The reference pages for the Text and TextField widgets (in Volume Six B, Motif Reference Manual; Section 2, Motif
and Xt Widget Classes) lists the default translations for the widgets. See Volume Four, X Toolkit Intrinsics
Programming Manual, for a description of how to programmatically alter translation tables; see Volume Three, X
Window System User's Guide, for a description of how a user can customize widget translations. See Chapter 17, The
Clipboard, for a discussion of the lower−level Motif clipboard functions.
15.2 Text Widget Basics
In order to understand the complexities of the Text and TextField widgets, you need to know about some of the basic
resources and functions that they provide. This section describes the fundamentals of working with text widgets,
including how to create the widgets, how to work with the textual data, and how to control simple aspects of
appearance and behavior. Applications that wish to use the Text widget need to include the file <Xm/Text.h>.
TextField widgets require the file <Xm/TextF.h>. You can create a Text widget using
XtVaCreateManagedWidget() as usual:
Widget text_w;
text_w = XtVaCreateManagedWidget("name",
xmTextWidgetClass, parent,
To create a TextField widget instead, specify the class as xmTextFieldWidgetClass.
15.2.1 The Textual Data
The XmNvalue resource of the Text and TextField widgets provides the most basic means of access to the internal
text storage for the widgets. Unlike the other widgets in the Motif toolkit that use text, the text widgets do not use
compound strings for their values. Instead, the value is specified as a regular C string, as shown in the source code
XtSetLanguageProc() is only available in X11R5; there is no corresponding function in X11R4.
/* simple_text.c −− Create a minimally configured Text widget */
#include <Xm/Text.h>
main(argc, argv)
int argc;
char *argv[];
Widget toplevel;
XtAppContext app;
XtSetLanguageProc (NULL, NULL, NULL);
toplevel = XtVaAppInitialize (&app, "Demos",
NULL, 0, &argc, argv, NULL, NULL);
XtVaCreateManagedWidget ("text", xmTextWidgetClass, toplevel,
XmNvalue, "Now is the time...",
XtRealizeWidget (toplevel);
XtAppMainLoop (app);
This short program simply creates a Text widget with the initial value shown in the figure.
15 Text Widgets 15.2 Text Widget Basics
Output of simple_text.c
In Motif 1.2, both widgets also provide the XmNvalueWcs resource for storing a wide−character representation of
the text value. For more information on using the text widgets in an internationalized application, see Section
#stexti18n. The initial value of the XmNvalue resource may be set either when the widget is created or by using
XtVaSetValues() after the widget has been created. The value of the resource always represents the entire text of
the widget. You can also use a Motif convenience routine, XmTextSetString(), to set the text value. This routine
takes the following form:
XmTextSetString(text_w, value)
Widget text_w;
char *value;
This routine works for both Text and TextField widgets. The TextField widget has a corresponding routine,
XmTextFieldSetString(), but it only works for TextField widgets. If you are using both types of text widgets
in an application, we recommend using the Text widget routines to manipulate all of the widgets. Since these routines
work with both types of widgets, you don't need to keep track of the widget types.
Although the convenience routine and XtVaSetValues() produce the same results, the convenience routine may
be more efficient since it accesses the internals of the widget directly, while the XtVaSetValues() method
involves going through Xt. On the other hand, if you are setting a number of resources at the same time, the
XtVaSetValues() method is better because all of the resources can be set in a single function call. Whichever
function you use, the text value is copied into the internals of the widget, and the displayed value is changed
If, for whatever reason, you are making multiple changes in a short period of time to the text in a Text widget, you
may have problems with visual flashing in the widget. With Motif 1.2, you can solve this problem by calling
XmTextDisableRedisplay() to turn off visual updating in the widget. After the call, the appearance of the
widget remains unchanged until XmTextEnableRedisplay() is called. You can access the textual data in a Text
widget using XtVaGetValues() or XmTextGetString(). XmTextGetString() allocates enough space
(using XtMalloc()) for all of the text in the widget and returns a pointer to the allocated data. You can modify the
returned data any way you like, and then you must free it using XtFree() when you are done. The code fragment
below demonstrates the use of XmTextGetString():
char *text;
if (text = XmTextGetString (text_w)) {
/* manipulate text in whatever way is necessary */
/* free text or there will be a memory leak */
XtFree (text);
XmTextGetString() works with both Text and TextField widgets, while the corresponding TextField routine,
XmTextFieldGetString(), only works with TextField widgets. In Motif 1.2, you can also use
15 Text Widgets 15.2 Text Widget Basics

Get Volume 6A: Motif Programming Manual now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.