TERMINFO(5) Standards, Environments, and Macros TERMINFO(5)


terminfo - terminal and printer capability database




The terminfo database describes the capabilities of devices such as
terminals and printers. Devices are described in terminfo source files by
specifying a set of capabilities, by quantifying certain aspects of the
device, and by specifying character sequences that affect particular
results. This database is often used by screen oriented applications such
as vi and curses-based programs, as well as by some system commands such
as ls and more. This usage allows them to work with a variety of devices
without changes to the programs.

terminfo descriptions are located in the directory pointed to by the
environment variable TERMINFO or in /usr/share/lib/terminfo. terminfo
descriptions are generated by tic(8).

terminfo source files consist of one or more device descriptions. Each
description consists of a header (beginning in column 1) and one or more
lines that list the features for that particular device. Every line in a
terminfo source file must end in a comma (,). Every line in a terminfo
source file except the header must be indented with one or more white
spaces (either spaces or tabs).

Entries in terminfo source files consist of a number of comma-separated
fields. White space after each comma is ignored. Embedded commas must be
escaped by using a backslash. Each device entry has the following format:

alias1 | alias2 | ... | aliasn | fullname,
capability1, capability2,

The first line, commonly referred to as the header line, must begin in
column one and must contain at least two aliases separated by vertical
bars. The last field in the header line must be the long name of the
device and it may contain any string. Alias names must be unique in the
terminfo database and they must conform to system file naming
conventions. See tic(8). They cannot, for example, contain white space
or slashes.

Every device must be assigned a name, such as "vt100". Device names
(except the long name) should be chosen using the following conventions.
The name should not contain hyphens because hyphens are reserved for use
when adding suffixes that indicate special modes.

These special modes may be modes that the hardware can be in, or user
preferences. To assign a special mode to a particular device, append a
suffix consisting of a hyphen and an indicator of the mode to the device
name. For example, the -w suffix means "wide mode". When specified, it
allows for a width of 132 columns instead of the standard 80 columns.
Therefore, if you want to use a "vt100" device set to wide mode, name the
device "vt100-w". Use the following suffixes where possible.

Suffix Meaning Example
-w Wide mode (more than 80 columns) 5410-w
-am With auto. margins (usually default) vt100-am
-nam Without automatic margins vt100-nam
-n Number of lines on the screen 2300-40
-na No arrow keys (leave them in local) c100-na
-np Number of pages of memory c100-4p
-rv Reverse video 4415-rv

The terminfo reference manual page is organized in two sections:



Capabilities in terminfo are of three types: Boolean capabilities (which
show that a device has or does not have a particular feature), numeric
capabilities (which quantify particular features of a device), and string
capabilities (which provide sequences that can be used to perform
particular operations on devices).

In the following table, a Variable is the name by which a C programmer
accesses a capability (at the terminfo level). A Capname is the short
name for a capability specified in the terminfo source file. It is used
by a person updating the source file and by the tput command. A Termcap
Code is a two-letter sequence that corresponds to the termcap capability
name. (Note that termcap is no longer supported.)

Capability names have no real length limit, but an informal limit of five
characters has been adopted to keep them short. Whenever possible,
capability names are chosen to be the same as or similar to those
specified by the ANSI X3.64-1979 standard. Semantics are also intended to
match those of the ANSI standard.

All string capabilities listed below may have padding specified, with the
exception of those used for input. Input capabilities, listed under the
Strings section in the following tables, have names beginning with key_.
The #i symbol in the description field of the following tables refers to
the ith parameter.


Cap- Termcap
Variable name Code Description

auto_left_margin bw bw cub1 wraps from column 0 to
last column
auto_right_margin am am Terminal has automatic margins
back_color_erase bce be Screen erased with background
can_change ccc cc Terminal can re-define existing
ceol_standout_glitch xhp xs Standout not erased by
overwriting (hp)
col_addr_glitch xhpa YA Only positive motion
for hpa/mhpa caps
cpi_changes_res cpix YF Changing character pitch
changes resolution
cr_cancels_micro_mode crxm YB Using cr turns off micro mode
dest_tabs_magic_smso xt xt Destructive tabs, magic
smso char (t1061)
eat_newline_glitch xenl xn Newline ignored after
80 columns (Concept)
erase_overstrike eo eo Can erase overstrikes with a
generic_type gn gn Generic line type
(for example, dialup, switch)
hard_copy hc hc Hardcopy terminal
hard_cursor chts HC Cursor is hard to see
has_meta_key km km Has a meta key (shift,
sets parity bit)
has_print_wheel daisy YC Printer needs operator
to change character set
has_status_line hs hs Has extra "status line"
hue_lightness_saturation hls hl Terminal uses only HLS
color notation (Tektronix)
insert_null_glitch in in Insert mode distinguishes nulls
lpi_changes_res lpix YG Changing line pitch
changes resolution
memory_above da da Display may be retained
above the screen
memory_below db db Display may be retained
below the screen
move_insert_mode mir mi Safe to move while in insert
move_standout_mode msgr ms Safe to move in standout modes
needs_xon_xoff nxon nx Padding won't work,
xon/xoff required
no_esc_ctlc xsb xb Beehive (f1=escape, f2=ctrl C)
no_pad_char npc NP Pad character doesn't exist
non_dest_scroll_region ndscr ND Scrolling region
is nondestructive
non_rev_rmcup nrrmc NR smcup does not reverse rmcup
over_strike os os Terminal overstrikes
on hard-copy terminal
prtr_silent mc5i 5i Printer won't echo on screen
row_addr_glitch xvpa YD Only positive motion
for vpa/mvpa caps
semi_auto_right_margin sam YE Printing in last column causes
status_line_esc_ok eslok es Escape can be used on
the status line
tilde_glitch hz hz Hazeltine; can't print tilde (~)
transparent_underline ul ul Underline character overstrikes
xon_xoff xon xo Terminal uses xon/xoff


Cap- Termcap
Variable name Code Description

bit_image_entwining bitwin Yo Number of passes for each
bit-map row
bit_image_type bitype Yp Type of bit image device
buffer_capacity bufsz Ya Number of bytes buffered
before printing
buttons btns BT Number of buttons on the mouse
columns cols co Number of columns in a line
dot_horz_spacing spinh Yc Spacing of dots horizontally
in dots per inch
dot_vert_spacing spinv Yb Spacing of pins vertically
in pins per inch
init_tabs it it Tabs initially every # spaces
label_height lh lh Number of rows in each label
label_width lw lw Number of columns in each label
lines lines li Number of lines on a screen or
a page
lines_of_memory lm lm Lines of memory if > lines;
0 means varies
max_attributes ma ma Maximum combined video attributes
terminal can display
magic_cookie_glitch xmc sg Number of blank characters
left by smso or rmso
max_colors colors Co Maximum number of colors
on the screen
max_micro_address maddr Yd Maximum value in
max_micro_jump mjump Ye Maximum value in parm_..._micro
max_pairs pairs pa Maximum number of
color-pairs on the screen
maximum_windows Wnum MW Maximum number of definable windows
micro_char_size mcs Yf Character step size when
in micro mode
micro_line_size mls Yg Line step size when in micro mode
no_color_video ncv NC Video attributes that
can't be used with colors
num_labels nlab Nl Number of labels on screen
number_of_pins npins Yh Number of pins in print-head
output_res_char orc Yi Horizontal resolution in
units per character
output_res_line orl Yj Vertical resolution in units per
output_res_horz_inch orhi Yk Horizontal resolution in
units per inch
output_res_vert_inch orvi Yl Vertical resolution in
units per inch
padding_baud_rate pb pb Lowest baud rate
print_rate cps Ym Print rate in characters per second
where padding needed
virtual_terminal vt vt Virtual terminal number (system)
wide_char_size widcs Yn Character step size when
in double wide mode
width_status_line wsl ws Number of columns in status line


Cap- Termcap
Variable name Code Description

acs_chars acsc ac Graphic charset pairs aAbBcC
alt_scancode_esc scesa S8 Alternate escape for
scancode emulation
(default is for vt100)
back_tab cbt bt Back tab
bell bel bl Audible signal (bell)
bit_image_carriage_return bicr Yv Move to beginning of
same row (use tparm)
bit_image_newline binel Zz Move to next row of
the bit image (use tparm)
bit_image_repeat birep Zy Repeat bit-image cell
#1 #2 times (use tparm)
carriage_return cr cr Carriage return
change_char_pitch cpi ZA Change number of
characters per inch
change_line_pitch lpi ZB Change number of lines per inch
change_res_horz chr ZC Change horizontal resolution
change_res_vert cvr ZD Change vertical resolution
change_scroll_region csr cs Change to lines #1
through #2 (vt100)
char_padding rmp rP Like ip but when in replace
char_set_names csnm Zy List of character set names
clear_all_tabs tbc ct Clear all tab stops
clear_margins mgc MC Clear all margins
(top, bottom, and sides)
clear_screen clear cl Clear screen and home cursor
clr_bol el1 cb Clear to beginning of
line, inclusive
clr_eol el ce Clear to end of line
clr_eos ed cd Clear to end of display
code_set_init csin ci Init sequence
for multiple codesets
color_names colornm Yw Give name for color #1
column_address hpa ch Horizontal position
command_character cmdch CC Terminal settable cmd
character in prototype
create_window cwin CW Define win #1 to go
from #2,#3to #4,#5
cursor_address cup cm Move to row #1 col #2
cursor_down cud1 do Down one line
cursor_home home ho Home cursor (if no cup)
cursor_invisible civis vi Make cursor invisible
cursor_left cub1 le Move left one space.
cursor_mem_address mrcup CM Memory relative cursor
cursor_normal cnorm ve Make cursor appear
normal (undo vs/vi)
cursor_right cuf1 nd Non-destructive space
(cursor or carriage right)
cursor_to_ll ll ll Last line, first
column (if no cup)
cursor_up cuu1 up Upline (cursor up)
cursor_visible cvvis vs Make cursor very visible
define_bit_image_region defbi Yx Define rectangular bit-
image region (use tparm)
define_char defc ZE Define a character in
a character set
delete_character dch1 dc Delete character
delete_line dl1 dl Delete line
device_type devt dv Indicate language/
codeset support
dial_phone dial DI Dial phone number #1
dis_status_line dsl ds Disable status line
display_clock dclk DK Display time-of-day clock
display_pc_char dispc S1 Display PC character
down_half_line hd hd Half-line down (forward
1/2 linefeed)
ena_acs enacs eA Enable alternate character set
end_bit_image_region endbi Yy End a bit-image region
(use tparm)
enter_alt_charset_mode smacs as Start alternate character set
enter_am_mode smam SA Turn on automatic margins
enter_blink_mode blink mb Turn on blinking
enter_bold_mode bold md Turn on bold (extra
bright) mode
enter_ca_mode smcup ti String to begin programs
that use cup
enter_delete_mode smdc dm Delete mode (enter)
enter_dim_mode dim mh Turn on half-bright mode
enter_doublewide_mode swidm ZF Enable double wide printing
enter_draft_quality sdrfq ZG Set draft quality print mode
enter_insert_mode smir im Insert mode (enter)
enter_italics_mode sitm ZH Enable italics
enter_leftward_mode slm ZI Enable leftward carriage
enter_micro_mode smicm ZJ Enable micro motion
enter_near_letter_quality snlq ZK Set near-letter quality print
enter_normal_quality snrmq ZL Set normal quality
enter_pc_charset_mode smpch S2 Enter PC character display mode
enter_protected_mode prot mp Turn on protected mode
enter_reverse_mode rev mr Turn on reverse video mode
enter_scancode_mode smsc S4 Enter PC scancode mode
enter_scancode_mode smsc S4 Enter PC scancode mode
enter_secure_mode invis mk Turn on blank mode
(characters invisible)
enter_shadow_mode sshm ZM Enable shadow printing
enter_standout_mode smso so Begin standout mode
enter_subscript_mode ssubm ZN Enable subscript printing
enter_superscript_mode ssupm ZO Enable superscript printing
enter_underline_mode smul us Start underscore mode
enter_upward_mode sum ZP Enable upward carriage motion
enter_xon_mode smxon SX Turn on xon/xoff handshaking
erase_chars ech ec Erase #1 characters
exit_alt_charset_mode rmacs ae End alternate character set
exit_am_mode rmam RA Turn off automatic margins
exit_attribute_mode sgr0 me Turn off all attributes
exit_ca_mode rmcup te String to end programs
that use cup
exit_delete_mode rmdc ed End delete mode
exit_doublewide_mode rwidm ZQ Disable double wide printing
exit_insert_mode rmir ei End insert mode
exit_italics_mode ritm ZR Disable italics
exit_leftward_mode rlm ZS Enable rightward (normal)
carriage motion
exit_micro_mode rmicm ZT Disable micro motion
exit_pc_charset_mode rmpch S3 Disable PC character
display mode
exit_scancode_mode rmsc S5 Disable PC scancode mode
exit_shadow_mode rshm ZU Disable shadow printing
exit_standout_mode rmso se End standout mode
exit_subscript_mode rsubm ZV Disable subscript printing
exit_superscript_mode rsupm ZW Disable superscript printing
exit_underline_mode rmul ue End underscore mode
exit_upward_mode rum ZX Enable downward (normal)
carriage motion
exit_xon_mode rmxon RX Turn off xon/xoff handshaking
fixed_pause pause PA Pause for 2-3 seconds
flash_hook hook fh Flash the switch hook
flash_screen flash vb Visible bell (may
not move cursor)
form_feed ff ff Hardcopy terminal page eject
from_status_line fsl fs Return from status line
get_mouse getm Gm Curses should get button events
goto_window wingo WG Go to window #1
hangup hup HU Hang-up phone
init_1string is1 i1 Terminal or printer
initialization string
init_2string is2 is Terminal or printer
initialization string
init_3string is3 i3 Terminal or printer
initialization string
init_file if if Name of initialization file
init_prog iprog iP Path name of program
for initialization
initialize_color initc Ic Initialize the
definition of color
initialize_pair initp Ip Initialize color-pair
insert_character ich1 ic Insert character
insert_line il1 al Add new blank line
insert_padding ip ip Insert pad after
character inserted

