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 waddch, 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 routine 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
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
erasing and clearing.
The routine color_set sets the current color of the given window to the
foreground/background combination described by the color_pair_number. The
parameter opts is reserved for future use, applications must supply a null
The routine wattr_get returns the current attribute and color pair for
the given window; attr_get returns the current attribute and color pair
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 generalizes 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).
The following video attributes, defined in <curses.h>, can be passed to
the routines attron, attroff, and attrset, or OR’d with the
characters passed to addch.
|A_NORMAL||Normal display (no highlight)|
|A_STANDOUT||Best highlighting mode of the terminal.|
|A_BOLD||Extra bright or bold|
|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 be macros.
COLOR_PAIR values can only be OR’d with attributes if the pair
number is less than 256.
The alternate functions such as color_set can pass a color pair
However, ncurses ABI 4 and 5 simply OR this value within the alternate functions.
You must use ncurses ABI 6 to support more than 256 color pairs.
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 highlight macros prefixed with WA_.
Older versions of this library did not force an update of the screen
when changing the attributes.
Use touchwin to force the screen to match the updated attributes.
|WA_NORMAL||Normal display (no highlight)|
|WA_STANDOUT||Best highlighting mode of the terminal.|
|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 functions operates on the same current-highlight
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
implementation does not yet support.
All routines return the integer OK on success, or ERR on failure.
X/Open does not define any error conditions.
This implementation returns an error
if the window pointer is null.
The wcolor_set function returns an error if the color pair parameter
is outside the range 0..COLOR_PAIRS-1.
This implementation also provides
for compatibility with older versions of curses.