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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  TERM::VISUAL (3)

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Term::Visual - split-terminal user interface



  #!/usr/bin/perl -w
  use strict;

  use Term::Visual;

  my $vt = Term::Visual->new(    Alias => "interface",
                              Errlevel => 0 );

  $vt->set_palette( mycolor   => "magenta on black",
                    thiscolor => "green on black" );

  my $window_id = $vt->create_window(
        Window_Name  => "foo",

        Status       => { 0 =>
                           { format => "template for status line 1",
                             fields => [qw( foo bar )] },
                          1 =>
                           { format => "template for status line 2",
                             fields => [ qw( biz baz ) ] },

        Buffer_Size  => 1000,
        History_Size => 50,

        Input_Prompt => "[foo] ", # Set the input prompt for the input line.

        Use_Title    => 0, # Dont use a titlebar
        Use_Status   => 0, # Dont use a statusbar

        Title        => "Title of foo"  );

    (inline_states => {
       _start         => \&start_handler,
       got_term_input => \&term_input_handler,

  sub start_handler {
    my $kernel = $_[KERNEL];

    # Tell the terminal to send me input as "got_term_input".
    $kernel->post( interface => send_me_input => "got_term_input" );
    $vt->set_status_field( $window_id, bar => $value );

    $vt->set_input_prompt($window_id, "\$");

    $vt->print( $window_id, "my Window ID is $window_id" );

  sub term_input_handler {
      my ($kernel, $heap, $input, $exception) = @_[KERNEL, HEAP, ARG0, ARG1];

      # Got an exception.  These are interrupt (^C) or quit (^\).
      if (defined $exception) {
        warn "got exception: $exception";
      $vt->print($window_id, $input);

  # Only use delete_window if using multiple windows.
  $vt->delete_window( $window_id );



Term::Visual is a visual terminal interface for curses applications. It provides the split-screen interface you may have seen in console based IRC and MUD clients.

Term::Visual uses the POE networking and multitasking framework to support concurrent input from network sockets and the console, multiple timers, and more.


new Create and initialize a new instance of Term::Visual.

  my $vt = Term::Visual->new(
                     Alias => "interface",
              Common_Input => 1,
              Tab_Complete => sub { ... },                
                  Errlevel => 0 );

Alias is a session alias for POE.

Common_Input is an optional flag used
to globalize History_Position,
in create_window(); Thus all windows created will have common input.

Tab_Complete is a handler for tab completion.

  Tab_Complete => sub {
    my $left = shift;
    my @return;
    my %complete = (
        foo => "foobar ",
        biz => "bizbaz ",
    return $complete{$left};

Tab_Complete is covered more indepth in the examples directory.

Errlevel not implemented yet.

Errlevel sets Term::Visual’s error level.


  my $window_id = $vt->create_window( ... );

Set the window’s name

  Window_Name => "foo"

Set the Statusbar’s format

  Status => { 0 => # first statusline
               { format => "\0(st_frames)" .
                           " [" .
                           "\0(st_values)" .
                           "%8.8s" .
                           "\0(st_frames)" .
                           "] " .
                           "\0(st_values)" .
                 fields => [qw( time name )] },
              1 => # second statusline
               { format => "foo %s bar %s",
                 fields => [qw( foo bar )] },

Set the size of the scrollback buffer

  Buffer_Size => 1000

Set the command history size

  History_Size => 50

Set the input prompt of the window

  Input_Prompt => "foo"

Set the title of the window

  Title => "This is the Titlebar"

Don’t use Term::Visual’s Titlebar.

  Use_Title => 0

Don’t use Term::Visual’s StatusBar.

  Use_Status => 0

No need to declare Use_Status or Use_Title if you want to use the Statusbar or Titlebar.

send_me_input send_me_input is a handler Term::Visual uses to send the client input from a keyboard and mouse.

create a handler for parsing the input in your POE Session.

    (inline_states => {
       _start         => \&start_handler,
       got_term_input => \&term_input_handler,

POE’s _start handler is a good place to tell Term::Visual how to send you input.

  sub start_handler {
    my $kernel = $_[KERNEL];

    # Tell the terminal to send me input as "got_term_input".
    $kernel->post( interface => send_me_input => "got_term_input" );

Now create your term_input_handler to parse input. In this case we simply check for exceptions and print the input to the screen.

  sub term_input_handler {
    my ($kernel, $heap, $input, $exception) = @_[KERNEL, HEAP, ARG0, ARG1];

    # Got an exception.  These are interrupt (^C) or quit (^\).
    if (defined $exception) {
      warn "got exception: $exception";
    $vt->print($window_id, $input);

print Prints lines of text to the main screen of a window

  $vt->print( $window_id, "this is a string" );

  my @array = qw(foo bar biz baz);
  $vt->print( $window_id, @array );


  my $current_window = $vt->current_window;

  $vt->print( $current_window, "current window is $current_window" );


  my $window_name = $vt->get_window_name( $window_id );


  my $window_id = $vt->get_window_id( $window_name );






  my $validity = $vt->validate_window( $window_id );


  my $validity = $vt->validate_window( $window_name );

  if ($validity) { do stuff };

get_palette Return color palette or a specific colorname’s description.

  my %palette = $vt->get_palette();

  my $color_desc = $vt->get_palette($colorname);

  my ($foo, $bar) = $vt->get_palette($biz, $baz);

set_palette Set the color palette or specific colorname’s value.

