curs_color 3x

curs_color(3x)                                                  curs_color(3x)


       start_color, has_colors, can_change_color, init_pair, init_color,
       color_content, pair_content, COLOR_PAIR, PAIR_NUMBER - curses color
       manipulation routines


       #include <curses.h>

       int start_color(void);

       bool has_colors(void);
       bool can_change_color(void);

       int init_pair(short pair, short f, short b);
       int init_color(short color, short r, short g, short b);
       /* extensions */
       int init_extended_pair(int pair, int f, int b);
       int init_extended_color(int color, int r, int g, int b);

       int color_content(short color, short *r, short *g, short *b);
       int pair_content(short pair, short *f, short *b);
       /* extensions */
       int extended_color_content(int color, int *r, int *g, int *b);
       int extended_pair_content(int pair, int *f, int *b);

       int COLOR_PAIR(int n);



       curses supports color attributes on terminals with that capability.  To
       use these routines start_color must  be  called,  usually  right  after
       initscr.  Colors are always used in pairs (referred to as color-pairs).
       A color-pair consists of a foreground  color  (for  characters)  and  a
       background  color (for the blank field on which the characters are dis-
       played).  A  programmer  initializes  a  color-pair  with  the  routine
       init_pair.  After it has been initialized, COLOR_PAIR(n) can be used to
       convert the pair to a video attribute.

       If a terminal is capable of redefining colors, the programmer  can  use
       the  routine  init_color to change the definition of a color.  The rou-
       tines has_colors and can_change_color return TRUE or  FALSE,  depending
       on whether the terminal has color capabilities and whether the program-
       mer can change the colors.  The routine color_content allows a program-
       mer  to  extract  the  amounts of red, green, and blue components in an
       initialized color.  The routine pair_content  allows  a  programmer  to
       find out how a given color-pair is currently defined.

Color Rendering

       The  curses  library  combines these inputs to produce the actual fore-
       ground and background colors shown on the screen:

       o   per-character video attributes (e.g., via waddch),

       o   the window attribute (e.g., by wattrset), and

       o   the background character (e.g., wbkgdset).

       Per-character and window attributes are usually set by a parameter con-
       taining  video attributes including a color pair value.  Some functions
       such as wattr_set use a separate parameter which is the color pair num-

       The  background  character  is  a special case: it includes a character
       value, just as if it were passed to waddch.

       The curses library does the actual work of combining these color  pairs
       in an internal function called from waddch:

       o   If the parameter passed to waddch is blank, and it uses the special
           color pair 0,

           o   curses next checks the window attribute.

           o   If the window attribute does not use color pair 0, curses  uses
               the color pair from the window attribute.

           o   Otherwise, curses uses the background character.

       o   If  the parameter passed to waddch is not blank, or it does not use
           the special color pair 0, curses prefers the color  pair  from  the
           parameter,  if  it  is nonzero.  Otherwise, it tries the window at-
           tribute next, and finally the background character.

       Some curses functions such as wprintw call waddch.  Those do  not  com-
       bine its parameter with a color pair.  Consequently those calls use on-
       ly the window attribute or the background character.


       In <curses.h> the following macros are defined.  These are the standard
       colors (ISO-6429).  curses also assumes that COLOR_BLACK is the default
       background color for all terminals.


       Some terminals support more than the eight (8)  "ANSI"  colors.   There
       are no standard names for those additional colors.



       is  initialized by start_color to the maximum number of colors the ter-
       minal can support.


       is initialized by start_color to the maximum number of color pairs  the
       terminal can support.



       The  start_color  routine  requires no arguments.  It must be called if
       the programmer wants to use colors, and before any other color  manipu-
       lation  routine  is  called.   It is good practice to call this routine
       right after initscr.  start_color does this:

       o   It initializes two global variables, COLORS  and  COLOR_PAIRS  (re-
           spectively  defining  the  maximum number of colors and color-pairs
           the terminal can support).

       o   It initializes the special color pair 0 to the  default  foreground
           and background colors.  No other color pairs are initialized.

       o   It  restores the colors on the terminal to the values they had when
           the terminal was just turned on.

       o   If the terminal supports the initc  (initialize_color)  capability,
           start_color  initializes  its  internal table representing the red,
           green and blue components of the color palette.