The ``key_'' strings are sent by specific keys. The ``key_'' descriptions
include the macro, defined in <curses.h>, for the code returned by the
curses routine getch when the key is pressed (see curs_getch(3CURSES)).

Cap- Termcap
Variable name Code Description

key_a1 ka1 K1 KEY_A1, upper left of keypad
key_a3 ka3 K3 KEY_A3, upper right of keypad
key_b2 kb2 K2 KEY_B2, center of keypad
key_backspace kbs kb KEY_BACKSPACE, sent by
backspace key
key_beg kbeg @1 KEY_BEG, sent by beg(inning) key
key_btab kcbt kB KEY_BTAB, sent by back-tab key
key_c1 kc1 K4 KEY_C1, lower left of keypad
key_c3 kc3 K5 KEY_C3, lower right of keypad
key_cancel kcan @2 KEY_CANCEL, sent by cancel key
key_catab ktbc ka KEY_CATAB, sent by
clear-all-tabs key
key_clear kclr kC KEY_CLEAR, sent by
clear-screen or erase key
key_close kclo @3 KEY_CLOSE, sent by close key
key_command kcmd @4 KEY_COMMAND, sent by
cmd (command) key
key_copy kcpy @5 KEY_COPY, sent by copy key
key_create kcrt @6 KEY_CREATE, sent by create key
key_ctab kctab kt KEY_CTAB, sent by clear-tab key
key_dc kdch1 kD KEY_DC, sent by delete-character
key_dl kdl1 kL KEY_DL, sent by delete-line key
key_down kcud1 kd KEY_DOWN, sent by terminal
down-arrow key
key_eic krmir kM KEY_EIC, sent by rmir or smir in
insert mode
key_end kend @7 KEY_END, sent by end key
key_enter kent @8 KEY_ENTER, sent by enter/send
key_eol kel kE KEY_EOL, sent by
clear-to-end-of-line key
key_eos ked kS KEY_EOS, sent by
clear-to-end-of-screen key
key_exit kext @9 KEY_EXIT, sent by exit key
key_f0 kf0 k0 KEY_F(0), sent by function key f0
key_f1 kf1 k1 KEY_F(1), sent by function key f1
key_f2 kf2 k2 KEY_F(2), sent by function key f2
key_f3 kf3 k3 KEY_F(3), sent by function key f3
key_fB kf4 k4 KEY_F(4), sent by function key fB
key_f5 kf5 k5 KEY_F(5), sent by function key f5
key_f6 kf6 k6 KEY_F(6), sent by function key f6
key_f7 kf7 k7 KEY_F(7), sent by function key f7
key_f8 kf8 k8 KEY_F(8), sent by function key f8
key_f9 kf9 k9 KEY_F(9), sent by function key f9