  $vt->set_palette( color_name => "color on color" );

  $vt->set_palette( color_name => "color on color",
                    another    => "color on color" );

  NOTE: (ncolor, st_values, st_frames, stderr_text, stderr_bullet, statcolor)
         are set and used by Term::Visual internally.
         It is safe to redifine there values.

color codes Once your color definitions are set in the palette you must insert color codes to your output. These are formatted as follows: \0(ncolor)

So if you wanted to print something with a color you could simply use:

  $vt->print( $window_id, "\0(color_name)My this is a wonderful color." );


  $vt->set_title( $window_id, "This is the new Title" );


  my $title = $vt->get_title( $window_id );

change_window Switch between windows

  $vt->change_window( $window_id );

  $vt->change_window( 0 );


  $vt->change_window( 1 );


  $vt->set_status_format( $window_id,
            0 => { format => "template for status line 1",
                   fields  => [ qw( foo bar ) ] },
            1 => { format => "template for status line 2",
                   fields  => [ qw( biz baz ) ] }, );


  $vt->set_status_field( $window_id, field => "value" );

  $vt->set_status_field( $window_id, foo => "bar", biz => "baz" );


  $vt->set_input_prompt($window_id, "\$");

  $vt->set_input_prompt($window_id, "[foo]");

columnize columnize takes a list of text and formats it into a columnized table.

  columnize is used internally, but might be of use
  externally as well.

  Arguments given to columnize must be a hash.
  key Items must be an array reference.
  The default value for Maxwidth may change to $COLS.

  my $table = $vt->columnize(
     Items => \@list,
     Padding => 2, # default value and optional
     MaxColumns => 10, # default value and optional
     MaxWidth => 80 # default value and optional


  bind is used for key bindings.
  our %Bindings = (
      Up   => history,
      Down => history,


  sub handler_history {
    my ($kernel, $heap, $key, $win) = @_[KERNEL, HEAP, ARG0, ARG2];
    if ($key eq KEY_UP) {
      $vt->command_history($win, 1);
    else {
      $vt->command_history($win, 2);

      inline_states => {
          _start => \&handler_start,
          _stop  => \&handler_stop,
          history => \&handler_history,

unbind unbind a key

  $vt->unbind(Up, Down);
  $vt->unbind(keys %Bindings);

debug write to the debug file


  Debugging must be turned on before using this.

  change sub DEBUG () { 0 } to 1 or
  add this to your program:
  sub Term::Visual::DEBUG () { 1 }
  use Term::Visual;

shutdown shutdown Term::Visual


Internal Keystrokes

Ctrl A or KEY_HOME Move to BOL.
KEY_LEFT Back one character.
Alt P or Esc KEY_LEFT Switch Windows decrementaly.
Alt N or Esc KEY_RIGHT Switch Windows incrementaly.
Alt K or KEY_END Not implemented yet.

Kill a Window.

Ctrl \ Kill Term::Visual.
Ctrl D or KEY_DC Delete a character.
Ctrl E or KEY_LL Move to EOL.
Ctrl F or KEY_RIGHT Forward a character.
Ctrl H or KEY_BACKSPACE Backward delete character.
Ctrl J or Ctrl M ’Return’ Accept a line.
Ctrl K Kill to EOL.
Ctrl L or KEY_RESIZE Refresh screen.
Ctrl N Next in history.
Ctrl P Previous in history.
Ctrl Q Display input status.
Ctrl T Transpose characters.
Ctrl U Discard line.
Ctrl W Word rubout.
Esc C Capitalize word to right of cursor.
Esc U Uppercase WORD.
Esc L Lowercase word.
Esc F Forward one word.
Esc B Backward one word.
Esc D Delete a word forward.
Esc T Transpose words.
KEY_IC ’Insert’ Toggle Insert mode.
KEY_SELECT ’Home’ If window is scrolled up, page all the way down.
KEY_PPAGE ’Page Down’ Scroll down a page.
KEY_NPAGE ’Page Up’ Scroll up a page.
KEY_UP Scroll up a line.
KEY_DOWN Scroll down a line.


Charles Ayres Except where otherwise noted, Term::Visual is Copyright 2002-2007 Charles Ayres. All rights reserved. Term::Visual is free software; you may redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

Questions and Comments can be sent to

Please send bug reports and wishlist items to:


Rocco Caputo A Big thanks to Rocco Caputo.

Rocco has contributed to the development of Term::Visual In many ways.

Rocco Caputo <>

Thank you!
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