forms - curses extension for programming forms


#include <form.h>


The forms library provides terminal-independent facilities for composing form screens on character-cell terminals. The library includes: field routines, which create and modify form fields; and form routines, which group fields into forms, display forms on the screen, and handle interaction with the user.

The forms library uses the curses libraries, and a curses initialization routine such as initscr(3) must be called before using any of these functions. To use the forms library, link with the options -lform -lcurses.

Current Default Values for Field Attributes

The forms library maintains a default value for field attributes. You can get or set this default by calling the appropriate get_ or set_ routine with a NULL field pointer. Changing this default with a set_ function affects future field creations, but does not change the rendering of fields already created.

Routine Name Index

The following table lists each form routine and the name of the manual page on which it is described.

curses Routine Name Manual Page Name
current_field() form_page
data_ahead() form_data
data_behind() form_data
dup_field() form_field_new
dynamic_fieldinfo() form_field_info
field_arg() form_field_validation
field_back() form_field_attributes
field_buffer() form_field_buffer
field_count() form_field
field_fore() form_field_attributes
field_index() form_page
field_info() form_field_info
field_init() form_hook
field_just() form_field_just
field_opts() form_field_opts
field_opts_off() form_field_opts
field_opts_on() form_field_opts
field_pad() form_field_attributes
field_status() form_field_buffer
field_term() form_hook
field_type() form_field_validation
field_userptr() form_field_userptr
form_driver() form_driver
form_fields() form_field
form_init() form_hook
form_opts() form_opts
form_opts_off() form_opts
form_opts_on() form_opts
form_page() form_page
form_sub() form_win
form_term() form_hook
form_userptr() form_userptr
form_win() form_win
free_field() form_field_new
free_form() form_new
link_field() form_field_new
link_fieldtype() link_fieldtype
move_field() form_field
new_field() form_field_new
new_form() form_new
new_page() form_new_page
pos_form_cursor() form_cursor
post_form() form_post
scale_form() form_win
set_current_field() form_page
set_field_back() form_field_attributes
set_field_buffer() form_field_buffer
set_field_fore() form_field_attributes
set_field_init() form_hook
set_field_just() form_field_just
set_field_opts() form_field_opts
set_field_pad() form_field_attributes
set_field_status() form_field_buffer
set_field_term() form_hook
set_field_type() form_field_validation
set_field_userptr() form_field_userptr
set_fieldtype_arg() form_fieldtype
set_fieldtype_choice() form_fieldtype
set_form_fields() form_field
set_form_init() form_hook
set_form_opts() form_field_opts
set_form_page() form_page
set_form_sub() form_win
set_form_term() form_hook
set_form_userptr() form_userptr
set_form_win() form_win
set_max_field() form_field_buffer
set_new_page() form_new_page
unpost_form() form_post


Routines that return pointers return NULL on error. Routines that return an integer return one of the following error codes:

The routine succeeded.
The field is already connected to a form.
System error occurred (see errno
Routine detected an incorrect or out-of-range argument.
The form is already posted.
Routine was called from an initialization or termination function.
Form is too large for its window.
The form has not been posted.
The form driver code saw an unknown request code.
Contents of a field are not valid.
No fields are connected to the form.
The form driver could not process the request.


curses(3) and pages whose names begin form_ for detailed descriptions of the entry points.


The header file <form.h> automatically includes the header files <curses.h> and <eti.h>.

In your library list, libform.a should be before libncurses.a; that is, you want to say -lform -lncurses, not the other way around (which would give you a link error using many linkers).


These routines emulate the System V forms library. They were not supported on Version 7 or BSD versions.