key_f10 kf10 k; KEY_F(10), sent by function key
key_f11 kf11 F1 KEY_F(11), sent by function key
key_f12 kf12 F2 KEY_F(12), sent by function key
key_f13 kf13 F3 KEY_F(13), sent by function key
key_f14 kf14 F4 KEY_F(14), sent by function key
key_f15 kf15 F5 KEY_F(15), sent by function key
key_f16 kf16 F6 KEY_F(16), sent by function key
key_f17 kf17 F7 KEY_F(17), sent by function key
key_f18 kf18 F8 KEY_F(18), sent by function key
key_f19 kf19 F9 KEY_F(19), sent by function key
key_f20 kf20 FA KEY_F(20), sent by function key
key_f21 kf21 FB KEY_F(21), sent by function key
key_f22 kf22 FC KEY_F(22), sent by function key
key_f23 kf23 FD KEY_F(23), sent by function key
key_f24 kf24 FE KEY_F(24), sent by function key
key_f25 kf25 FF KEY_F(25), sent by function key
key_f26 kf26 FG KEY_F(26), sent by function key
key_f27 kf27 FH KEY_F(27), sent by function key
key_f28 kf28 FI KEY_F(28), sent by function key
key_f29 kf29 FJ KEY_F(29), sent by function key
key_f30 kf30 FK KEY_F(30), sent by function key
key_f31 kf31 FL KEY_F(31), sent by function key
key_f32 kf32 FM KEY_F(32), sent by function key
key_f33 kf33 FN KEY_F(13), sent by function key
key_f34 kf34 FO KEY_F(34), sent by function key
key_f35 kf35 FP KEY_F(35), sent by function key
key_f36 kf36 FQ KEY_F(36), sent by function key
key_f37 kf37 FR KEY_F(37), sent by function key
key_f38 kf38 FS KEY_F(38), sent by function key
key_f39 kf39 FT KEY_F(39), sent by function key
key_fB0 kf40 FU KEY_F(40), sent by function key
key_fB1 kf41 FV KEY_F(41), sent by function key
key_fB2 kf42 FW KEY_F(42), sent by function key
key_fB3 kf43 FX KEY_F(43), sent by function key
key_fB4 kf44 FY KEY_F(44), sent by function key
key_fB5 kf45 FZ KEY_F(45), sent by function key
key_fB6 kf46 Fa KEY_F(46), sent by function key
key_fB7 kf47 Fb KEY_F(47), sent by function key
key_fB8 kf48 Fc KEY_F(48), sent by function key
key_fB9 kf49 Fd KEY_F(49), sent by function key
key_f50 kf50 Fe KEY_F(50), sent by function key
key_f51 kf51 Ff KEY_F(51), sent by function key
key_f52 kf52 Fg KEY_F(52), sent by function key
key_f53 kf53 Fh KEY_F(53), sent by function key
key_f54 kf54 Fi KEY_F(54), sent by function key
key_f55 kf55 Fj KEY_F(55), sent by function key
key_f56 kf56 Fk KEY_F(56), sent by function key
key_f57 kf57 Fl KEY_F(57), sent by function key
key_f58 kf58 Fm KEY_F(58), sent by function key
key_f59 kf59 Fn KEY_F(59), sent by function key
key_f60 kf60 Fo KEY_F(60), sent by function key
key_f61 kf61 Fp KEY_F(61), sent by function key
key_f62 kf62 Fq KEY_F(62), sent by function key
key_f63 kf63 Fr KEY_F(63), sent by function key
key_find kfnd @0 KEY_FIND, sent by find key
key_help khlp %1 KEY_HELP, sent by help key
key_home khome kh KEY_HOME, sent by home key
key_ic kich1 kI KEY_IC, sent by ins-char/enter
ins-mode key
key_il kil1 kA KEY_IL, sent by insert-line key
key_left kcub1 kl KEY_LEFT, sent by
terminal left-arrow key
key_ll kll kH KEY_LL, sent by home-down key
key_mark kmrk %2 KEY_MARK, sent by
key_message kmsg %3 KEY_MESSAGE, sent by message key
key_mouse kmous Km 0631, Mouse event has occurred
key_move kmov %4 KEY_MOVE, sent by move key
key_next knxt %5 KEY_NEXT, sent by next-object
key_npage knp kN KEY_NPAGE, sent by next-page
key_open kopn %6 KEY_OPEN, sent by open key
key_options kopt %7 KEY_OPTIONS, sent by options
key_ppage kpp kP KEY_PPAGE, sent by
previous-page key
key_previous kprv %8 KEY_PREVIOUS, sent by
previous-object key
key_print kprt %9 KEY_PRINT, sent by
print or copy key
key_redo krdo %0 KEY_REDO, sent by redo key
key_reference kref &1 KEY_REFERENCE, sent by
reference key
key_refresh krfr &2 KEY_REFRESH, sent by
refresh key
key_replace krpl &3 KEY_REPLACE, sent by
replace key
key_restart krst &4 KEY_RESTART, sent by
restart key
key_resume kres &5 KEY_RESUME, sent by resume key
key_right kcuf1 kr KEY_RIGHT, sent by terminal
right-arrow key
key_save ksav &6 KEY_SAVE, sent by save key
key_sbeg kBEG &9 KEY_SBEG, sent by
shifted beginning key
key_scancel kCAN &0 KEY_SCANCEL, sent by
shifted cancel key
key_scommand kCMD *1 KEY_SCOMMAND, sent by
shifted command key
key_scopy kCPY *2 KEY_SCOPY, sent by
shifted copy key
key_screate kCRT *3 KEY_SCREATE, sent by
shifted create key
key_sdc kDC *4 KEY_SDC, sent by
shifted delete-char key
key_sdl kDL *5 KEY_SDL, sent by
shifted delete-line key
key_select kslt *6 KEY_SELECT, sent by
select key
key_send kEND *7 KEY_SEND, sent by
shifted end key
key_seol kEOL *8 KEY_SEOL, sent by
shifted clear-line key
key_sexit kEXT *9 KEY_SEXIT, sent by
shifted exit key
key_sf kind kF KEY_SF, sent by
scroll-forward/down key
key_sfind kFND *0 KEY_SFIND, sent by
shifted find key
key_shelp kHLP #1 KEY_SHELP, sent by
shifted help key
key_shome kHOM #2 KEY_SHOME, sent by
shifted home key
key_sic kIC #3 KEY_SIC, sent by
shifted input key
key_sleft kLFT #4 KEY_SLEFT, sent by
shifted left-arrow key
key_smessage kMSG %a KEY_SMESSAGE, sent by
shifted message key
key_smove kMOV %b KEY_SMOVE, sent by
shifted move key
key_snext kNXT %c KEY_SNEXT, sent by
shifted next key
key_soptions kOPT %d KEY_SOPTIONS, sent by
shifted options key
key_sprevious kPRV %e KEY_SPREVIOUS, sent by
shifted prev key
key_sprint kPRT %f KEY_SPRINT, sent by
shifted print key
key_sr kri kR KEY_SR, sent by
scroll-backward/up key
key_sredo kRDO %g KEY_SREDO, sent by
shifted redo key
key_sreplace kRPL %h KEY_SREPLACE, sent by
shifted replace key
key_sright kRIT %i KEY_SRIGHT, sent by shifted
right-arrow key
key_srsume kRES %j KEY_SRSUME, sent by
shifted resume key
key_ssave kSAV !1 KEY_SSAVE, sent by
shifted save key
key_ssuspend kSPD !2 KEY_SSUSPEND, sent by
shifted suspend key
key_stab khts kT KEY_STAB, sent by
set-tab key
key_sundo kUND !3 KEY_SUNDO, sent by
shifted undo key
key_suspend kspd &7 KEY_SUSPEND, sent by
suspend key
key_undo kund &8 KEY_UNDO, sent by undo key
key_up kcuu1 ku KEY_UP, sent by
terminal up-arrow key
keypad_local rmkx ke Out of
``keypad-transmit'' mode
keypad_xmit smkx ks Put terminal in
``keypad-transmit'' mode
lab_f0 lf0 l0 Labels on function key
f0 if not f0
lab_f1 lf1 l1 Labels on function key
f1 if not f1
lab_f2 lf2 l2 Labels on function key
f2 if not f2
lab_f3 lf3 l3 Labels on function key
f3 if not f3
lab_fB lfB l4 Labels on function key
fB if not fB
lab_f5 lf5 l5 Labels on function key
f5 if not f5
lab_f6 lf6 l6 Labels on function key
f6 if not f6
lab_f7 lf7 l7 Labels on function key
f7 if not f7
lab_f8 lf8 l8 Labels on function key
f8 if not f8
lab_f9 lf9 l9 Labels on function key
f9 if not f9
lab_f10 lf10 la Labels on function key
f10 if not f10
label_format fln Lf Label format
label_off rmln LF Turn off soft labels
label_on smln LO Turn on soft labels
meta_off rmm mo Turn off "meta mode"
meta_on smm mm Turn on "meta mode" (8th bit)
micro_column_address mhpa ZY Like column_address
for micro adjustment
micro_down mcud1 ZZ Like cursor_down
for micro adjustment
micro_left mcub1 Za Like cursor_left
for micro adjustment
micro_right mcuf1 Zb Like cursor_right
for micro adjustment
micro_row_address mvpa Zc Like row_address
for micro adjustment
micro_up mcuu1 Zd Like cursor_up
for micro adjustment
mouse_info minfo Mi Mouse status information
newline nel nw Newline (behaves like
cr followed by lf)
order_of_pins porder Ze Matches software bits
to print-head pins
orig_colors oc oc Set all color(-pair)s
to the original ones
orig_pair op op Set default color-pair
to the original one
pad_char pad pc Pad character (rather than null)
parm_dch dch DC Delete #1 chars
parm_delete_line dl DL Delete #1 lines
parm_down_cursor cud DO Move down #1 lines
parm_down_micro mcud Zf Like parm_down_cursor
for micro adjust
parm_ich ich IC Insert #1 blank chars
parm_index indn SF Scroll forward #1 lines
parm_insert_line il AL Add #1 new blank lines
parm_left_cursor cub LE Move cursor left #1 spaces
parm_left_micro mcub Zg Like parm_left_cursor
for micro adjust
parm_right_cursor cuf RI Move right #1 spaces
parm_right_micro mcuf Zh Like parm_right_cursor
for micro adjust
parm_rindex rin SR Scroll backward #1 lines
parm_up_cursor cuu UP Move cursor up #1 lines
parm_up_micro mcuu Zi Like parm_up_cursor
for micro adjust
pc_term_options pctrm S6 PC terminal options
pkey_key pfkey pk Prog funct key #1 to
type string #2
pkey_local pfloc pl Prog funct key #1 to
execute string #2
pkey_plab pfxl xl Prog key #1 to xmit
string #2 and show string #3
pkey_xmit pfx px Prog funct key #1 to
xmit string #2
plab_norm pln pn Prog label #1 to show
string #2
print_screen mc0 ps Print contents of the screen
prtr_non mc5p pO Turn on the printer for #1 bytes
prtr_off mc4 pf Turn off the printer
prtr_on mc5 po Turn on the printer
pulse pulse PU Select pulse dialing
quick_dial qdial QD Dial phone number #1, without
progress detection
remove_clock rmclk RC Remove time-of-day clock
repeat_char rep rp Repeat char #1 #2 times
req_for_input rfi RF Send next input char (for ptys)
req_mouse_pos reqmp RQ Request mouse position report
reset_1string rs1 r1 Reset terminal completely to
sane modes
reset_2string rs2 r2 Reset terminal completely to
sane modes
reset_3string rs3 r3 Reset terminal completely to
sane modes
reset_file rf rf Name of file containing
reset string
restore_cursor rc rc Restore cursor to
position of last sc
row_address vpa cv Vertical position absolute
save_cursor sc sc Save cursor position
scancode_escape scesc S7 Escape for scancode emulation
scroll_forward ind sf Scroll text up
scroll_reverse ri sr Scroll text down
select_char_set scs Zj Select character set
set0_des_seq s0ds s0 Shift into codeset 0
(EUC set 0, ASCII)
set1_des_seq s1ds s1 Shift into codeset 1
set2_des_seq s2ds s2 Shift into codeset 2
set3_des_seq s3ds s3 Shift into codeset 3
attributes #1-#6
set_a_background setab AB Set background color
using ANSI escape
set_a_foreground setaf AF Set foreground color
using ANSI escape
set_attributes sgr sa Define the video
attributes #1-#9
set_background setb Sb Set current background color
set_bottom_margin smgb Zk Set bottom margin at
current line
set_bottom_margin_parm smgbp Zl Set bottom margin at
line #1 or #2
lines from bottom
set_clock sclk SC Set time-of-day clock
set_color_band setcolor YzChange to ribbon color #1
set_color_pair scp sp Set current color-pair
set_foreground setf Sf Set current foreground color1
set_left_margin smgl ML Set left margin at current line
set_left_margin_parm smglp Zm Set left (right) margin
at column #1 (#2)
set_lr_margin smglr ML Sets both left and right margins
set_page_length slines YZ Set page length to #1 lines
(use tparm) of an inch
set_right_margin smgr MR Set right margin at
current column
set_right_margin_parm smgrp Zn Set right margin at column #1
set_tab hts st Set a tab in all rows,
current column
set_tb_margin smgtb MT Sets both top and bottom margins
set_top_margin smgt Zo Set top margin at current line
set_top_margin_parm smgtp Zp Set top (bottom) margin
at line #1 (#2)
set_window wind wi Current window is lines
#1-#2 cols #3-#4
start_bit_image sbim Zq Start printing bit image graphics
start_char_set_def scsd Zr Start definition of a character
stop_bit_image rbim Zs End printing bit image graphics
stop_char_set_def rcsd Zt End definition of a character set
subscript_characters subcs Zu List of ``subscript-able''
superscript_characters supcs Zv List of ``superscript-able''
tab ht ta Tab to next 8-space hardware tab
these_cause_cr docr Zw Printing any of these
chars causes cr
to_status_line tsl ts Go to status line, col #1
tone tone TO Select touch tone dialing
user0 u0 u0 User string 0
user1 u1 u1 User string 1
user2 u2 u2 User string 2
user3 u3 u3 User string 3
user4 u4 u4 User string 4
user5 u5 u5 User string 5
user6 u6 u6 User string 6
user7 u7 u7 User string 7
user8 u8 u8 User string 8
user9 u9 u9 User string 9
underline_char uc uc Underscore one char
and move past it
up_half_line hu hu Half-line up (reverse
1/2 linefeed)
wait_tone wait WA Wait for dial tone
xoff_character xoffc XF X-off character
xon_character xonc XN X-on character
zero_motion zerom Zx No motion for the
subsequent character

Sample Entry

The following entry, which describes the AT&T 610 terminal, is among the
more complex entries in the terminfo file as of this writing.

610|610bct|ATT610|att610|AT&T610;80column;98key keyboard
am, eslok, hs, mir, msgr, xenl, xon,
cols#80, it#8, lh#2, lines#24, lw#8, nlab#8, wsl#80,
bel=^G, blink=\E[5m, bold=\E[1m, cbt=\E[Z,
civis=\E[?25l, clear=\E[H\E[J, cnorm=\E[?25h\E[?12l,
cr=\r, csr=\E[%i%p1%d;%p2%dr, cub=\E[%p1%dD, cub1=\b,
cud=\E[%p1%dB, cud1=\E[B, cuf=\E[%p1%dC, cuf1=\E[C,
cup=\E[%i%p1%d;%p2%dH, cuu=\E[%p1%dA, cuu1=\E[A,
cvvis=\E[?12;25h, dch=\E[%p1%dP, dch1=\E[P, dim=\E[2m,
dl=\E[%p1%dM, dl1=\E[M, ed=\E[J, el=\E[K, el1=\E[1K,
flash=\E[?5h$<200>\E[?5l, fsl=\E8, home=\E[H, ht=\t,
ich=\E[%p1%d@, il=\E[%p1%dL, il1=\E[L, ind=\ED, .ind=\ED$<9>,
is1=\E[8;0 | \E[?3;4;5;13;15l\E[13;20l\E[?7h\E[12h\E(B\E)0,
is2=\E[0m^O, is3=\E(B\E)0, kLFT=\E[\s@, kRIT=\E[\sA,
kbs=^H, kcbt=\E[Z, kclr=\E[2J, kcub1=\E[D, kcud1=\E[B,
kcuf1=\E[C, kcuu1=\E[A, kf1=\EOc, kf10=\ENp,
kf11=\ENq, kf12=\ENr, kf13=\ENs, kf14=\ENt, kf2=\EOd,
kf3=\EOe, kf4=\EOf, kf5=\EOg, kf6=\EOh, kf7=\EOi,
kf8=\EOj, kf9=\ENo, khome=\E[H, kind=\E[S, kri=\E[T,
ll=\E[24H, mc4=\E[?4i, mc5=\E[?5i, nel=\EE,
pln=\E[%p1%d;0;0;0q%p2%:-16.16s, rc=\E8, rev=\E[7m,
ri=\EM, rmacs=^O, rmir=\E[4l, rmln=\E[2p, rmso=\E[m,
rmul=\E[m, rs2=\Ec\E[?3l, sc=\E7,
%?%p3%p1% | %t;7%%?%p7%t;8%m%?%p9%t^N%e^O%,
sgr0=\E[m^O, smacs=^N, smir=\E[4h, smln=\E[p,
smso=\E[7m, smul=\E[4m, tsl=\E7\E[25;%i%p1%dx,

Types of Capabilities in the Sample Entry

The sample entry shows the formats for the three types of terminfo
capabilities listed: Boolean, numeric, and string. All capabilities
specified in the terminfo source file must be followed by commas,
including the last capability in the source file. In terminfo source
files, capabilities are referenced by their capability names (as shown in
the previous tables).

Boolean capabilities are specified simply by their comma separated cap

Numeric capabilities are followed by the character `#' and then a
positive integer value. Thus, in the sample, cols (which shows the number
of columns available on a device) is assigned the value 80 for the AT&T
610. (Values for numeric capabilities may be specified in decimal,
octal, or hexadecimal, using normal C programming language conventions.)

Finally, string-valued capabilities such as el (clear to end of line
sequence) are listed by a two- to five-character capname, an `=', and a
string ended by the next occurrence of a comma. A delay in milliseconds
may appear anywhere in such a capability, preceded by $ and enclosed in
angle brackets, as in el=\EK$<3>. Padding characters are supplied by
tput. The delay can be any of the following: a number, a number followed
by an asterisk, such as 5*, a number followed by a slash, such as 5/, or
a number followed by both, such as 5*/. A `*' shows that the padding
required is proportional to the number of lines affected by the
operation, and the amount given is the per-affected-unit padding
required. (In the case of insert characters, the factor is still the
number of lines affected. This is always 1 unless the device has in and
the software uses it.) When a `*' is specified, it is sometimes useful to
give a delay of the form 3.5 to specify a delay per unit to tenths of
milliseconds. (Only one decimal place is allowed.)