           The components depend on whether the terminal uses CGA (aka "ANSI")
           or  HLS  (i.e.,  the  hls  (hue_lightness_saturation) capability is
           set).  The table  is  initialized  first  for  eight  basic  colors
           (black,  red,  green,  yellow, blue, magenta, cyan, and white), and
           after that (if the terminal supports more than  eight  colors)  the
           components are initialized to 1000.

           start_color does not attempt to set the terminal's color palette to
           match its built-in table.  An application may use init_color to al-
           ter the internal table along with the terminal's color.

       These  limits  apply  to  color values and color pairs.  Values outside
       these limits are not legal, and may result in a runtime error:

       o   COLORS corresponds to the terminal database's max_colors  capabili-
           ty, (see terminfo(5)).

       o   color  values are expected to be in the range 0 to COLORS-1, inclu-
           sive (including 0 and COLORS-1).

       o   a special color value -1 is used in certain extended  functions  to
           denote the default color (see use_default_colors).

       o   COLOR_PAIRS  corresponds to the terminal database's max_pairs capa-
           bility, (see terminfo(5)).

       o   legal color pair values are in the range 1 to COLOR_PAIRS-1, inclu-

       o   color pair 0 is special; it denotes "no color".

           Color pair 0 is assumed to be white on black, but is actually what-
           ever the terminal implements before color is initialized.  It  can-
           not be modified by the application.


       The  has_colors  routine requires no arguments.  It returns TRUE if the
       terminal can manipulate colors; otherwise, it returns FALSE.  This rou-
       tine facilitates writing terminal-independent programs.  For example, a
       programmer can use it to decide whether to  use  color  or  some  other
       video attribute.


       The can_change_color routine requires no arguments.  It returns TRUE if
       the terminal supports colors and can change their  definitions;  other,
       it  returns  FALSE.  This routine facilitates writing terminal-indepen-
       dent programs.


       The init_pair routine changes the definition of a color-pair.  It takes
       three  arguments: the number of the color-pair to be changed, the fore-
       ground color number, and the background color number.  For portable ap-

       o   The  first  argument  must be a legal color pair value.  If default
           colors are used (see use_default_colors) the upper limit is adjust-
           ed to allow for extra pairs which use a default color in foreground
           and/or background.

       o   The second and third arguments must be legal color values.

       If the color-pair was previously initialized, the screen  is  refreshed
       and  all  occurrences of that color-pair are changed to the new defini-

       As an extension, ncurses allows you to set color pair  0  via  the  as-
       sume_default_colors(3x)  routine, or to specify the use of default col-
       ors (color number -1) if you first  invoke  the  use_default_colors(3x)


       The  init_color  routine  changes  the definition of a color.  It takes
       four arguments: the number of the color to be changed followed by three
       RGB values (for the amounts of red, green, and blue components).

       o   The  first argument must be a legal color value; default colors are
           not allowed here.  (See the section Colors for  the  default  color

       o   Each  of  the  last  three arguments must be a value in the range 0
           through 1000.

       When init_color is used, all occurrences of that color  on  the  screen
       immediately change to the new definition.


       The color_content routine gives programmers a way to find the intensity
       of the red, green, and blue (RGB) components in a color.   It  requires
       four  arguments:  the  color  number, and three addresses of shorts for
       storing the information about the amounts of red, green, and blue  com-
       ponents in the given color.

       o   The  first  argument  must  be a legal color value, i.e., 0 through
           COLORS-1, inclusive.

       o   The values that are stored at the addresses pointed to by the  last
           three  arguments  are  in  the  range 0 (no component) through 1000
           (maximum amount of component), inclusive.


