Go to main content

man pages section 1: User Commands

Exit Print View

Updated: Wednesday, February 9, 2022

option (1t)


option - Add/retrieve window options to/from the option database


option add pattern value ?priority?
option clear
option get window name class
option readfile fileName ?priority?


option(1t)                   Tk Built-In Commands                   option(1t)


       option - Add/retrieve window options to/from the option database

       option add pattern value ?priority?
       option clear
       option get window name class
       option readfile fileName ?priority?

       The  option command allows you to add entries to the Tk option database
       or to retrieve options from the database.  The add form of the  command
       adds  a  new option to the database.  Pattern contains the option being
       specified, and consists of names and/or classes separated by  asterisks
       or  dots, in the usual X format (see PATTERN FORMAT).  Value contains a
       text string to associate with pattern;  this is the value that will  be
       returned  in  calls to Tk_GetOption or by invocations of the option get
       command.  If priority is specified, it indicates the priority level for
       this  option (see below for legal values);  it defaults to interactive.
       This command always returns an empty string.

       The option clear command clears the option database.   Default  options
       (from  the  RESOURCE_MANAGER  property  or the .Xdefaults file) will be
       reloaded automatically the next time an option is added to the database
       or removed from it.  This command always returns an empty string.

       The  option  get  command returns the value of the option specified for
       window under name and class.  If several entries in the option database
       match  window,  name, and class, then the command returns whichever was
       created with highest priority level.  If  there  are  several  matching
       entries at the same priority level, then it returns whichever entry was
       most recently entered into the option database.  If there are no match-
       ing entries, then the empty string is returned.

       The  readfile form of the command reads fileName, which should have the
       standard format for an X resource database such as .Xdefaults, and adds
       all the options specified in that file to the option database.  If pri-
       ority is specified, it indicates the priority level at which  to  enter
       the options;  priority defaults to interactive.

       The  file  is  read  through  a  channel  which is in "utf-8" encoding,
       invalid byte sequences are automatically converted to valid ones.  This
       means  that  encodings  like ISO 8859-1 or cp1252 with high probability
       will work as well, but this  cannot  be  guaranteed.   This  cannot  be
       changed, setting the [encoding system] has no effect.

       The  priority  arguments  to  the option command are normally specified
       symbolically using one of the following values:

              Level 20.  Used for default values hard-coded into widgets.

              Level 40.  Used for options  specified  in  application-specific
              startup files.

              Level  60.  Used for options specified in user-specific defaults
              files, such as .Xdefaults, resource databases loaded into the  X
              server, or user-specific startup files.

              Level  80.   Used  for options specified interactively after the
              application starts running.  If priority is  not  specified,  it
              defaults to this level.

       Any  of the above keywords may be abbreviated.  In addition, priorities
       may be specified numerically using integers between 0 and  100,  inclu-
       sive.   The numeric form is probably a bad idea except for new priority
       levels other than the ones given above.

       Patterns consist of a sequence of words separated  by  either  periods,
       ".", or asterisks "*".  The overall pattern may also be optionally pre-
       ceded by an asterisk.

       Each word in the pattern conventionally starts with  either  an  upper-
       case  letter  (in which case it denotes the class of either a widget or
       an option) or any other character, when it denotes the name of a widget
       or  option.  The  last word in the pattern always indicates the option;
       the preceding ones constrain which widgets that option will  be  looked
       for in.

       When  two  words are separated by a period, the latter widget must be a
       direct child of the former (or the option must apply to only the  indi-
       cated widgets).  When two words are separated by an asterisk, any depth
       of widgets may lie between the  former  and  latter  widgets  (and  the
       option applies to all widgets that are children of the former widget).

       If  the  overall  pattern  is preceded by an asterisk, then the overall
       pattern applies anywhere it can throughout the whole widget  hierarchy.
       Otherwise the first word of the pattern is matched against the name and
       class of the "."  toplevel, which are usually set by options to wish.

       Instruct every button in the application to have red text on it  unless
       explicitly  overridden,  by setting the foreground for the Button class
       (note that on some platforms the option is ignored):
              option add *Button.foreground red startupFile

       Allow users to control what happens in an entry widget when the  Return
       key  is pressed by specifying a script in the option database and add a
       default option for that which rings the bell:
              entry .e
              bind .e <Return> [option get .e returnCommand Command]
              option add *.e.returnCommand bell widgetDefault

       See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

       |Availability   | runtime/tk-8     |
       |Stability      | Uncommitted      |

       options(n), wish(1)

       database, option, priority, retrieve

       Source code for open source software components in Oracle  Solaris  can
       be found at https://www.oracle.com/downloads/opensource/solaris-source-

       This    software    was    built    from    source     available     at
       https://github.com/oracle/solaris-userland.    The  original  community
       source        was        downloaded        from         https://source-

       Further information about this software can be found on the open source
       community website at https://www.tcl.tk/.

Tk                                                                  option(1t)