A `/' indicates that the padding is mandatory. If a device has xon
defined, the padding information is advisory and will only be used for
cost estimates or when the device is in raw mode. Mandatory padding will
be transmitted regardless of the setting of xon. If padding (whether
advisory or mandatory) is specified for bel or flash, however, it will
always be used, regardless of whether xon is specified.

terminfo offers notation for encoding special characters. Both \E and \e
map to an ESCAPE character, ^x maps to a control x for any appropriate x,
and the sequences \n, \l, \r, \t, \b, \f, and \s give a newline,
linefeed, return, tab, backspace, formfeed, and space, respectively.
Other escapes include: \^ for caret (^); \\ for backslash (\); \, for
comma (,); \: for colon (:); and \0 for null. (\0 will actually produce
\200, which does not terminate a string but behaves as a null character
on most devices, providing CS7 is specified. (See stty(1)). Finally,
characters may be given as three octal digits after a backslash (for
example, \123).

Sometimes individual capabilities must be commented out. To do this, put
a period before the capability name. For example, see the second ind in
the example above. Note that capabilities are defined in a left-to-right
order and, therefore, a prior definition will override a later

Preparing Descriptions

The most effective way to prepare a device description is by imitating
the description of a similar device in terminfo and building up a
description gradually, using partial descriptions with vi to check that
they are correct. Be aware that a very unusual device may expose
deficiencies in the ability of the terminfo file to describe it or the
inability of vi to work with that device. To test a new device
description, set the environment variable TERMINFO to the pathname of a
directory containing the compiled description you are working on and
programs will look there rather than in /usr/share/lib/terminfo. To get
the padding for insert-line correct (if the device manufacturer did not
document it) a severe test is to comment out xon, edit a large file at
9600 baud with vi, delete 16 or so lines from the middle of the screen,
and then press the u key several times quickly. If the display is
corrupted, more padding is usually needed. A similar test can be used for

Section 1-1: Basic Capabilities
The number of columns on each line for the device is given by the cols
numeric capability. If the device has a screen, then the number of lines
on the screen is given by the lines capability. If the device wraps
around to the beginning of the next line when it reaches the right
margin, then it should have the am capability. If the terminal can clear
its screen, leaving the cursor in the home position, then this is given
by the clear string capability. If the terminal overstrikes (rather than
clearing a position when a character is struck over) then it should have
the os capability. If the device is a printing terminal, with no soft
copy unit, specify both hc and os. If there is a way to move the cursor
to the left edge of the current row, specify this as cr. (Normally this
will be carriage return, control M.) If there is a way to produce an
audible signal (such as a bell or a beep), specify it as bel. If, like
most devices, the device uses the xon-xoff flow-control protocol, specify

If there is a way to move the cursor one position to the left (such as
backspace), that capability should be given as cub1. Similarly, sequences
to move to the right, up, and down should be given as cuf1, cuu1, and
cud1, respectively. These local cursor motions must not alter the text
they pass over; for example, you would not normally use ``cuf1=\s''
because the space would erase the character moved over.

A very important point here is that the local cursor motions encoded in
terminfo are undefined at the left and top edges of a screen terminal.
Programs should never attempt to backspace around the left edge, unless
bw is specified, and should never attempt to go up locally off the top.
To scroll text up, a program goes to the bottom left corner of the screen
and sends the ind (index) string.

To scroll text down, a program goes to the top left corner of the screen
and sends the ri (reverse index) string. The strings ind and ri are
undefined when not on their respective corners of the screen.

Parameterized versions of the scrolling sequences are indn and rin.
These versions have the same semantics as ind and ri, except that they
take one parameter and scroll the number of lines specified by that
parameter. They are also undefined except at the appropriate edge of the

The am capability tells whether the cursor sticks at the right edge of
the screen when text is output, but this does not necessarily apply to a
cuf1 from the last column. Backward motion from the left edge of the
screen is possible only when bw is specified. In this case, cub1 will
move to the right edge of the previous row. If bw is not given, the
effect is undefined. This is useful for drawing a box around the edge of
the screen, for example. If the device has switch selectable automatic
margins, am should be specified in the terminfo source file. In this
case, initialization strings should turn on this option, if possible. If
the device has a command that moves to the first column of the next line,
that command can be given as nel (newline). It does not matter if the
command clears the remainder of the current line, so if the device has no
cr and lf it may still be possible to craft a working nel out of one or
both of them.

These capabilities suffice to describe hardcopy and screen terminals.
Thus the AT&T 5320 hardcopy terminal is described as follows:

5320|att5320|AT&T 5320 hardcopy terminal,
am, hc, os,
bel=^G, cr=\r, cub1=\b, cnd1=\n,
dch1=\E[P, dl1=\E[M,

while the Lear Siegler ADM-3 is described as

adm3 | lsi adm3,
am, bel=^G, clear=^Z, cols#80, cr=^M, cub1=^H,
cud1=^J, ind=^J, lines#24,

Section 1-2: Parameterized Strings
Cursor addressing and other strings requiring parameters are described by
a parameterized string capability, with printf-like escapes (%x) in it.
For example, to address the cursor, the cup capability is given, using
two parameters: the row and column to address to. (Rows and columns are
numbered from zero and refer to the physical screen visible to the user,
not to any unseen memory.) If the terminal has memory relative cursor
addressing, that can be indicated by mrcup.

The parameter mechanism uses a stack and special % codes to manipulate
the stack in the manner of Reverse Polish Notation (postfix). Typically a
sequence will push one of the parameters onto the stack and then print it
in some format. Often more complex operations are necessary. Operations
are in postfix form with the operands in the usual order. That is, to
subtract 5 from the first parameter, one would use %p1%{5}%-.

The % encodings have the following meanings:


outputs `%'


as in printf, flags are [-+#] and space


print pop gives %c


push ith parm


set dynamic variable [a-z] to pop


get dynamic variable [a-z] and push it


set static variable [a-z] to pop


get static variable [a-z] and push it


push char constant c


push decimal constant nn


push strlen(pop)

%+ %- %* %/ %m

arithmetic (%m is mod): push(pop integer2 op pop integer1)

%& %| %^

bit operations: push(pop integer2 op pop integer1)

%= %> %<

logical operations: push(pop integer2 op pop integer1)

%A %O

logical operations: and, or

%! %~

unary operations: push(op pop)


(for ANSI terminals) add 1 to first parm, if one parm present, or
first two parms, if more than one parm present

%? expr %t thenpart %e elsepart %

if-then-else, %e elsepart is optional; else-if's are possible ala
Algol 68: %? c(1) %t b(1) %e c(2) %t b(2) %e c(3) %t b(3) %e c(4) %t
b(4) %e b(5)% c(i) are conditions, b(i) are bodies.

If the ``-'' flag is used with ``%[doxXs]'', then a colon (:) must be
placed between the ``%'' and the ``-'' to differentiate the flag from the
binary ``%-'' operator, for example ``%:-16.16s''.

Consider the Hewlett-Packard 2645, which, to get to row 3 and column 12,
needs to be sent \E&a12c03Y padded for 6 milliseconds. Note that the
order of the rows and columns is inverted here, and that the row and
column are zero-padded as two digits. Thus its cup capability is:

The Micro-Term ACT-IV needs the current row and column sent preceded by a
^T, with the row and column simply encoded in binary,
``cup=^T%p1%c%p2%c''. Devices that use ``%c'' need to be able to
backspace the cursor (cub1), and to move the cursor up one line on the
screen (cuu1). This is necessary because it is not always safe to
transmit \n, ^D, and \r, as the system may change or discard them. (The
library routines dealing with terminfo set tty modes so that tabs are
never expanded, so \t is safe to send. This turns out to be essential for
the Ann Arbor 4080.)

A final example is the LSI ADM-3a, which uses row and column offset by a
blank character, thus ``cup=\E=%p1%'\s'%+%c%p2%'\s'%+%c''. After sending
``\E='', this pushes the first parameter, pushes the ASCII value for a
space (32), adds them (pushing the sum on the stack in place of the two
previous values), and outputs that value as a character. Then the same is
done for the second parameter. More complex arithmetic is possible using
the stack.

Section 1-3: Cursor Motions
If the terminal has a fast way to home the cursor (to very upper left
corner of screen) then this can be given as home; similarly a fast way of
getting to the lower left-hand corner can be given as ll; this may
involve going up with cuu1 from the home position, but a program should
never do this itself (unless ll does) because it can make no assumption
about the effect of moving up from the home position. Note that the home
position is the same as addressing to (0,0): to the top left corner of
the screen, not of memory. (Thus, the \EH sequence on Hewlett-Packard
terminals cannot be used for home without losing some of the other
features on the terminal.)

If the device has row or column absolute-cursor addressing, these can be
given as single parameter capabilities hpa (horizontal position absolute)
and vpa (vertical position absolute). Sometimes these are shorter than
the more general two-parameter sequence (as with the Hewlett-Packard
2645) and can be used in preference to cup. If there are parameterized
local motions (for example, move n spaces to the right) these can be
given as cud, cub, cuf, and cuu with a single parameter indicating how
many spaces to move. These are primarily useful if the device does not
have cup, such as the Tektronix 4025.

If the device needs to be in a special mode when running a program that
uses these capabilities, the codes to enter and exit this mode can be
given as smcup and rmcup. This arises, for example, from terminals, such
as the Concept, with more than one page of memory. If the device has only
memory relative cursor addressing and not screen relative cursor
addressing, a one screen-sized window must be fixed into the device for
cursor addressing to work properly. This is also used for the Tektronix
4025, where smcup sets the command character to be the one used by
terminfo. If the smcup sequence will not restore the screen after an
rmcup sequence is output (to the state prior to outputting rmcup),
specify nrrmc.

Section 1-4: Area Clears
If the terminal can clear from the current position to the end of the
line, leaving the cursor where it is, this should be given as el. If the
terminal can clear from the beginning of the line to the current position
inclusive, leaving the cursor where it is, this should be given as el1.
If the terminal can clear from the current position to the end of the
display, then this should be given as ed. ed is only defined from the
first column of a line. (Thus, it can be simulated by a request to delete
a large number of lines, if a true ed is not available.)

Section 1-5: Insert/Delete Line
If the terminal can open a new blank line before the line where the
cursor is, this should be given as il1; this is done only from the first
position of a line. The cursor must then appear on the newly blank line.
If the terminal can delete the line which the cursor is on, then this
should be given as dl1; this is done only from the first position on the
line to be deleted. Versions of il1 and dl1 which take a single
parameter and insert or delete that many lines can be given as il and dl.

If the terminal has a settable destructive scrolling region (like the
VT100) the command to set this can be described with the csr capability,
which takes two parameters: the top and bottom lines of the scrolling
region. The cursor position is, alas, undefined after using this command.
It is possible to get the effect of insert or delete line using this
command -- the sc and rc (save and restore cursor) commands are also
useful. Inserting lines at the top or bottom of the screen can also be
done using ri or ind on many terminals without a true insert/delete line,
and is often faster even on terminals with those features.

To determine whether a terminal has destructive scrolling regions or non-
destructive scrolling regions, create a scrolling region in the middle of
the screen, place data on the bottom line of the scrolling region, move
the cursor to the top line of the scrolling region, and do a reverse
index (ri) followed by a delete line (dl1) or index (ind). If the data
that was originally on the bottom line of the scrolling region was
restored into the scrolling region by the dl1 or ind, then the terminal
has non-destructive scrolling regions. Otherwise, it has destructive
scrolling regions. Do not specify csr if the terminal has non-destructive
scrolling regions, unless ind, ri, indn, rin, dl, and dl1 all simulate
destructive scrolling.

If the terminal has the ability to define a window as part of memory,
which all commands affect, it should be given as the parameterized string
wind. The four parameters are the starting and ending lines in memory and
the starting and ending columns in memory, in that order.

If the terminal can retain display memory above, then the da capability
should be given; if display memory can be retained below, then db should
be given. These indicate that deleting a line or scrolling a full screen
may bring non-blank lines up from below or that scrolling back with ri
may bring down non-blank lines.

