opts)
int wchgat(WINDOW *win, 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 *win, 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 wad-
dch, 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 rou-
tine 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 attrset and related routines do not affect the attributes used when erasing portions
of the window. See curs_bkgd(3X) for functions which modify the attributes used for eras-
ing and clearing.
The routine color_set sets the current color of the given window to the foreground/back-
ground combination described by the color_pair_number. The parameter opts is reserved for
future use, applications must supply a null pointer.
The routine wattr_get returns the current attribute and color pair for the given window;
attr_get returns the current attribute and color pair 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 gener-
alizes 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(3X)). The opts argument is not presently used, but is reserved
for the future (leave it NULL). Note that changing the attributes does not imply that a
subsequent refresh will update the screen to match, since the character values are not
modified. Use touchwin to force the screen to match the updated attributes.
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_REVERSE Reverse video
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):
PAIR_NUMBER(attrs) 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
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 functions 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 high-
light macros prefixed with WA_.
WA_NORMAL Normal display (no highlight)
WA_STANDOUT Best highlighting mode of the terminal.
WA_REVERSE Reverse video
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 func-
tions 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.
curses(3X), curs_addch(3X), curs_addstr(3X), curs_bkgd(3X), curs_printw(3X)