       The pair_content routine allows programmers to find out what  colors  a
       given  color-pair consists of.  It requires three arguments: the color-
       pair number, and two addresses of shorts for storing the foreground and
       the background color numbers.

       o   The  first argument must be a legal color value, i.e., in the range
           1 through COLOR_PAIRS-1, inclusive.

       o   The values that are stored at the addresses pointed to by the  sec-
           ond  and  third arguments are in the range 0 through COLORS, inclu-


       PAIR_NUMBER(attrs) extracts the color value from  its  attrs  parameter
       and returns it as a color pair number.


       Its inverse COLOR_PAIR(n) converts a color pair number to an attribute.
       Attributes can hold color pairs in the range 0 to 255.  If you  need  a
       color  pair  larger  than that, you must use functions such as attr_set
       (which pass the color pair as a separate  parameter)  rather  than  the
       legacy functions such as attrset.


       The routines can_change_color and has_colors return TRUE or FALSE.

       All  other routines return the integer ERR upon failure and an OK (SVr4
       specifies only "an integer value other than ERR") upon successful  com-

       X/Open  defines  no  error conditions.  This implementation will return
       ERR on attempts to use color values outside the  range  0  to  COLORS-1
       (except  for  the default colors extension), or use color pairs outside
       the range 0 to COLOR_PAIRS-1.  Color values used in init_color must  be
       in the range 0 to 1000.  An error is returned from all functions if the
       terminal has not been initialized.  An error is returned from secondary
       functions such as init_pair if start_color was not called.

               returns an error if the terminal does not support this feature,
               e.g., if the initialize_color capability  is  absent  from  the
               terminal description.

               returns an error if the color table cannot be allocated.


       In  the  ncurses  implementation,  there is a separate color activation
       flag, color palette, color pairs table, and associated COLORS and  COL-
       OR_PAIRS  counts for each screen; the start_color function only affects
       the current screen.  The SVr4/XSI interface is not really designed with
       this  in  mind,  and historical implementations may use a single shared
       color palette.

       Setting an implicit background color via  a  color  pair  affects  only
       character  cells  that  a character write operation explicitly touches.
       To change the background color used when parts of a window are  blanked
       by erasing or scrolling operations, see curs_bkgd(3x).

       Several  caveats  apply  on  older x86 machines (e.g., i386, i486) with
       VGA-compatible graphics:

       o   COLOR_YELLOW is actually brown.  To get  yellow,  use  COLOR_YELLOW
           combined with the A_BOLD attribute.

       o   The  A_BLINK  attribute should in theory cause the background to go
           bright.  This often fails to work, and even some cards for which it
           mostly  works  (such  as the Paradise and compatibles) do the wrong
           thing when you try to set a bright "yellow" background (you  get  a
           blinking yellow foreground instead).

       o   Color RGB values are not settable.


       This  implementation satisfies XSI Curses's minimum maximums for COLORS
       and COLOR_PAIRS.

       The init_pair routine accepts negative values of foreground  and  back-
       ground  color to support the use_default_colors(3x) extension, but only
       if that routine has been first invoked.

       The assumption that COLOR_BLACK is the default background color for all
       terminals  can  be  modified using the assume_default_colors(3x) exten-

       This implementation checks the pointers, e.g., for the values  returned
       by color_content and pair_content, and will treat those as optional pa-
       rameters when null.

       X/Open Curses does not specify a limit for the  number  of  colors  and
       color pairs which a terminal can support.  However, in its use of short
       for the parameters, it carries over SVr4's  implementation  detail  for
       the compiled terminfo database, which uses signed 16-bit numbers.  This
       implementation provides extended versions of those functions which  use
       short  parameters, allowing applications to use larger color- and pair-


       curses(3x), curs_initscr(3x),  curs_attr(3x),  curs_variables(3x),  de-