Section 1-6: Insert/Delete Character
There are two basic kinds of intelligent terminals with respect to
insert/delete character operations which can be described using terminfo.
The most common insert/delete character operations affect only the
characters on the current line and shift characters off the end of the
line rigidly. Other terminals, such as the Concept 100 and the Perkin
Elmer Owl, make a distinction between typed and untyped blanks on the
screen, shifting upon an insert or delete only to an untyped blank on the
screen which is either eliminated, or expanded to two untyped blanks. You
can determine the kind of terminal you have by clearing the screen and
then typing text separated by cursor motions. Type ``abc def'' using
local cursor motions (not spaces) between the abc and the def. Then
position the cursor before the abc and put the terminal in insert mode.
If typing characters causes the rest of the line to shift rigidly and
characters to fall off the end, then your terminal does not distinguish
between blanks and untyped positions. If the abc shifts over to the def
which then move together around the end of the current line and onto the
next as you insert, you have the second type of terminal, and should give
the capability in, which stands for ``insert null.'' While these are two
logically separate attributes (one line versus multiline insert mode, and
special treatment of untyped spaces) we have seen no terminals whose
insert mode cannot be described with the single attribute.

terminfo can describe both terminals that have an insert mode and
terminals which send a simple sequence to open a blank position on the
current line. Give as smir the sequence to get into insert mode. Give as
rmir the sequence to leave insert mode. Now give as ich1 any sequence
needed to be sent just before sending the character to be inserted. Most
terminals with a true insert mode will not give ich1; terminals that send
a sequence to open a screen position should give it here. (If your
terminal has both, insert mode is usually preferable to ich1. Do not give
both unless the terminal actually requires both to be used in
combination.) If post-insert padding is needed, give this as a number of
milliseconds padding in ip (a string option). Any other sequence which
may need to be sent after an insert of a single character may also be
given in ip. If your terminal needs both to be placed into an `insert
mode' and a special code to precede each inserted character, then both
smir/rmir and ich1 can be given, and both will be used. The ich
capability, with one parameter, n, will insert n blanks.

If padding is necessary between characters typed while not in insert
mode, give this as a number of milliseconds padding in rmp.

It is occasionally necessary to move around while in insert mode to
delete characters on the same line (for example, if there is a tab after
the insertion position). If your terminal allows motion while in insert
mode you can give the capability mir to speed up inserting in this case.
Omitting mir will affect only speed. Some terminals (notably Datamedia's)
must not have mir because of the way their insert mode works.

Finally, you can specify dch1 to delete a single character, dch with one
parameter, n, to delete n characters, and delete mode by giving smdc and
rmdc to enter and exit delete mode (any mode the terminal needs to be
placed in for dch1 to work).

A command to erase n characters (equivalent to outputting n blanks
without moving the cursor) can be given as ech with one parameter.

Section 1-7: Highlighting, Underlining, and Visible Bells
Your device may have one or more kinds of display attributes that allow
you to highlight selected characters when they appear on the screen. The
following display modes (shown with the names by which they are set) may
be available: a blinking screen (blink), bold or extra-bright characters
(bold), dim or half-bright characters (dim), blanking or invisible text
(invis), protected text (prot), a reverse-video screen (rev), and an
alternate character set (smacs to enter this mode and rmacs to exit it).
(If a command is necessary before you can enter alternate character set
mode, give the sequence in enacs or "enable alternate-character-set"
mode.) Turning on any of these modes singly may or may not turn off other

sgr0 should be used to turn off all video enhancement capabilities. It
should always be specified because it represents the only way to turn off
some capabilities, such as dim or blink.

You should choose one display method as standout mode and use it to
highlight error messages and other kinds of text to which you want to
draw attention. Choose a form of display that provides strong contrast
but that is easy on the eyes. (We recommend reverse-video plus half-
bright or reverse-video alone.) The sequences to enter and exit standout
mode are given as smso and rmso, respectively. If the code to change into
or out of standout mode leaves one or even two blank spaces on the
screen, as the TVI 912 and Teleray 1061 do, then xmc should be given to
tell how many spaces are left.

Sequences to begin underlining and end underlining can be specified as
smul and rmul , respectively. If the device has a sequence to underline
the current character and to move the cursor one space to the right (such
as the Micro-Term MIME), this sequence can be specified as uc.

Terminals with the ``magic cookie'' glitch (xmc) deposit special
``cookies'' when they receive mode-setting sequences, which affect the
display algorithm rather than having extra bits for each character. Some
terminals, such as the Hewlett-Packard 2621, automatically leave standout
mode when they move to a new line or the cursor is addressed. Programs
using standout mode should exit standout mode before moving the cursor or
sending a newline, unless the msgr capability, asserting that it is safe
to move in standout mode, is present.

If the terminal has a way of flashing the screen to indicate an error
quietly (a bell replacement), then this can be given as flash; it must
not move the cursor. A good flash can be done by changing the screen into
reverse video, pad for 200 ms, then return the screen to normal video.

If the cursor needs to be made more visible than normal when it is not on
the bottom line (to make, for example, a non-blinking underline into an
easier to find block or blinking underline) give this sequence as cvvis.
The boolean chts should also be given. If there is a way to make the
cursor completely invisible, give that as civis. The capability cnorm
should be given which undoes the effects of either of these modes.

If your terminal generates underlined characters by using the underline
character (with no special sequences needed) even though it does not
otherwise overstrike characters, then you should specify the capability
ul. For devices on which a character overstriking another leaves both
characters on the screen, specify the capability os. If overstrikes are
erasable with a blank, then this should be indicated by specifying eo.

If there is a sequence to set arbitrary combinations of modes, this
should be given as sgr (set attributes), taking nine parameters. Each
parameter is either 0 or non-zero, as the corresponding attribute is on
or off. The nine parameters are, in order: standout, underline, reverse,
blink, dim, bold, blank, protect, alternate character set. Not all modes
need to be supported by sgr; only those for which corresponding separate
attribute commands exist should be supported. For example, let's assume
that the terminal in question needs the following escape sequences to
turn on various modes.

parameter attribute escape sequence
none \E[0m
p1 standout \E[0;4;7m
p2 underline \E[0;3m
p3 reverse \E[0;4m
p4 blink \E[0;5m
p5 dim \E[0;7m
p6 bold \E[0;3;4m
p7 invis \E[0;8m
p8 protect not available
p9 altcharset ^O (off) ^N (on)

Note that each escape sequence requires a 0 to turn off other modes
before turning on its own mode. Also note that, as suggested above,
standout is set up to be the combination of reverse and dim. Also,
because this terminal has no bold mode, bold is set up as the combination
of reverse and underline. In addition, to allow combinations, such as
underline+blink, the sequence to use would be \E[0;3;5m. The terminal
doesn't have protect mode, either, but that cannot be simulated in any
way, so p8 is ignored. The altcharset mode is different in that it is
either ^O or ^N, depending on whether it is off or on. If all modes were
to be turned on, the sequence would be \E[0;3;4;5;7;8m^N.

Now look at when different sequences are output. For example, ;3 is
output when either p2 or p6 is true, that is, if either underline or bold
modes are turned on. Writing out the above sequences, along with their
dependencies, gives the following:

sequence when to output terminfo translation
\E[0 always \E[0
;3 if p2 or p6 %?%p2%p6%|%t;3%
;4 if p1 or p3 or p6 %?%p1%p3%|%p6%|%t;4%
;5 if p4 %?%p4%t;5%
;7 if p1 or p5 %?%p1%p5%|%t;7%
;8 if p7 %?%p7%t;8%
m always m
^N or ^O if p9 ^N, else ^O %?%p9%t^N%e^O%

Putting this all together into the sgr sequence gives:

sgr=\E[0%?%p2%p6%|%t;3%%?%p1%p3%|%p6% |%t;4%%?%p5%t;5%%?%p1%p5%

Remember that sgr and sgr0 must always be specified.

Section 1-8: Keypad
If the device has a keypad that transmits sequences when the keys are
pressed, this information can also be specified. Note that it is not
possible to handle devices where the keypad only works in local (this
applies, for example, to the unshifted Hewlett-Packard 2621 keys). If the
keypad can be set to transmit or not transmit, specify these sequences as
smkx and rmkx. Otherwise the keypad is assumed to always transmit.

The sequences sent by the left arrow, right arrow, up arrow, down arrow,
and home keys can be given as kcub1, kcuf1, kcuu1, kcud1,and khome,
respectively. If there are function keys such as f0, f1, ..., f63, the
sequences they send can be specified as kf0, kf1, ..., kf63. If the first
11 keys have labels other than the default f0 through f10, the labels can
be given as lf0, lf1, ..., lf10. The codes transmitted by certain other
special keys can be given: kll (home down), kbs (backspace), ktbc (clear
all tabs), kctab (clear the tab stop in this column), kclr (clear screen
or erase key), kdch1 (delete character), kdl1 (delete line), krmir (exit
insert mode), kel (clear to end of line), ked (clear to end of screen),
kich1 (insert character or enter insert mode), kil1 (insert line), knp
(next page), kpp (previous page), kind (scroll forward/down), kri (scroll
backward/up), khts (set a tab stop in this column). In addition, if the
keypad has a 3 by 3 array of keys including the four arrow keys, the
other five keys can be given as ka1, ka3, kb2, kc1, and kc3. These keys
are useful when the effects of a 3 by 3 directional pad are needed.
Further keys are defined above in the capabilities list.

Strings to program function keys can be specified as pfkey, pfloc, and
pfx. A string to program screen labels should be specified as pln. Each
of these strings takes two parameters: a function key identifier and a
string to program it with. pfkey causes pressing the given key to be the
same as the user typing the given string; pfloc causes the string to be
executed by the terminal in local mode; and pfx causes the string to be
transmitted to the computer. The capabilities nlab, lw and lh define the
number of programmable screen labels and their width and height. If there
are commands to turn the labels on and off, give them in smln and rmln.
smln is normally output after one or more pln sequences to make sure that
the change becomes visible.

Section 1-9: Tabs and Initialization
If the device has hardware tabs, the command to advance to the next tab
stop can be given as ht (usually control I). A ``backtab'' command that
moves leftward to the next tab stop can be given as cbt. By convention,
if tty modes show that tabs are being expanded by the computer rather
than being sent to the device, programs should not use ht or cbt (even if
they are present) because the user may not have the tab stops properly
set. If the device has hardware tabs that are initially set every n
spaces when the device is powered up, the numeric parameter it is given,
showing the number of spaces the tabs are set to. This is normally used
by tput init (see tput(1)) to determine whether to set the mode for
hardware tab expansion and whether to set the tab stops. If the device
has tab stops that can be saved in nonvolatile memory, the terminfo
description can assume that they are properly set. If there are commands
to set and clear tab stops, they can be given as tbc (clear all tab
stops) and hts (set a tab stop in the current column of every row).

Other capabilities include: is1, is2, and is3, initialization strings for
the device; iprog, the path name of a program to be run to initialize the
device; and if, the name of a file containing long initialization
strings. These strings are expected to set the device into modes
consistent with the rest of the terminfo description. They must be sent
to the device each time the user logs in and be output in the following
order: run the program iprog; output is1; output is2; set the margins
using mgc, smgl and smgr; set the tabs using tbc and hts; print the file
if; and finally output is3. This is usually done using the init option
of tput.

Most initialization is done with is2. Special device modes can be set up
without duplicating strings by putting the common sequences in is2 and
special cases in is1 and is3. Sequences that do a reset from a totally
unknown state can be given as rs1, rs2, rf, and rs3, analogous to is1,
is2, is3, and if. (The method using files, if and rf, is used for a few
terminals, from /usr/share/lib/tabset/*; however, the recommended method
is to use the initialization and reset strings.) These strings are output
by tput reset, which is used when the terminal gets into a wedged state.
Commands are normally placed in rs1, rs2, rs3, and rf only if they
produce annoying effects on the screen and are not necessary when logging
in. For example, the command to set a terminal into 80-column mode would
normally be part of is2, but on some terminals it causes an annoying
glitch on the screen and is not normally needed because the terminal is
usually already in 80-column mode.

If a more complex sequence is needed to set the tabs than can be
described by using tbc and hts, the sequence can be placed in is2 or if.

