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AIX Version 4.3 General Programming Concepts: Writing and Debugging Programs

Working with Color

If a terminal supports color, you can use the color manipulation subroutines to include color in your curses program. Before manipulating colors, you should test whether a terminal supports color. To do this, you can use either the has_colors subroutine or the can_change_color subroutine. The can_change_color subroutine also checks to see if a program can change the terminal's color definitions. Neither of these subroutines requires an argument.

can_change_color Checks to see if the terminal supports colors and changing of the color definition.
has_colors Checks that the terminal supports colors.
start_color Initializes the eight basic colors and two global variables, COLORS and COLOR_PAIRS.

Once you have determined that the terminal supports color, you must call the start_color subroutine before calling other color subroutines. It is a good practice to call this subroutine right after the initscr subroutine and after a successful color test. The COLORS global variable defines the maximum number of colors the terminal supports. The COLOR_PAIRS global variable defines the maximum number of color pairs the terminal supports.

Related Information

Curses Overview for Programming

Manipulating Video Attributes

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