Any margin can be cleared with mgc. (For instructions on how to specify
commands to set and clear margins, see "Margins" below under "PRINTER

Section 1-10: Delays
Certain capabilities control padding in the tty driver. These are
primarily needed by hard-copy terminals, and are used by tput init to set
tty modes appropriately. Delays embedded in the capabilities cr, ind,
cub1, ff, and tab can be used to set the appropriate delay bits to be set
in the tty driver. If pb (padding baud rate) is given, these values can
be ignored at baud rates below the value of pb.

Section 1-11: Status Lines
If the terminal has an extra ``status line'' that is not normally used by
software, this fact can be indicated. If the status line is viewed as an
extra line below the bottom line, into which one can cursor address
normally (such as the Heathkit h19's 25th line, or the 24th line of a
VT100 which is set to a 23-line scrolling region), the capability hs
should be given. Special strings that go to a given column of the status
line and return from the status line can be given as tsl and fsl. (fsl
must leave the cursor position in the same place it was before tsl. If
necessary, the sc and rc strings can be included in tsl and fsl to get
this effect.) The capability tsl takes one parameter, which is the column
number of the status line the cursor is to be moved to.

If escape sequences and other special commands, such as tab, work while
in the status line, the flag eslok can be given. A string which turns off
the status line (or otherwise erases its contents) should be given as
dsl. If the terminal has commands to save and restore the position of the
cursor, give them as sc and rc. The status line is normally assumed to be
the same width as the rest of the screen, for example, cols. If the
status line is a different width (possibly because the terminal does not
allow an entire line to be loaded) the width, in columns, can be
indicated with the numeric parameter wsl.

Section 1-12: Line Graphics
If the device has a line drawing alternate character set, the mapping of
glyph to character would be given in acsc. The definition of this string
is based on the alternate character set used in the DEC VT100 terminal,
extended slightly with some characters from the AT&T 4410v1 terminal.

Glyph Name vt100+ Character
arrow pointing right +
arrow pointing left ,
arrow pointing down .
solid square block 0
lantern symbol I
arrow pointing up -
diamond `
checker board (stipple) a
degree symbol f
plus/minus g
board of squares h
lower right corner j
upper right corner k
upper left corner l
lower left corner m
plus n
scan line 1 o
horizontal line q
scan line 9 s
left tee t
right tee u
bottom tee v
top tee w
vertical line x
bullet ~

The best way to describe a new device's line graphics set is to add a
third column to the above table with the characters for the new device
that produce the appropriate glyph when the device is in the alternate
character set mode. For example,

Glyph Name vt100+ Char New tty Char
upper left corner l R
lower left corner m F
upper right corner k T
lower right corner j G
horizontal line q ,
vertical line x .

Now write down the characters left to right, as in

In addition, terminfo allows you to define multiple character sets. See
Section 2-5 for details.

Section 1-13: Color Manipulation
Let us define two methods of color manipulation: the Tektronix method and
the HP method. The Tektronix method uses a set of N predefined colors
(usually 8) from which a user can select "current" foreground and
background colors. Thus a terminal can support up to N colors mixed into
N*N color-pairs to be displayed on the screen at the same time. When
using an HP method the user cannot define the foreground independently of
the background, or vice-versa. Instead, the user must define an entire
color-pair at once. Up to M color-pairs, made from 2*M different colors,
can be defined this way. Most existing color terminals belong to one of
these two classes of terminals.

The numeric variables colors and pairs define the number of colors and
color-pairs that can be displayed on the screen at the same time. If a
terminal can change the definition of a color (for example, the Tektronix
4100 and 4200 series terminals), this should be specified with ccc (can
change color). To change the definition of a color (Tektronix 4200
method), use initc (initialize color). It requires four arguments: color
number (ranging from 0 to colors-1) and three RGB (red, green, and blue)
values or three HLS colors (Hue, Lightness, Saturation). Ranges of RGB
and HLS values are terminal dependent.

Tektronix 4100 series terminals only use HLS color notation. For such
terminals (or dual-mode terminals to be operated in HLS mode) one must
define a boolean variable hls; that would instruct the curses init_color
routine to convert its RGB arguments to HLS before sending them to the
terminal. The last three arguments to the initc string would then be HLS

If a terminal can change the definitions of colors, but uses a color
notation different from RGB and HLS, a mapping to either RGB or HLS must
be developed.

To set current foreground or background to a given color, use setaf (set
ANSI foreground) and setab (set ANSI background). They require one
parameter: the number of the color. To initialize a color-pair (HP
method), use initp (initialize pair). It requires seven parameters: the
number of a color-pair (range=0 to pairs-1), and six RGB values: three
for the foreground followed by three for the background. (Each of these
groups of three should be in the order RGB.) When initc or initp are
used, RGB or HLS arguments should be in the order "red, green, blue" or
"hue, lightness, saturation"), respectively. To make a color-pair
current, use scp (set color-pair). It takes one parameter, the number of
a color-pair.

Some terminals (for example, most color terminal emulators for PCs) erase
areas of the screen with current background color. In such cases, bce
(background color erase) should be defined. The variable op (original
pair) contains a sequence for setting the foreground and the background
colors to what they were at the terminal start-up time. Similarly, oc
(original colors) contains a control sequence for setting all colors (for
the Tektronix method) or color-pairs (for the HP method) to the values
they had at the terminal start-up time.

Some color terminals substitute color for video attributes. Such video
attributes should not be combined with colors. Information about these
video attributes should be packed into the ncv (no color video) variable.
There is a one-to-one correspondence between the nine least significant
bits of that variable and the video attributes. The following table
depicts this correspondence.

Attribute Bit Position Decimal Value
A_DIM 4 16
A_BOLD 5 32
A_INVIS 6 64

When a particular video attribute should not be used with colors, the
corresponding ncv bit should be set to 1; otherwise it should be set to
zero. To determine the information to pack into the ncv variable, you
must add together the decimal values corresponding to those attributes
that cannot coexist with colors. For example, if the terminal uses colors
to simulate reverse video (bit number 2 and decimal value 4) and bold
(bit number 5 and decimal value 32), the resulting value for ncv will be
36 (4 + 32).

Section 1-14: Miscellaneous
If the terminal requires other than a null (zero) character as a pad,
then this can be given as pad. Only the first character of the pad string
is used. If the terminal does not have a pad character, specify npc.

If the terminal can move up or down half a line, this can be indicated
with hu (half-line up) and hd (half-line down). This is primarily useful
for superscripts and subscripts on hardcopy terminals. If a hardcopy
terminal can eject to the next page (form feed), give this as ff (usually
control L).

If there is a command to repeat a given character a given number of times
(to save time transmitting a large number of identical characters) this
can be indicated with the parameterized string rep. The first parameter
is the character to be repeated and the second is the number of times to
repeat it. Thus, tparm(repeat_char, 'x', 10) is the same as xxxxxxxxxx.

If the terminal has a settable command character, such as the Tektronix
4025, this can be indicated with cmdch. A prototype command character is
chosen which is used in all capabilities. This character is given in the
cmdch capability to identify it. The following convention is supported on
some systems: If the environment variable CC exists, all occurrences of
the prototype character are replaced with the character in CC.

Terminal descriptions that do not represent a specific kind of known
terminal, such as switch, dialup, patch, and network, should include the
gn (generic) capability so that programs can complain that they do not
know how to talk to the terminal. (This capability does not apply to
virtual terminal descriptions for which the escape sequences are known.)
If the terminal is one of those supported by the system virtual terminal
protocol, the terminal number can be given as vt. A line-turn-around
sequence to be transmitted before doing reads should be specified in rfi.

If the device uses xon/xoff handshaking for flow control, give xon.
Padding information should still be included so that routines can make
better decisions about costs, but actual pad characters will not be
transmitted. Sequences to turn on and off xon/xoff handshaking may be
given in smxon and rmxon. If the characters used for handshaking are not
^S and ^Q, they may be specified with xonc and xoffc.

If the terminal has a ``meta key'' which acts as a shift key, setting the
8th bit of any character transmitted, this fact can be indicated with km.
Otherwise, software will assume that the 8th bit is parity and it will
usually be cleared. If strings exist to turn this ``meta mode'' on and
off, they can be given as smm and rmm.

If the terminal has more lines of memory than will fit on the screen at
once, the number of lines of memory can be indicated with lm. A value of
lm#0 indicates that the number of lines is not fixed, but that there is
still more memory than fits on the screen.

Media copy strings which control an auxiliary printer connected to the
terminal can be given as mc0: print the contents of the screen, mc4: turn
off the printer, and mc5: turn on the printer. When the printer is on,
all text sent to the terminal will be sent to the printer. A variation,
mc5p, takes one parameter, and leaves the printer on for as many
characters as the value of the parameter, then turns the printer off. The
parameter should not exceed 255. If the text is not displayed on the
terminal screen when the printer is on, specify mc5i (silent printer).
All text, including mc4, is transparently passed to the printer while an
mc5p is in effect.

Section 1-15: Special Cases
The working model used by terminfo fits most terminals reasonably well.
However, some terminals do not completely match that model, requiring
special support by terminfo. These are not meant to be construed as
deficiencies in the terminals; they are just differences between the
working model and the actual hardware. They may be unusual devices or,
for some reason, do not have all the features of the terminfo model

Terminals that cannot display tilde (~) characters, such as certain
Hazeltine terminals, should indicate hz.

Terminals that ignore a linefeed immediately after an am wrap, such as
the Concept 100, should indicate xenl. Those terminals whose cursor
remains on the right-most column until another character has been
received, rather than wrapping immediately upon receiving the right-most
character, such as the VT100, should also indicate xenl.

If el is required to get rid of standout (instead of writing normal text
on top of it), xhp should be given.

Those Teleray terminals whose tabs turn all characters moved over to
blanks, should indicate xt (destructive tabs). This capability is also
taken to mean that it is not possible to position the cursor on top of a
``magic cookie.'' Therefore, to erase standout mode, it is necessary,
instead, to use delete and insert line.

Those Beehive Superbee terminals which do not transmit the escape or
control-C characters, should specify xsb, indicating that the f1 key is
to be used for escape and the f2 key for control C.

Section 1-16: Similar Terminals
If there are two very similar terminals, one can be defined as being just
like the other with certain exceptions. The string capability use can be
given with the name of the similar terminal. The capabilities given
before use override those in the terminal type invoked by use. A
capability can be canceled by placing xx@ to the left of the capability
definition, where xx is the capability. For example, the entry

att4424-2|Teletype4424 in display function group ii,
rev@, sgr@, smul@, use=att4424,

defines an AT&T4424 terminal that does not have the rev, sgr, and smul
capabilities, and hence cannot do highlighting. This is useful for
different modes for a terminal, or for different user preferences. More
than one use capability may be given.

The terminfo database allows you to define capabilities of printers as
well as terminals. To find out what capabilities are available for
printers as well as for terminals, see the two lists under "DEVICE
CAPABILITIES" that list capabilities by variable and by capability name.

Section 2-1: Rounding Values
Because parameterized string capabilities work only with integer values,
we recommend that terminfo designers create strings that expect numeric
values that have been rounded. Application designers should note this and
should always round values to the nearest integer before using them with
a parameterized string capability.

Section 2-2: Printer Resolution
A printer's resolution is defined to be the smallest spacing of
characters it can achieve. In general printers have independent
resolution horizontally and vertically. Thus the vertical resolution of a
printer can be determined by measuring the smallest achievable distance
between consecutive printing baselines, while the horizontal resolution
can be determined by measuring the smallest achievable distance between
the left-most edges of consecutive printed, identical, characters.

All printers are assumed to be capable of printing with a uniform
horizontal and vertical resolution. The view of printing that terminfo
currently presents is one of printing inside a uniform matrix: All
characters are printed at fixed positions relative to each ``cell'' in
the matrix; furthermore, each cell has the same size given by the
smallest horizontal and vertical step sizes dictated by the resolution.
(The cell size can be changed as will be seen later.)

Many printers are capable of ``proportional printing,'' where the
horizontal spacing depends on the size of the character last printed.
terminfo does not make use of this capability, although it does provide
enough capability definitions to allow an application to simulate
proportional printing.

A printer must not only be able to print characters as close together as
the horizontal and vertical resolutions suggest, but also of ``moving''
to a position an integral multiple of the smallest distance away from a
previous position. Thus printed characters can be spaced apart a distance
that is an integral multiple of the smallest distance, up to the length
or width of a single page.

Some printers can have different resolutions depending on different
``modes.'' In ``normal mode,'' the existing terminfo capabilities are
assumed to work on columns and lines, just like a video terminal. Thus
the old lines capability would give the length of a page in lines, and
the cols capability would give the width of a page in columns. In ``micro
mode,'' many terminfo capabilities work on increments of lines and
columns. With some printers the micro mode may be concomitant with normal
mode, so that all the capabilities work at the same time.

Section 2-3: Specifying Printer Resolution
The printing resolution of a printer is given in several ways. Each
specifies the resolution as the number of smallest steps per distance:

Specification of Printer Resolution
Characteristic Number of Smallest Steps

orhi Steps per inch horizontally
orvi Steps per inch vertically
orc Steps per column
orl Steps per line

When printing in normal mode, each character printed causes movement to
the next column, except in special cases described later; the distance
moved is the same as the per-column resolution. Some printers cause an
automatic movement to the next line when a character is printed in the
rightmost position; the distance moved vertically is the same as the per-
line resolution. When printing in micro mode, these distances can be
different, and may be zero for some printers.

Specification of Printer Resolution
Automatic Motion after Printing

Normal Mode:

orc Steps moved horizontally
orl Steps moved vertically

Micro Mode:

mcs Steps moved horizontally
mls Steps moved vertically

Some printers are capable of printing wide characters. The distance moved
when a wide character is printed in normal mode may be different from
when a regular width character is printed. The distance moved when a wide
character is printed in micro mode may also be different from when a
regular character is printed in micro mode, but the differences are
assumed to be related: If the distance moved for a regular character is
the same whether in normal mode or micro mode (mcs=orc), then the
distance moved for a wide character is also the same whether in normal
mode or micro mode. This doesn't mean the normal character distance is
necessarily the same as the wide character distance, just that the
distances don't change with a change in normal to micro mode. However, if
the distance moved for a regular character is different in micro mode
from the distance moved in normal mode (mcs<orc), the micro mode distance
is assumed to be the same for a wide character printed in micro mode, as
the table below shows.

Specification of Printer Resolution
Automatic Motion after Printing Wide Character

Normal Mode or Micro Mode (mcs = orc):
widcs Steps moved horizontally

Micro Mode (mcs < orc):

mcs Steps moved horizontally

There may be control sequences to change the number of columns per inch
(the character pitch) and to change the number of lines per inch (the
line pitch). If these are used, the resolution of the printer changes,
but the type of change depends on the printer:

Specification of Printer Resolution
Changing the Character/Line Pitches

cpi Change character pitch
cpix If set, cpi changes orhi, otherwise changes
lpi Change line pitch
lpix If set, lpi changes orvi, otherwise changes
chr Change steps per column
cvr Change steps per line

The cpi and lpi string capabilities are each used with a single argument,
the pitch in columns (or characters) and lines per inch, respectively.
The chr and cvr string capabilities are each used with a single argument,
the number of steps per column and line, respectively.

Using any of the control sequences in these strings will imply a change
in some of the values of orc, orhi, orl, and orvi. Also, the distance
moved when a wide character is printed, widcs, changes in relation to
orc. The distance moved when a character is printed in micro mode, mcs,
changes similarly, with one exception: if the distance is 0 or 1, then no
change is assumed (see items marked with * in the following table).

Programs that use cpi, lpi, chr, or cvr should recalculate the printer
resolution (and should recalculate other values-- see "Effect of Changing
Printing Resolution" under "Dot-Mapped Graphics").

Specification of Printer Resolution
Effects of Changing the Character/Line Pitches

Before After

Using cpi with cpix clear:
$bold orhi '$ orhi
$bold orc '$ $bold orc = bold orhi over V sub italic cpi$

Using cpi with cpix set:
$bold orhi '$ $bold orhi = bold orc cdot V sub italic cpi$
$bold orc '$ $bold orc$

Using lpi with lpix clear:
$bold orvi '$ $bold orvi$
$bold orl '$ $bold orl = bold orvi over V sub italic lpi$

Using lpi with lpix set:
$bold orvi '$ $bold orvi = bold orl cdot V sub italic lpi$
$bold orl '$ $bold orl$

Using chr:
$bold orhi '$ $bold orhi$
$bold orc '$ $V sub italic chr$

Using cvr:
$bold orvi '$ $bold orvi$
$bold orl '$ $V sub italic cvr$

Using cpi or chr:
$bold widcs '$ $bold widcs = bold {widcs '} bold orc over { bold {orc '} }$
$bold mcs '$ $bold mcs = bold {mcs '} bold orc over { bold {orc '} }$

$V sub italic cpi$, $V sub italic lpi$, $V sub italic chr$, and $V sub
italic cvr$ are the arguments used with cpi, lpi, chr, and cvr,
respectively. The prime marks (') indicate the old values.

Section 2-4: Capabilities that Cause Movement
In the following descriptions, ``movement'' refers to the motion of the
``current position.'' With video terminals this would be the cursor; with
some printers this is the carriage position. Other printers have
different equivalents. In general, the current position is where a
character would be displayed if printed.

terminfo has string capabilities for control sequences that cause
movement a number of full columns or lines. It also has equivalent string
capabilities for control sequences that cause movement a number of
smallest steps.

String Capabilities for Motion

mcub1 Move 1 step left
mcuf1 Move 1 step right
mcuu1 Move 1 step up
mcud1 Move 1 step down
mcub Move N steps left
mcuf Move N steps right
mcuu Move N steps up
mcud Move N steps down
mhpa Move N steps from the left
mvpa Move N steps from the top

The latter six strings are each used with a single argument, N.

Sometimes the motion is limited to less than the width or length of a
page. Also, some printers don't accept absolute motion to the left of
the current position. terminfo has capabilities for specifying these

Limits to Motion

mjump Limit on use of mcub1, mcuf1, mcuu1, mcud1
maddr Limit on use of mhpa, mvpa
xhpa If set, hpa and mhpa can't move left
xvpa If set, vpa and mvpa can't move up

If a printer needs to be in a ``micro mode'' for the motion capabilities
described above to work, there are string capabilities defined to contain
the control sequence to enter and exit this mode. A boolean is available
for those printers where using a carriage return causes an automatic
return to normal mode.

Entering/Exiting Micro Mode

smicm Enter micro mode
rmicm Exit micro mode
crxm Using cr exits micro mode

The movement made when a character is printed in the rightmost position
varies among printers. Some make no movement, some move to the beginning
of the next line, others move to the beginning of the same line. terminfo
has boolean capabilities for describing all three cases.

What Happens After Character
Printed in Rightmost Position

sam Automatic move to beginning of same line

Some printers can be put in a mode where the normal direction of motion
is reversed. This mode can be especially useful when there are no
capabilities for leftward or upward motion, because those capabilities
can be built from the motion reversal capability and the rightward or
downward motion capabilities. It is best to leave it up to an
application to build the leftward or upward capabilities, though, and not
enter them in the terminfo database. This allows several reverse motions
to be strung together without intervening wasted steps that leave and
reenter reverse mode.

Entering/Exiting Reverse Modes

slm Reverse sense of horizontal motions
rlm Restore sense of horizontal motions
sum Reverse sense of vertical motions
rum Restore sense of vertical motions

While sense of horizontal motions reversed:
mcub1 Move 1 step right
mcuf1 Move 1 step left
mcub Move N steps right
mcuf Move N steps left
cub1 Move 1 column right
cuf1 Move 1 column left
cub Move N columns right
cuf Move N columns left

While sense of vertical motions reversed:
mcuu1 Move 1 step down
mcud1 Move 1 step up
mcuu Move N steps down
mcud Move N steps up
cuu1 Move 1 line down
cud1 Move 1 line up
cuu Move N lines down
cud Move N lines up

The reverse motion modes should not affect the mvpa and mhpa absolute
motion capabilities. The reverse vertical motion mode should, however,
also reverse the action of the line ``wrapping'' that occurs when a
character is printed in the right-most position. Thus printers that have
the standard terminfo capability am defined should experience motion to
the beginning of the previous line when a character is printed in the
right-most position under reverse vertical motion mode.

The action when any other motion capabilities are used in reverse motion
modes is not defined; thus, programs must exit reverse motion modes
before using other motion capabilities.

Two miscellaneous capabilities complete the list of new motion
capabilities. One of these is needed for printers that move the current
position to the beginning of a line when certain control characters, such
as ``line-feed'' or ``form-feed,'' are used. The other is used for the
capability of suspending the motion that normally occurs after printing a

Miscellaneous Motion Strings

docr List of control characters causing cr
zerom Prevent auto motion after printing next single character


terminfo provides two strings for setting margins on terminals: one for
the left and one for the right margin. Printers, however, have two
additional margins, for the top and bottom margins of each page.
Furthermore, some printers require not using motion strings to move the
current position to a margin and then fixing the margin there, but
require the specification of where a margin should be regardless of the
current position. Therefore terminfo offers six additional strings for
defining margins with printers.

Setting Margins

smgl Set left margin at current column
smgr Set right margin at current column
smgb Set bottom margin at current line
smgt Set top margin at current line
smgbp Set bottom margin at line N
smglp Set left margin at column N
smgrp Set right margin at column N
smgtp Set top margin at line N

The last four strings are used with one or more arguments that give the
position of the margin or margins to set. If both of smglp and smgrp are
set, each is used with a single argument, N, that gives the column number
of the left and right margin, respectively. If both of smgtp and smgbp
are set, each is used to set the top and bottom margin, respectively:
smgtp is used with a single argument, N, the line number of the top
margin; however, smgbp is used with two arguments, N and M, that give the
line number of the bottom margin, the first counting from the top of the
page and the second counting from the bottom. This accommodates the two
styles of specifying the bottom margin in different manufacturers'
printers. When coding a terminfo entry for a printer that has a settable
bottom margin, only the first or second parameter should be used,
depending on the printer. When writing an application that uses smgbp to
set the bottom margin, both arguments must be given.

If only one of smglp and smgrp is set, then it is used with two
arguments, the column number of the left and right margins, in that
order. Likewise, if only one of smgtp and smgbp is set, then it is used
with two arguments that give the top and bottom margins, in that order,
counting from the top of the page. Thus when coding a terminfo entry for
a printer that requires setting both left and right or top and bottom
margins simultaneously, only one of smglp and smgrp or smgtp and smgbp
should be defined; the other should be left blank. When writing an
application that uses these string capabilities, the pairs should be
first checked to see if each in the pair is set or only one is set, and
should then be used accordingly.

In counting lines or columns, line zero is the top line and column zero
is the left-most column. A zero value for the second argument with smgbp
means the bottom line of the page.

All margins can be cleared with mgc.

Shadows, Italics, Wide Characters
Five new sets of strings describe the capabilities printers have of
enhancing printed text.

Enhanced Printing

sshm Enter shadow-printing mode
rshm Exit shadow-printing mode
sitm Enter italicizing mode
ritm Exit italicizing mode
swidm Enter wide character mode
rwidm Exit wide character mode
ssupm Enter superscript mode
m Exit superscript mode
supcs List of characters available as superscripts
ssubm Enter subscript mode
rsubm Exit subscript mode
subcs List of characters available as subscripts

If a printer requires the sshm control sequence before every character to
be shadow-printed, the rshm string is left blank. Thus programs that find
a control sequence in sshm but none in rshm should use the sshm control
sequence before every character to be shadow-printed; otherwise, the sshm
control sequence should be used once before the set of characters to be
shadow-printed, followed by rshm. The same is also true of each of the
sitm/ritm, swidm/rwidm, ssupm/rsupm, and ssubm/ rsubm pairs.

Note that terminfo also has a capability for printing emboldened text
(bold). While shadow printing and emboldened printing are similar in that
they ``darken'' the text, many printers produce these two types of print
in slightly different ways. Generally, emboldened printing is done by
overstriking the same character one or more times. Shadow printing
likewise usually involves overstriking, but with a slight movement up
and/or to the side so that the character is ``fatter.''

It is assumed that enhanced printing modes are independent modes, so that
it would be possible, for instance, to shadow print italicized

As mentioned earlier, the amount of motion automatically made after
printing a wide character should be given in widcs.

If only a subset of the printable ASCII characters can be printed as
superscripts or subscripts, they should be listed in supcs or subcs
strings, respectively. If the ssupm or ssubm strings contain control
sequences, but the corresponding supcs or subcs strings are empty, it is
assumed that all printable ASCII characters are available as superscripts
or subscripts.

Automatic motion made after printing a superscript or subscript is
assumed to be the same as for regular characters. Thus, for example,
printing any of the following three examples will result in equivalent

Bi B(i) B^i

Note that the existing msgr boolean capability describes whether motion
control sequences can be used while in ``standout mode.'' This capability
is extended to cover the enhanced printing modes added here. msgr should
be set for those printers that accept any motion control sequences
without affecting shadow, italicized, widened, superscript, or subscript
printing. Conversely, if msgr is not set, a program should end these
modes before attempting any motion.

Section 2-5: Alternate Character Sets
In addition to allowing you to define line graphics (described in Section
1-12), terminfo lets you define alternate character sets. The following
capabilities cover printers and terminals with multiple selectable or
definable character sets.

Alternate Character Sets

scs Select character set N
scsd Start definition of character set N, M characters
defc Define character A, B dots wide, descender D
rcsd End definition of character set N
csnm List of character set names
daisy Printer has manually changed print-wheels

The scs, rcsd, and csnm strings are used with a single argument, N, a
number from 0 to 63 that identifies the character set. The scsd string is
also used with the argument N and another, M, that gives the number of
characters in the set. The defc string is used with three arguments: A
gives the ASCII code representation for the character, B gives the width
of the character in dots, and D is zero or one depending on whether the
character is a ``descender'' or not. The defc string is also followed by
a string of ``image-data'' bytes that describe how the character looks
(see below).

Character set 0 is the default character set present after the printer
has been initialized. Not every printer has 64 character sets, of course;
using scs with an argument that doesn't select an available character set
should cause a null result from tparm.

If a character set has to be defined before it can be used, the scsd
control sequence is to be used before defining the character set, and the
rcsd is to be used after. They should also cause a null result from tparm
when used with an argument N that doesn't apply. If a character set still
has to be selected after being defined, the scs control sequence should
follow the rcsd control sequence. By examining the results of using each
of the scs, scsd, and rcsd strings with a character set number in a call
to tparm, a program can determine which of the three are needed.

Between use of the scsd and rcsd strings, the defc string should be used
to define each character. To print any character on printers covered by
terminfo, the ASCII code is sent to the printer. This is true for
characters in an alternate set as well as ``normal'' characters. Thus the
definition of a character includes the ASCII code that represents it. In
addition, the width of the character in dots is given, along with an
indication of whether the character should descend below the print line
(such as the lower case letter ``g'' in most character sets). The width
of the character in dots also indicates the number of image-data bytes
that will follow the defc string. These image-data bytes indicate where
in a dot-matrix pattern ink should be applied to ``draw'' the character;
the number of these bytes and their form are defined below under ``Dot-
Mapped Graphics.''

It's easiest for the creator of terminfo entries to refer to each
character set by number; however, these numbers will be meaningless to
the application developer. The csnm string alleviates this problem by
providing names for each number.

When used with a character set number in a call to tparm, the csnm string
will produce the equivalent name. These names should be used as a
reference only. No naming convention is implied, although anyone who
creates a terminfo entry for a printer should use names consistent with
the names found in user documents for the printer. Application developers
should allow a user to specify a character set by number (leaving it up
to the user to examine the csnm string to determine the correct number),
or by name, where the application examines the csnm string to determine
the corresponding character set number.

These capabilities are likely to be used only with dot-matrix printers.
If they are not available, the strings should not be defined. For
printers that have manually changed print-wheels or font cartridges, the
boolean daisy is set.

Section 2-6: Dot-Matrix Graphics
Dot-matrix printers typically have the capability of reproducing
``raster-graphics'' images. Three new numeric capabilities and three new
string capabilities can help a program draw raster-graphics images
independent of the type of dot-matrix printer or the number of pins or
dots the printer can handle at one time.

Dot-Matrix Graphics

npins Number of pins, N, in print-head
spinv Spacing of pins vertically in pins per inch
spinh Spacing of dots horizontally in dots per inch
porder Matches software bits to print-head pins
sbim Start printing bit image graphics, B bits wide
rbim End printing bit image graphics

The sbim string is used with a single argument, B, the width of the image
in dots.

The model of dot-matrix or raster-graphics that terminfo presents is
similar to the technique used for most dot-matrix printers: each pass of
the printer's print-head is assumed to produce a dot-matrix that is N
dots high and B dots wide. This is typically a wide, squat, rectangle of
dots. The height of this rectangle in dots will vary from one printer to
the next; this is given in the npins numeric capability. The size of the
rectangle in fractions of an inch will also vary; it can be deduced from
the spinv and spinh numeric capabilities. With these three values an
application can divide a complete raster-graphics image into several
horizontal strips, perhaps interpolating to account for different dot
spacing vertically and horizontally.

The sbim and rbim strings are used to start and end a dot-matrix image,
respectively. The sbim string is used with a single argument that gives
the width of the dot-matrix in dots. A sequence of ``image-data bytes''
are sent to the printer after the sbim string and before the rbim string.
The number of bytes is a integral multiple of the width of the dot-
matrix; the multiple and the form of each byte is determined by the
porder string as described below.

The porder string is a comma separated list of pin numbers optionally
followed by an numerical offset. The offset, if given, is separated from
the list with a semicolon. The position of each pin number in the list
corresponds to a bit in an 8-bit data byte. The pins are numbered
consecutively from 1 to npins, with 1 being the top pin. Note that the
term ``pin'' is used loosely here; ``ink-jet'' dot-matrix printers don't
have pins, but can be considered to have an equivalent method of applying
a single dot of ink to paper. The bit positions in porder are in groups
of 8, with the first position in each group the most significant bit and
the last position the least significant bit. An application produces
8-bit bytes in the order of the groups in porder.

An application computes the ``image-data bytes'' from the internal image,
mapping vertical dot positions in each print-head pass into 8-bit bytes,
using a 1 bit where ink should be applied and 0 where no ink should be
applied. This can be reversed (0 bit for ink, 1 bit for no ink) by giving
a negative pin number. If a position is skipped in porder, a 0 bit is
used. If a position has a lower case `x' instead of a pin number, a 1 bit
is used in the skipped position. For consistency, a lower case `o' can be
used to represent a 0 filled, skipped bit. There must be a multiple of 8
bit positions used or skipped in porder; if not, 0 bits are used to fill
the last byte in the least significant bits. The offset, if given, is
added to each data byte; the offset can be negative.

Some examples may help clarify the use of the porder string. The AT&T
470, AT&T 475 and C.Itoh 8510 printers provide eight pins for graphics.
The pins are identified top to bottom by the 8 bits in a byte, from least
significant to most. The porder strings for these printers would be
8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1. The AT&T 478 and AT&T 479 printers also provide eight
pins for graphics. However, the pins are identified in the reverse order.
The porder strings for these printers would be 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. The AT&T
5310, AT&T 5320, DEC LA100, and DEC LN03 printers provide six pins for
graphics. The pins are identified top to bottom by the decimal values 1,
2, 4, 8, 16 and 32. These correspond to the low six bits in an 8-bit
byte, although the decimal values are further offset by the value 63. The
porder string for these printers would be ,,6,5,4,3,2,1;63, or
alternately o,o,6,5,4,3,2,1;63.

Section 2-7: Effect of Changing Printing Resolution
If the control sequences to change the character pitch or the line pitch
are used, the pin or dot spacing may change:

Dot-Matrix Graphics
Changing the Character/Line Pitches

cpi Change character pitch
cpix If set, cpi changes spinh
lpi Change line pitch
lpix If set, lpi changes spinv

Programs that use cpi or lpi should recalculate the dot spacing:

Dot-Matrix Graphics
Effects of Changing the Character/Line Pitches

Before After

Using cpi with cpix clear:
$bold spinh '$ $bold spinh$

Using cpi with cpix set:
$bold spinh '$ $bold spinh = bold spinh ' cdot bold orhi over
{ bold {orhi '} }$

Using lpi with lpix clear:
$bold spinv '$ $bold spinv$

Using lpi with lpix set:
$bold spinv '$ $bold spinv = bold {spinv '} cdot bold orhi over
{ bold {orhi '}}$

Using chr:
$bold spinh '$ $bold spinh$

Using cvr:
$bold spinv '$ $bold spinv$

orhi' and orhi are the values of the horizontal resolution in steps per
inch, before using cpi and after using cpi, respectively. Likewise,
orvi' and orvi are the values of the vertical resolution in steps per
inch, before using lpi and after using lpi, respectively. Thus, the
changes in the dots per inch for dot-matrix graphics follow the changes
in steps per inch for printer resolution.

Section 2-8: Print Quality
Many dot-matrix printers can alter the dot spacing of printed text to
produce near ``letter quality'' printing or ``draft quality'' printing.
Usually it is important to be able to choose one or the other because the
rate of printing generally falls off as the quality improves. There are
three new strings used to describe these capabilities.

Print Quality

snlq Set near-letter quality print
snrmq Set normal quality print
sdrfq Set draft quality print

The capabilities are listed in decreasing levels of quality. If a printer
doesn't have all three levels, one or two of the strings should be left
blank as appropriate.

Section 2-9: Printing Rate and Buffer Size
Because there is no standard protocol that can be used to keep a program
synchronized with a printer, and because modern printers can buffer data
before printing it, a program generally cannot determine at any time what
has been printed. Two new numeric capabilities can help a program
estimate what has been printed.

Print Rate/Buffer Size

cps Nominal print rate in characters per second
bufsz Buffer capacity in characters

cps is the nominal or average rate at which the printer prints
characters; if this value is not given, the rate should be estimated at
one-tenth the prevailing baud rate. bufsz is the maximum number of
subsequent characters buffered before the guaranteed printing of an
earlier character, assuming proper flow control has been used. If this
value is not given it is assumed that the printer does not buffer
characters, but prints them as they are received.

As an example, if a printer has a 1000-character buffer, then sending the
letter ``a'' followed by 1000 additional characters is guaranteed to
cause the letter ``a'' to print. If the same printer prints at the rate
of 100 characters per second, then it should take 10 seconds to print all
the characters in the buffer, less if the buffer is not full. By keeping
track of the characters sent to a printer, and knowing the print rate and
buffer size, a program can synchronize itself with the printer.

Note that most printer manufacturers advertise the maximum print rate,
not the nominal print rate. A good way to get a value to put in for cps
is to generate a few pages of text, count the number of printable
characters, and then see how long it takes to print the text.

Applications that use these values should recognize the variability in
the print rate. Straight text, in short lines, with no embedded control
sequences will probably print at close to the advertised print rate and
probably faster than the rate in cps. Graphics data with a lot of control
sequences, or very long lines of text, will print at well below the
advertised rate and below the rate in cps. If the application is using
cps to decide how long it should take a printer to print a block of text,
the application should pad the estimate. If the application is using cps
to decide how much text has already been printed, it should shrink the
estimate. The application will thus err in favor of the user, who wants,
above all, to see all the output in its correct place.



compiled terminal description database


subset of compiled terminal description database


tab settings for some terminals, in a format appropriate to be output
to the terminal (escape sequences that set margins and tabs)


ls(1), pg(1), stty(1), tput(1), tty(1), vi(1), printf(3C),
curses(3CURSES), curses(3XCURSES), infocmp(8), tic(8)


The most effective way to prepare a terminal description is by imitating
the description of a similar terminal in terminfo and to build up a
description gradually, using partial descriptions with a screen oriented
editor, such as vi, to check that they are correct. To easily test a new
terminal description the environment variable TERMINFO can be set to the
pathname of a directory containing the compiled description, and programs
will look there rather than in /usr/share/lib/terminfo.

June 20, 2021 TERMINFO(5)